Monday, January 21, 2013

This Idea Has Legs

During the Bb Collaborate session tonight, Alec Couros described and defined PLNs and PLEs.

He said, “This is an idea that has legs.”

Yes! The very idea of a PLN sums up the professional development of OL teachers. Or at least the potential for professional development. As I work with teachers who are transitioning from teaching F2F to OL, they have many anxieties.

Their main concern: How will the students “see” their passion for the topic? Well, tonight I saw Alec’s passion for the topic. For me, this reinforces the need for video sessions that the students can watch. Collaborative synchronous sessions have legs. 

Have I watched the other recorded sessions? No. Are future sessions on my calendar? Yes. 

One of the things I am not keen on with collaborative synchronous sessions is the chat function. People tend to really go nuts with ideas and they type away. It's distracting. I’ve done it myself, so I understand the excitement of the real time experience. You can type and people see it! The synchronous joy of learning and sharing at the same time. Online! However, I minimize the chat so that I can focus on the screen and the speaker. 

I also took screen shots of my favorite quotes. I know they are archived, but this is my way of “slowing down the web” of information (great quote from Alec).

Here is my favorite image from tonight's talk.

You can visualize how a PLN is inside a PLE. The network in your environment.
Doesn't this image remind you of a clock?  (There's a visual metaphor here, I think).


I’m going to put in a little time this week to learn about PLNs and PLEs. I think this idea “has legs” on a smaller scale. Like on my campus with people I don’t get to see enough.

You know, your colleagues that you always wish you had five more minutes to talk to--
                               Time to ask that question: What are you doing in your class today?


  1. Hi Alyson

    The chat can be very overwhelming especially with a large number of hyper connected people. The best option is to save the chat and the Whiteboard at the end of the session by going to File > Save. When you save the Whiteboard you save as a PDF.

    I find this lets me reflect on the information in my own time if I want to.

    Sorry I can't answer your question about class as my work is very different from most.


  2. Thanks, Sue. I like the use of "hyper connected" to describe the audience.