Creating a Personal Learning Network with Web 2.0 Tools

How do educators keep current with the ever changing world of technology? How can Web 2.0 tools be used to communicate and collaborate with peers across the hall and around the world? This session will focus on some of the newest tools teachers are using to support their own professional learning goals.

Find links to each of us in the sidebar to the left and look below for more suggested PLN resources and interesting links. We look forward to learning with you!

If you want to think more deeply about learning networks and community, spend some time reading, listening and responding to the information at Bud Hunt's "Lie of Community" site.

Download a podcast version of the presentation from the Apple Learning Interchange Conference Connections.

PLN Video

Join in the conversation and view the presentation with audio at: (scrub to about 11:00 to skip the pre-session setup)Build a PLN with Web 2.0 Tools (FETC 09) (slideshare version)
View more presentations or upload your own. (tags: ade fetc)


Twitter and Plurk
Connect with other learners in 140 chartacter bites of conversation.

Starting Points
Twitter in Plain English 
Brief and engaging video look at how Twitter works.

Twittering not Frittering 
Explanation of how Twitter can be used as a professional development tool.

Listing of many Apple Distinguished Educators and Teachers who are using Twitter

PR 2.0: Twitter Tools for Community and Communications Professionals
Many free tools and applications to help make twitter a more effective community and communication tool.

Main Course

Blogs are great tools to read, reflect and respond to the thoughts of fellow educators and technology thinkers. Using an RSS aggregator makes it easy to collect and read many blogs from one starting point.  Ready to move to the next step? Think about starting your own blog to share your thoughts with others!

Starting Points
Links to School-related blogs
Blogs are grouped by blogger's role and function.  Every educator can find something of interest to start reading and following.

50 Useful Blogging Tools: (fromTeaching
Tips on tools, safety. and getting students involved in blogging.
Cool Cat Teacher Blog (Vicki Davis)
"Teaching content with new tools, enthusiasm, and the belief that teaching is a noble profession!"
Weblogg-ed (Will Richardson)
Author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, Will Richardson blogs on the power of the read/write web.

Learning in Hand (Tony Vincent)
A blog specializing in handheld, mobile devices as learning tools in the classroom.  Most recently focused mainly on iPods.

PBS Blog by Andy Carvin that examines current trends in learning with technology.

Free Technology for Teachers
Ideas and links to free teaching resources located around the web.

RSS Aggregators
            Google Reader:

Become a Blogger

Delicious and Diigo and 
Here's a place to store your favorite websites and share them with others.  Delicious is a Social Bookmarking tool - find an interesting  site, tag it with keywords that are related and share it with others in your network. Diigo takes Social Bookmarking a step further by adding tools for highlighting, commenting and annotating web pages either for your own use or for sharing with your network.

Starting Points
FCE (Claudia Ceraso) 
Claudia's network includes over 400 fellow educators.  Her Delicious links and those of her network are a one-stop shop for almost any grade level and subject area.

A good starting group for Diigo with contributions from over 200 educators.

Seven Things You Should Know about Social Bookmarking (.pdf)
Brief article explaining the implications and impact of Social Bookmarking in education

Social Bookmarking from the Teaching Hacks Wiki 
Explanation and ideas for using Social Bookmarking in the classroom.

iChat and Skype
Use these tools to chat using text, audio, or video with other users over the Internet. With iChat you can also send and receive files.
Starting Points

Across platforms and around the world, use this tool to connect with others for free!

It's like a world-wide FETC available 24/7.  A great place committed "to help educators make sense of and meet the needs of a continually changing learning landscape."

Start here to locate other K-12 teachers for cross-classroom collaboration.

They provide content, tools, and resources for collaborative project-based learning opportunities that are proven to be diverse, challenging, and innovative.

Side Dish

Podcasts and Webinars
Podcasts are radio-like episodic learning opportunities delivered to you whenever you want to listen and/or watch.  Webinars provide a somewhat similar experience, however, they are conducted in real-time and often provide an opportunity for participation.

Starting Points
Part of the iTunes Store, these podcasts feature free lectures, language lessons, audiobooks, and more, that you can enjoy on your computer or on the go. Explore educational audio and video files from top universities, museums and public media organizations from around the world.

K12 Online
It's like a world-wide FETC available 24/7.  A great place committed "to help educators make sense of and meet the needs of a continually changing learning landscape."

This site is jam packed with content to teach with and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st Century.

UStream Weblogg-ed TV
By combining ustream with the use of Twitter, one is able to reach thousands, make connections, and get involved in profound conversations related to education, politics, history.  Learning becomes authentic when students are able to participate in live Web TV with global audiences.

Wikis and Nings

Wikis are collaborative websites that users can create and edit together.  A Ning is more like a social community for sharing conversations with other users who share a common interest.

Starting Points
Classroom 2.0 Ning
A great place for building contacts with other educators who are interested in using Web 2.0 tools.  A weekly live show on Saturdays gives members a chance to communicate and learn together.

A new Ning created by ISTE to promote communication among ISTE members. Special Interest Groups for Tech Coordinators, 1:1 and more give an opportunity for focused conversations.

Classroom 2.0 Wiki 
A wiki devoted to "building resources for the classroom and professional-development use of Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies."

Build your own collaborative website/web community
**Most of these services will remove the ads from your site for free with proof of your educational status.

Apple Learning Interchange
Enjoy great content, meet others, and collaborate online in this one-stop-shop community of educators.

Starting Points
Apple Learning Interchange (ALI)
1.  Sign up for a free account.
2.  Search for free content.
3.  Find other professionals with similar interests and join Groups.

Education Communities
Enjoy great content, meet others, and collaborate online in other communities specifically designed for teachers.

Starting Points
TeacherShare (Scholastic)
Connect with other classroom teachers as you share lesson plans online.

Looking for a classroom collaboration partner?  This site will help you find other classes around the globe for project-based activities.

PBS Teachers Connect
Discussion boards, resource sharing and comunication with other PBS teachers.

Watch video creations from other classrooms, then upload and share your own.


Flickr is an online photo sharing site. You can keep photos public or private and connect with other users by adding them as contacts or joining a group. Creative Commons licensing is a way to share your photos while retaining some control over how they are used.

Starting Points
My Friend Flickr 
Edutopia article with hints and tips on using Flickr in the classroom.

Flickr 52 
Flickr using educators who are interested in practicing their digital photography skills have created this group to share a photo a week.  It's a great way to get and give feedback from other novice photographers.

Second Life
"The Internet's largest user-created, 3-D, virtual world community"

Starting Points
Second Life
1. Download and install free application
2. Sign up for free Second Life identity and avatar.

"Get a Muve On" (Kathy Schrock)
Great research, information, and resources for Second Life in education.

Visit to track your runs, set goals, participate in challenges, and join the largest running club ever!

Starting Points
Set personal goals, track your running stats, share your training info with others and set up virtual races with friends.

Nike Running Blog
A complete online resource for runners, "offering news, information and advice on everything from running gear to training advice for races and marathons to interactive tools and a vibrant online community of runners."