My personal learning network (PLN) is pretty extensive. I began my PLN as a life-long learner and through this class and others it has evolved. I never realized when I was in high school how much I would grow to love learning and education. When I was in college I never thought I would ever become a teacher either, yet here I am. I decided while in high school that my major would be environmental science because I knew the plans for development of the land that I loved so dearly. The plans went through now all the places I went horseback riding and hiking in New York are developments and there are more people than I care to deal with. That was the reason I left New York and now after many years I am in Alaska. I never veered from my chosen field of study though I did take a long path getting to my desired goal. I started college right out of high school, but ended up dropping out having children then finally going back to get an AA in environmental science from Manatee Community College, BS in limnology and MS in biology from the University of Central Florida. Now years later I am attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks pursuing my M.Ed. So a large part of my PLN is college courses. Throughout my college career (some say I am a professional student)I have also joined many ecological, ornithological, and limnological societies. I have attended many ecology conferences both as an attendee and presenter. I am an avid reader so have read countless journal papers and written a few.
More recently as a teacher my PLN also includes professional development and meetings like Alaska Society for Technology Education (ASTE). It was through my professional development and ASTE where I was first introduced to DIIGO. My Twitter account was a social account not really educational so I was interested in using it as an educational tool. I have since turned my Twitter account into a big part of my PLN following many techy and educational users. I have also started to use Linkedin a little more though I think I could use it much more. I did find an old college friend whose contact I lost which was great. She like me has a BS in limnology and MS in biology, but then like me became a teacher. She now works as an education specialist at the University of Kansas, but I digress.
I have not really utilized Google Reader and find it difficult to set up and figure out. I had to go through tutorials to set it up. The difficult part was trying to figure out where I can access the RSS. The reader appears on some pages but on other website pages it says there are no feeds detected. I am still trying to figure out how to detect feeds on all websites. I also want to link the RSS to my Facebook page and Google +. I recently joined a Google + group with DEN Educators of Alaska (Discovery Education Network). Of course the RSS is easy to find on Google +. This is one of my newest PLN.
I of course continue to take college courses in education and have used my classroom and students for research on inquiry-based science learning. I am a scientist and researcher first and though I don’t study birds anymore I still continue to research. It was my love of learning and nature and the desire to share that and the hope that I could inspire a student or two to become life-long learners that lead me from the field to the classroom. I found that as a classroom teacher things like chemistry, physiology and anatomy now come pretty easy to me because of the tricks that I have learned to help my students be able to understand those hard topics. I guess one of the best my PLN is teaching because nothing helps you learn better than teaching it to someone else.
My PLN began to grow over the summer as I was part of cohort 2 in the AK Teachers Network with SERRC. I realized when I was there that Ryan Stanley was a huge part of my PLN because I was following him on just about every social network I was part of then I added him to Diigo also. I met other teachers and added Tom our instructor to my PLN. Through our class this semester my Twitter account has grown and I have joined several teacher sites and started to add more webinars to my PLN. As a life-long learner having a PLN is great and I hope that it continues to grow. I know that I have not put everyone or all the associations I am now part of in my graphic, but I added who and what I could think of and will definitely use it to help me keep contacts and URLs in one place so I can continue to learn as I so love to do.