PLN - Not Just My Initials
Ms. Naugle’s Classroom Blog
Where are you from and what do you do?
I teach fourth graders at a public school in the suburbs of New Orleans. and have done so for 30+ years. Last year I taught math, science, and social studies. This year I will probably be teaching an ELA block, a math block, and one social studies class. I am one of the moderators for #4thchat, #DENchat, and #LAedchat, a DEN STAR and a member of the DEN Leadership Council for Louisiana. I am a Microsoft Innovative Educator, a PBWorks certified trainer, a Simple K12 Ambassador and presenter, and serve on the teacher advisory boards for Classroom 2.0 Live and TeachersFirst. In 2011 I earned my Masters in Educational Technology Leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University. My passions are social media, technology integration, travel, and reading. Chocolate is my favorite food group.
How are you connected to Beth?When I first joined Twitter back in February of 2009, Beth became my Twitter mentor. She saw me struggling to find the relevance of this social media tool, reached out, and offered to mentor me so I could get the most out of Twitter. I first got to meet Beth in Washington, D.C. at the NECC conference (National Educational Computing Conference now known as ISTE - International Society for Technology in Education) that summer. We have been meeting up and rooming together for every ISTE conference since then. Read about one of our adventures here.
How did you get involved in educational technology?In 2004 I was given a model technology classroom which included one of the first interactive whiteboards (IWB) in my district and attended NECC in New Orleans. When I left that conference I knew I had much to learn about educational technology, but made it my goal to learn all that I could. I became a teacher trainer in my school to help others learn how to use their Promethean boards and other web based tools. I read many edtech leaders’ blogs and attended many webinars. Building a personal learning network became a goal of mine and I did so through Nings, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and other social media sites. Integrating technology into my daily lessons became my norm. In 2009, I received $15,000 of technology hardware from my district and became part of the Model Technology Classroom Cohort in my district. From there I started presenting at technology conferences at the state, national, and international level both in person and virtually.
How has being a networked educator impacted your life?
Truly I was ready to retire back in 2009, but my PLN and technology integration reignited
my career. Each day I learn new things from my PLN and I love sharing with them. Being connected has enabled me to learn from educators all over the globe 24/7. If I have a question about a tool or need a suggestion for a project, I can send a tweet and I will receive an answer within a few minutes. Opportunities have come my way which I know would not have happened if I weren’t a connected educator. I have educational companies seeking my advice and input, I’ve been asked to write guest blog posts, I’ve been invited to present at conferences, I’ve been interviewed for podcasts and articles, and I was invited to represent Twitter-using educators at the Bammy Awards.
What is some advice you can give to teachers about how to start finding resources and building their own PLN.
Start building a PLN if you haven’t already. The best place, I believe, to do that is on Twitter. Learn how to follow a hashtag for your grade level, subject area, or your state edchat. Just “lurk” by following the stream of tweets and see what “gems” you can collect for a couple of weeks. Follow the list Beth Still has suggested for you and add others from the hashtags you follow who add to your knowledge base. Slowly start branching out to other social media sites such as Edmodo communities, Pinterest, Diigo, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ communities, etc.
- What is a tool that has captured your attention at the moment? What do you like about this tool? (This might be a brand new tool or something that is older that you have just discovered---or rediscovered!)
A new site I learned about at the end of school year was Educanon. I joined the free site and used it twice with my students before school ended. I have been exploring and playing with it over the summer and plan on using it in the fall. Educanon allows you to create interactive videos with assessment built right into the video. You can use pre-existing videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or Teacher Tube, or create your own. Your students can rewind and rewatch parts of the video as needed, and all but the open-ended questions are graded automatically for you. You can use the data generated within the site to differentiate lessons for those still struggling with concepts while letting others move on to new topics.
What is one piece of advice that you can give to educators who are just getting started with integrating technology into their classrooms?Take one of your favorite lessons and tweak it by adding one piece of technology integration to it. To introduce your lesson have your students add background knowledge to a Padlet wall or create a mindmap on bubbl.us. If you would normally have your students create a report at the end of a unit of study, why not let them create a Prezi, a Haiku Deck, or an iMovie to show their learning. Remember you don’t have to be an expert with the tools, your students will figure them out and will be able to teach you and each other how to best use them.
What are some things you hope to accomplish professionally in the next year or two?I want to complete my Google Educator certification and attend a Google Teacher Academy. I want to publish a book or two. Right now I am currently writing my first book with two members of my PLN about connecting our students to collaborate with the world.