I chose create my diagram on a baseball diamond. I was looking for ways to make my diagram creative and unique, and decided to go with something that has always been an important part of my life. I chose to use a baseball diamond, more particularly the bases and base path. All of my online learning environments enrich my teaching career and help me grow as a teacher. I am able to move around throughout my communities to explore, share, and collaborate. For my diagram, I put Facebook, Twitter, Moodle, and LinekdIn as my “home base.” These are the places I go to first when I head online. I can use these communities to create my “brand” and be a platform or jumping off point for my online connections and work. From my home base, I move to first base. The first step in my online communities, the places I explore. I use Pinterest, LiveBinders, and Youtube as great resources to learn new ideas, watch tutorials, and explore new topics/ideas. Once I gain momentum from exploring these environments, including Twitter and Facebook, I move on to second base. This is where my learning environments allow me to share some of my ideas or resources I have collected. I use Blogger, WordPress, Diigo, and Scoop.it. to share with the people I have connected with. Blogger and WordPress allow me to share about things I am learning in the Ed Tech program and what is happening in my classroom at school. I just started using Peartrees and Scoop.it for this class, but I can see how powerful it is to curate and share resources with other professionals. Diigo has been a great addition to my online environments. I introduced Diigo to the teachers at my school and we now use it to share resources we find online. One of the greatest aspects of online learning environments is the ability to collaborate and receive feedback. Third base is the collaborative space of my PLE. I am able to use tools like Google Drive to work with other professionals, classmates in the Ed Tech program, and even my students to create projects, tutorials and more. My curriculum partner and I use dropbox to work on text sets with out students, and this year we have introduced our students to have a stake in this collaboration as well. They can now add to our class text sets. Currently, I am using Padlet to create a space for an upcoming professional development session. I am working with another 8th grade teacher to run a PD on Blogging. Finally, I have recently joined several Google Plus communities. In these settings, I am able to work through problems with other teachers and post lessons and receive feedback. These experiences have been very beneficial. By reaching all of these “bases” I am able to improve myself through professional learning, share new discoveries and useful information, and create meaningful materials through collaboration.
Reflecting on my PLE helped me to reflect on how it has grown in just the few months since this course began. I was able to see how they all work together to help me grow. Using social networking and online learning environments was something I had not really explored until taking this course. Twitter has been a huge part of my PLE and has helped me to discover some of the other learning environments I mentioned in this diagram.
It was very interesting to look at classmates diagrams to see what tools they value most and how they would categorize them.
Courtney Kaul’s diagram caught my eye because of her daughter’s artwork. When looking at her diagram I noticed she used the categories collaboration, communication, and professional development. We had similar collaboration tools, with Dropbox and Google Drive. I had not thought of Gmail as part of my learning environment, however, once seeing Courtney’s diagram I recall collaborating with an educator I met on Twitter through email. I like the title of professional development. I agree with all of the tools Courtney has there as resources for PD, I might have also included YouTube in that area. Courtney and I share 9 communities. Courtney and I are also a part of a literacy PLN for this course.
Jill Miller’s diagram was very large and interconnected. While it seems “busy” it gives a great portrayal of the connections and importance of each tool. She broke her PLE down to personal, professional, volunteer, and educational. I had not thought of this approach, since expanding my PLE through this course I have focused mostly on professional and educational purposes. I noticed a lot of crossover between those four areas. I wonder if there can be times when it is hard to keep all four separate. Four example, I worry about using Twitter for personal reasons, so I have decided to keep it strictly professional. Jill and I share 8 communities.
Kelsey Ramirez and I shared the sports connection! Kelsey had a “create” and a “share” section in her PLE. I had WordPress and Blogger in a “share” category, but can see how they are also places to create. Possibly making a section as “Create and share” would help show the power of these tools. Kelsey and I had 8 similar communities in our PLE diagrams.
Hannah Clark used an image of herself as the center of her diagram. This helps symbolize that she is at the center of her connections, learning, and collaboration. I notice that she shared Instagram in her connection section. I did not include Instagram in my PLE because I don;t find myself using it to “connect” as much, but seeing this has made me realize I should explore how to better utilize this tool. Hannah and I have 11 similar communities in our diagrams. Hannah is also a part of my PLN for this course.
Dalia Juran broke her PLE into Personal, Spiritual, and Professional, similar to Jill. There were a few crossovers between her three categories. I noticed that her Professional PLE was the largest and was similar to mine, other than WebEx. Dalia and I had 8 similar communities. I noticed that she has Second Life in her personal category. Second Life is not something I have explore a lot but I did notice it in a few of my classmates communities.
David Mato’s diagram shared two categories I had in my diagram: explore and collaborate. We both had Google Drive and Dropbox in our collaborate section. His explore section differed by having flickr and Diigo. I had placed Diigo in my “share” section, but it is also a place to discover and explore. David and I had 12 similar communities.
My evaluations of classmates PLE Diagrams helped me see how so many of these tools can be used for multiple purposes. All of these communities allow us to connect, share, create, collaborate, and more. It was interesting to see how differently we interpret our PLE and how chose to organize our diagrams.