Disrupt the Old Discourse: Leveraging a Faculty's Personal Learning Communities

Research shows that interest in collaborating in Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) is on the rise. Take home concrete ideas that can help you disrupt the usual discourse about education by collaborating online with experts and thinkers in your field. This introduction will continue online through the NAIS AC Online Community after the conference.
PRESENTERS: Larry Kahn, The Kinkaid School (TX); Chris Bigenho, Greenhill School (TX); Susan Davis, The Chinquapin School (TX)

If your network is John Adams, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and whoever else you want to throw in there...your network is pretty darned good. But if your network isn't like that, you might want to throw a wider net...

This session will be followed up with two one-hour workshops online for interested participants. The online component will address:
  • how to build a PLN
  • tips for sustaining learning communities
  • strategies for changing the conversation about teaching and learning

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Online Session 1: All Things Twitter
March 3, 2011, 8-9 EST
NAIS Annual Conference 2011 Community: "Join Us for the Online Session: Disrupting the Discourse"
"How to Create a Twitter Account" (Youtube tutorial)
1. Welcome, learning our way around wiziq, introductions
2. What are you curious about regarding twitter? What are you concerned about?
3. Embracing the tool and learning its features.
3. Building a network. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO2o7pCaw4o.

Initial Presentation:
1. Introduction -- Susan
Who are we? Why we need to amplify the voices of the change agents. Shift: Now we are responsible for navigating, constructing, and creating our own learning.
2. The case for PLNs: definition of terms, research -- Chris
How teachers learn -- the traditional view. What we are talking about: interactive learning, synchronous or asynchronous (not a lecture on youtube), broadening our base, diverse ideas and perspectives.
What’s different about the discourse in a PLN? What’s happening? What’s all the excitement about?
3. Disrupting the Old Discourse: Inside-out -- Larry
Where the discourse stops (the closed door, the private classroom, the faculty room gossip vs. deep discussion of best practices) -- all or
mostly in house, a few trusted colleagues when you can get to them. Maximizing the culture you have; importance of leadership to change the culture.
Old version: faculty not talking to each other; are teachers encouraged or doing it underground; large schools where each classroom/department is isolated from the rest.
Developing in-house experts and using them to grow interest in other faculty; change results.
4. Disrupting the Old Discourse: Outside-in -- Susan
Using new faculty to grow a PLN and a PLN to grow your new faculty. Creating community, learning from the best teachers, adding layers of learning through new tools (Ning, blogs, Twitter, etc.), unexpected pushback, learning to learn (and be transparent), patience and persistence.
5. Online follow-up workshop -- Chris
Dates: 3/3 and 3/10, 8-9 pm (Eastern)
6. Questions and closure -- Larry and team (5-10 mins.)

Online Workshop (2 one-hour workshops)
Using wiziq, participants get to know one another and discuss their comfort level with online tools
Share favorite resources (blogs, wikis, etc.)
Following blogs and managing feeds (RSS)
Blogging and commenting on blogs
Review how Twitter works; build a Twitter feed
More advanced: Sample #edchat format, Social Bookmarking (diigo)
Nings: ISENet, Classroom 2.0
Etiquette and adding meaningfully to the conversation
Writing issues Issues and concerns
Strategies for opening up discourse

Online Participants should set up the following:
twitter account
google account/google reader
blog account, wordpress or blogger
tag it with our session tag. 2nd session blogging, reflecting on tweets on their blogs, follow blogs using RSS.
Start session by showing our tweetdeck screens.

Shelley Blake-Plock, "21 Things that Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020," The Daily Riff, http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/21-things-that-will-become-obsolete-in-education-by-2020-474.php

Shelley Blake-Plock, Teach Paperless"Why Teachers Should Blog"
(Nominated by Edublogger for "Most Influential Blog Post of 2010")
Amulya Iyer, Misadventures of a First Year Teacher

George Siemens, "Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age."http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm
George Siemens, "Connectivism Glossary." http://www.connectivism.ca/__
Chart: What is Connectivism? (Compares and contrasts connectivism with other learning theories)
Stephen Downes, "Learning Is a Conversation"
"Konrad Glogowski's Blogging Session at NECC." http://weblogg-ed.com/2008/konrad-glogowskis-blogging-session-at-necc/
Thomas Baker, "Facebook as a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
November Learning, "Popular Education Hashtags,"

Twitter Feeds for 2011 NAIS Annual Conference

Imaging Your Web Presence:
The Personals Project From MIT
Social Graph