Quick Fire #2: PLN

If you missed the first Quick Fire that we did in my summer cohort of Michigan State’s MAET program, feel free to check it out here.  That explains a bit about what quick fires are, as well.

This time the challenge that was set before us was to use any thought technology tool that we wanted (as long as we had never used it before) to create a visual representation of our PLN (Professional [sometimes personal] Learning Network).  I ran into a bit of an issue out of the gate.  I tried all of the options and basically none of them worked except for Popplet.  Three guesses as to which one I used…yep.  You nailed it.

Popplet is a simple enough tool if you have the time to play around with it.  By the time that I was actually doing what I was supposed to (making the map of the PLN) though, I only had about fifteen minutes left.  I managed to hammer out this lovely creation:


You are probably thinking to yourself right now:  I expected better of you.  That is not a necessarily unfair criticism.  However, I will point out it is color coded into three levels.  The inner circle like thing are the people that were most foundational  in my becoming the teacher that I am today.  They were my mentors in the beginning that truly poured into me far more than I deserved (and on quite a few occasions, asked).  The people in the middle circle were also influential in my development, but they weren’t necessarily the people that formed and molded me.  They were (and mostly still are) the sounding boards that I utilize when I have an idea that I want input on or I have a question.  The outer circle are the people that are my peers.  They are not mentors but co-laborers in this crazy vocation of ours.  I help them, and they help me. We have a symbiotic relationship.

Now, there are people that I would consider a part of my PLN that didn’t make it into the above bubble map; that was due to time restraints, so if you find yourself disappointed that you didn’t make the lovely chart, fear not because you belong there too.

One last little thing:  you will notice that it is super small.  There is a potentially unnecessarily long explanation for that. I learned earlier that you must always assume something is going to go wrong, so take a screen shot before you try to submit anything.  That is a screenshot.  If you are using those thinking skills that we so desperately want our students to learn, you undoubtedly determined that something went wrong.  Nailed it.  I ignorantly decided to do the “Try It Out” link.  When I went to post it, I needed to sign up.  When I signed up, everything disappeared.  We call this a constraint here at MAET.  There are tons of affordances too.  Stay tuned for a more detailed look at Popplet coming soon.

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