Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PLN - Reading Blogs

This week our PLN meeting will discuss Blogs and the benefits of reading other people's blogs. The above Prezi outlines why it is beneficial to to do so. Below is a brief transcript of my presentation.
First of all, PLN stands for personal learning network. All three words are equally important, but the ultimate goal is learning from each other. Reading blogs provides a way to do this. Blogs seem to fall into two categories in education, philosophical blogs and classroom based blogs. The philosophical blogs tend to pose a question, offer opinions and generally get you to think about an issue. Classroom specific blogs show you what someone is doing in their classroom. 

How do you find blogs to read? I find almost all of my blogs on Twitter. People either tweet their blog post, or tweet blog posts that they have read and enjoyed. Also, when I am reading blog posts, they often link to other blogs. I have created a list of blogs to read here. Just this morning on Twitter, Tom Whitby started a new hashtag #BLGF. When people want to share a blog to follow, they will use this hashtag. If you search by this hashtag, you will see blogs others have recommended.

The biggest challenge is finding a way to keep up on the reading. Of course you are not going to be able to read every post from every blog you read, but you may find you have some favorites. First, if I like a blog, I tag it in my Delicious account. If I really like it and want to receive all their latests posts, I look for an email subscription. By signing up for it, I can receive their lastest posts in my email. This tends to work well for me as I check my email often. Another way to receive blog posts is to sign up for an RSS feed. This is similar to an email subscription except instead of going in your email, it goes into your RSS reader. There are many options for RSS readers such as Google Reader, or your individualized Yahoo page, but they all require you to set up an account and check it regularly. 

Once you have been reading blogs for awhile, I encourage you to leave comments on them. This provides an additional layer to our learning as we are reaching out, sharing our opinion and letting others learn from us. Our next PLN meeting will discuss how to set up your own blog.


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