Sunday, November 13, 2016

10 Ways to Improve your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

As a future educator I was looking at what resources i had to become a great educator and mentor to students. I didn't have much at the beginning but with friends help we made a list of what our PLN's could look like. This is what we came up with!!
At first I didn't believe that all of these things could be used to really help my PLN and it seemed really overwhelming as a college students trying to focus on my schooling as well as think into the future and start becoming the educator that I wanted to be. So I made a list of 10 ways that I could start and use now to begin my educator dream while still in college.
This is what I came up with:

I have been on pinterest for many years now but never thought how it could help me better my education strategies. I now follow a special education board. This board shows how we as teachers can help children with special needs be successful in the classroom. It gives advice for teachers, parents, and sometimes even what students can do to help themselves. This is a great board and I will definitely use some of there ideas in my own classroom.
Education Pinterest Board 
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Special Education Video: Psychotropic Drugs and Children
I watched this video about ADHD students and the benefits and risks that taking medication to lead to. This can be a very touchy subject for most people but I think he does a good job of giving us the facts behind taking or not taking medication for ADHD which is becoming and bigger and bigger thing in the topic of special education and behavior in the classroom. This video was very helpful to me and even though I don’t have children or work directly with children that do have it I think this video was very helpful for me to know what these students and parents are dealing with at home and in the classroom. This video gave me ideas about how to teach students that have it and what I can do differently to help.
YouTube Video
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Twitter Chat:
The twitter chat that I did was about how to right the wrong. The general theme was how to right a wrong. They talked about what to do when you discipline a student based on inaccurate information or how did you handle a situation that didn’t end well with a parent. I loved joining in on these talks, they are very useful and present to what is happening in classrooms across Iowa. I enjoyed hearing how educators are making mistakes and that as an educator I don’t have to always be perfect. It can relieve a lot of stress!
Twitter Chat
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Following educators on Twitter:
I am currently following a special education board on twitter. It has given me many ideas for my future of special education. There are many great articles on their page like “fixing” Autism and Learning Disabilities. Following people that are doing what you want to is a great way to learn from their mistakes and get ideas about how to teach children with disabilities. 
My Twitter

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Special education Edutopia Blog:
This special education blog has really helped me with many things. The one thing from the blog that I really like were the articles on education and technology. They were articles specifically about how to use technology to help teach special education kids. It also had an article about how we as teachers want to keep teaching the kids despite the hardships that we will go through as special education teachers.
Special Ed Blog

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I am following a lady named Erin on Instagram. She taught preschoolers in autism and now she is teaching kindergarten and first graders with autism. She has shared some great ideas with how to help them. I found many projects and fun ways to set up your classroom so that the students will get the most they can from being in your room. How you run your class and the setup of it can have a big effect on how well your students will perform. She also had some great seasonal craft projects which I really enjoyed. It gives the kids a little break from all the work and you can still check progress on certain things without the kid realizing what you are really doing.
My Instagram
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During Ed Tech and Design was the first time that I had ever used zoom, although I had heard about it before. It is a great ways to meet with people without having the sometimes inconvenience of meeting in the same place. It can be one on one or it can be a very large group of people. While we were doing it I thought it would be a great way to do parent teacher conferences in a parent had children at home it is was not convenient to come in and meet, however, I would not replace the face to face meeting it would simply be a back up. It is really easy to use.
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I “liked” the National Associated of Special Education Teachers (NASET) on facebook. It has great articles about everything special education. On of the articles talked about people with learning disabilities and how they can still go to college and succeed. It’s not about what the children can’t do yet it is about the progress that they make. This page helped me to understand that many people look at special education and what the kids can’t do instead of the progress that they make with the right group of teachers and supporters.
My Facebook
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Tedtalk: Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning:
This ted talk was great when thinking about not only special education but the “normal” classroom as well. Ali talked about how boys are treated differently, what they like isn’t always allowed in the schools and it makes them behave differently. Many times being put into special education just because  they are more rowdy or refuse to write or read in the class. Ali shared that if boys were allowed to write and read what they wanted things might be very different then they are today. This helped me to imagine how I would setup my classroom to help not only the girls but the boys as well.
Great Ted Talk
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Podcast: Rafranz Davis: The Five Words That Can Change a Student’s Life

As teachers we need to be a mentor to someone but we also need a mentor of our own. They can help bounce ideas off of and make sure you are looking to help students in the right way, not to get tunnel vision but to keep a very open mind and to help students individually. She told teachers that one thing that teachers can do to help themselves in the classroom is to read something that someone else is writing every single day, books are not the only way to read. A small thing that can have a big impact on students lives is the words “I am proud of you” do it when it matters. When you don’t think it matters is when it probably matters.
Great Podcast
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I have created a new PLN that has what I used throughout just this semester to stretch my PLN to much more that I had ever dreamed possible while still in college! As you can see some of the things came off the list but even more went on for ways a received. I learned more about certain networks through my Education Technology class that became really important to becoming an educator that I want to be! 

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