Reason #23 for being part of a PLN

Professional Learning Networks are all the rage with … um … people that are part of professional learning networks (PLN’s). Why?

So Monday I’m attempting a “Pre – Skype” – Skype with Maryjo Chmielewski’s class in Wisconsin to make sure that our Skype conference the next day will go off smoothly … (BTW, I advise doing that, things always go better) … and everything works EXCEPT they can’t hear us. I advise (using the chat feature) the librarian there to restart her computer (Skype can be a hog, especially if you have been doing a lot since the last restart – I ALWAYS restart my computer before an important Skype connection) and she doesn’t seem enthusiastic about doing that, so I note that Allanah King happens to be on Skype nearby (halfway around the world in New Zealand) and so I send her a chat asking if she can Skype me for just a minute (I don’t want to interrupt her teaching … much) so I can verify the audio problem isn’t on my side of the Skype. 10 minutes later our Skype bell starts ringing … AND ITS ALLANAH! We talk for 29 seconds (per the Skype timer) and confirm that the problem isn’t mine … well and say hi and all (Kiwi’s are so cool!), and we sign off (we don’t want to be a burden).

So my friends in my PLN come to my aid once again … and the librarian hooked up a laptop instead (I suspect the desktop she was using first didn’t have a mic or it wasn’t selected or something), and the Skype the next day went flawlessly and reminded me again why we do things like that (another story).

I love my PLN!

Learning is messy!

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5 Responses to Reason #23 for being part of a PLN

  1. AllanahK says:

    Indeed things often don’t go as smoothly as you might hope.

    We are now in the middle of a series of Skype learning experiences where the older intermediate age children are mentoring my younger ones to say a mihi. A mihi is a formal introduction in Maori. We have no Maori speakers at our school so the slightly older children who speak Maori in Hamilton in the North Island are helping us. They are showing such patience with our children and my students are so much better off for this Skype contact.

    http://allanahk.edublogs.org/2009/11/01/learning-from-the-experts/

    The video shows the journey of Melville Intermediate’s very first Skype call and our attempts to get audio and video at both ends.

    I am speaking whale (I had just re-watched Finding Nemo) in case you don’t understand the beginning part!

  2. Joe Elcano says:

    So, Brian what did you do with the students from Wisconsin? I think we have teachers int he district ready to start Skyping, but it would be great to have a list of how they might use this tool. (Allanah’s example sure inspires me.) I know you have talked to famous people, shared stories, etc. But do you think together (with your PLN) could come up with twenty exciting ways to use Skype? I could use my position to ‘get the word out’ to the right people.

    Who knows, maybe we could start a little Skype revolution!

    Anyway, keep on being creative and using 21st Century tools!

  3. Brian says:

    Hi Joe! I think there are already some lists/wikis about ways to use Skype out there … so maybe I can link to some of those and/or make one. Good idea!!!

  4. Brian says:

    Joe – forgot I already put this wiki together for a presentation I did last year … I’ll update it when I get a chance:
    http://crosbyclass.wikispaces.com/Video-Conferencing

    Brian

  5. Stacie Bolton says:

    That sounds like a great way to share ideas and learn new things. We do not use SKYPE at our school, but we do PLNs as PLCs in our school once a week. It is great to get together and learn new ideas from each other – that’s how we grow!

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