Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shaping My Identity Through Social Networking

Since starting my master’s degree program in 2008, I have been utilizing social networking tools to define and shape my identity as a professional educator. New digital media allows me to be defined as an e-learner. I consistently use social networking tools, such as Moodle, an online learning environment, and Elluminate, software that allows synchronous communication, for my online course work. Social networking tools can also permit me to define myself as a “life-long learner”. In an effort to connect with other professionals and manage resources for my master’s program as well as my daytime job (2nd grade teacher), I began a Personal Learning Network (PLN) also known as a Personal Learning Environment (PLE). Right now my PLN is in a primitive stage. I am currently using iGoogle as a place to access all of the pieces that make up my PLN. I have gadgets through iGoogle for Google Reader, delicious, Twitter, Facebook, Google Docs, etc. It’s a great way to keep up with all of my important information, resources, and professional connections when time is limited. By maintaining my PLN I am constantly surrounded by an abundance of information useful for my job and graduate school. This flow of information, at times, challenges my thinking about certain topics which usually leads to a reshaping of my identity as a professional educator.

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