This recent recorded session was a “Fine Focus” follow up to the preceding Serendipity session where we had looked at two topics. The second of these – a fleeting glimpse of PLNs was a bit “short-changed” in terms of time, so it seemed like a good idea to have a session on the significance of PLNs and some of the tools we each use. It must be emphasised that this was not a session on developing a PLN but very much a sharing of how our own PLN works for us and an opportunity to take away different ideas and tools.
As always with Fine focus sessions that I facilitate I gave the session a clear structure to differentiate it from Serendipity which are deliberately unstructured unconference sessions. Firstly we spent a few minutes sharing our understanding of the term PLN, and then highlighting its most important aspect for each of us.
Next we shared our own particular key tool – the one we felt played a pivotal role in our own PLN. Then we moved on to a look at how our PLNs look in our own minds. For this I tried out an experiment in using Elluminate slightly differently as I am always looking for alternative ways of doing things. Instead of using individual breakout rooms the group used their individual Elluminate work areas to draw a diagram/picture of how they perceived their PLN. We then transferred these to the whiteboard with limited success. As an alternative to breakout rooms (when there are bandwidth issues or time constraints) I think this has the potential to be a useful Elluminate strategy. I just need more practise and to be much clearer in how I explain the “how to”. We finished up with sharing the one tool or idea we felt we might take away from the session.
This was (for me) a really interesting session as I always enjoy finding out about how people use their PLNs. I also very much value that these sessions give me the opportunity to maintain and extend my Elluminate skills as well as to learn about other tools and strategies . I also had a great “take away” from the session in Yammer. I have now explored this and begun a network for my workplace with several people already joining.
Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Serendipity” session, one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic of the day. If you want to propose a topic in advance then visit the Serendipity Wallwisher and add your topic. Then join us on Thursday Sept 2nd at 23:00 GMT/UTC (7pm USA EST, Midnight BST) or Friday Sept 3rd at 1am CEST,7am West Aus, 9am NSW, depending on your timezone – in the usual Elluminate room
In the Future
If you are a regular visitor to our webinars you will know that we alternate “Fine Focus” sessions on specific topics with “Serendipity” the unconference sessions where we choose a topic by poll at the start of the session. Sometimes the very fact of being asked for “hot topics” or other ideas for discussion or learning tends to make our minds blank. This has prompted me to start a Serendipity Wallwisher for topic suggestions. Please visit the wall and add your ideas for Serendipity topics so that we have more choices to consider. Some of these ideas might also form the basis for future “Fine Focus” sessions.