onlinepresence.pngI couldn't figure out which way to spell this! The content of our LAST page is having an 'online presence', but in keeping with our theme of Christmas, I thought it should be 'online presents'. I don't want to deceive anyone into thinking that there are actually links to presents! So you can choose whichever title you think is most appropriate.

On this last page I just want to encourage you ALL to have an online presence. I know that many of you have facebook. That's an online presence! Isn't it great to reconnect with old high school friends, family, and others? For me I've enjoyed 'visiting' with former students. For some of my facebook friends, it's just kind of fun to see what they're doing. I don't really 'talk' to all these facebook friends but I know I can if I need/want to! That's called 'lurking.' I lurk. I lurk a lot. I'm not really one of the top 100 users of facebook, probably close to the bottom 100 users. I don't like Farmville and all the other amenities of facebook. So I choose to use facebook lite. With facebook lite you still get the wall, the chat feature, and the ability to upload photos and videos. You no longer see all those games, mafia wars, etc. If you already have a facebook account, just type You'll have the same account with a much cleaner look.

Professional or Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Do you use facebook for educational purposes? Are you connecting with other educators around the world, learning and sharing with them? From now on, I'm going to refer to this as your PLN, your 'professional (or personal) learning network.' I really hate to say that I don't have time to read everyone's comments on facebook nor do I care to read some of them. Oh, I hope that doesn't sound cold. But I do love receiving Laura Candler's updates through facebook. Remember her file cabinet from "Over the River and Through the Woods"? I enjoy reading Wesley Fryer's facebook updates regarding his next blog posts or a link to someone else's online content. So I regard facebook as my personal learning network AND my professional learning network.

You've heard of twitter. Seems like twitter is always in the news! Do you tweet? This is the tool I started with. You have 140 characters to speak your mind or to just answer the question, "What are you doing?" You build up your network of friends. You find like-minded friends by looking at people's profiles. Keep that in mind as you build your profile. For example, most Discovery Educators mention in their profile that they are a Star Discovery Educator. Then we all start looking for each other and adding each other to our network. In this way we are building our Discovery Network. You might look for people who teach at the same grade level as you. That's a great start to building your own professional learning network.

Now MY favorite tool for networking is Plurk . Plurk is very similar to twitter but in my opinion, more specific and better organized. Here's a screen shot of what a plurk page looks like:

See the text in blue? Those are links. This plurker has asked for our favorite self-publishing sites. Several plurkers have responded to him with their opinions. Each of the white bars has a profile picture or avatar of the plurker, the plurker's username and a short message (no more than 140 characters). If you're interested in a plurk you open it (like the one in the midddle) and read what everyone has replied and/or add your own 2 cents.