Using Blogs as Part of Your Personal Learning Network

As part of Connected Educator Month, I’m participating in Edublog’s PLN Teacher Challenge. Each step of the challenge focuses on a different aspect of developing a PLN, or Personal Learning Network. Step five focused on the use of blogs for enhancing your PLN. I use as a blog aggregator to make following several blogs more convenient.
Feedly allows me to find bloggers I enjoy and have all their posts filter in to one single location so I can look at the headlines when I have time and read the posts which interest me most. I can add or remove blogs that I have “feed” in anytime, so If I’m working on a specific temporary project, I can add blogs that apply to it and then later I can remove them to help prioritize my time! Here is a screen shot of what Feedly looks like in case you’re interested:

Along the left side you see the list of blogs which I have selected to follow. On the right side you see the headline view where I see a chronological listing of the headlines from the blogs feeding in. I can focus on one single blog at a time if I want by clicking on its title of the left. There are also some controls which allow me to mark posts a read or tag them for follow up. Clicking a headline, shows an overview of the first few lines of the post in this view with links to the actual website. If I select a blog title on the left, then expanding the headline allows me to read the entire post right inside Feedly without ever leaving.

I also try to post on my own blog and share my blog with others in my PLN to be a “contributor” to the field, and not just a “taker!” I don’t know how much other educators benefit from my blog, but I do know that the process of reflecting in writing has personal growth value to me even if no one reads what I have written. Organizing my thoughts and getting them down on screen is often a way for me to plan and brainstorm and fulfills a need for creativity that I have! Even though I am a bit sporadic on my blogging, I still keep trying to occasionally post!

4 thoughts on “Using Blogs as Part of Your Personal Learning Network

  1. Sue Waters

    Thanks Lisa for sharing how you use Feedly. Part of my daily routine is checking the latest posts in my Feedly account.

    It is interesting to see the blogs you follow. I’m curious as to which view you use when reading posts using Feedly? I use the magazine layout (here is a screenshot of what it looks like on my tablet – ). I’m curious what your preferred reading layout is?

    Writing blog posts and comments helps me reflect and share my learning. While you may not always be aware of who reads your posts — readers do gain from what you do!

    Sue Waters
    Support Manager
    Edublogs | CampusPress

  2. Aracely de Bech

    @sue and @lisa … thanks for sharing about feedly in such a descriptive way … I got a much better grip of what it is now that I have seen your screenshots … to be honest, I decided not to take that part of the challenge but now that it seems useful and that i had “seen” how it looks it might be something for me.
    @Lisa … thanks for sharing your thoughts about your blog, I’ve never thought it could be something just for me – my ideas and my own organization – so thanks again for sharing!

  3. Lisa Suhr Post author

    Thanks for the feedback, Aracely. Glad to be helpful! The power of self-reflection is pretty great! I think you’ll like blogging for that purpose first and might feel more comfortable sharing for others as you learn the blogging platform and how to work it in to your schedule! Good luck!

  4. Lisa Suhr Post author

    Sue, thanks for sharing the magazine layout image….I haven’t explored that yet, but I want to. I only have a few minutes a day to skim several blogs, so I like to use the view in my screenshots because I can sort of skim headlines and open in article view if I’m interested in more information. I’ll play a bit with the app on my iPad, too, but I generally use Feedly on my traditional computer.

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