Windows 8 Apps for building a PLN

More and more educators see the value in building a PLN. A PLN is a Personal Learning Network that can include social media, blog reading, blog writing, social bookmarking or RSS reading. Below are a few ways you can build or keep up with your PLN over the Summer Break.

Sure you might want to switch off and chill out, but sometimes catching up with the latest ‘edu-trends’ and reading some inspiration blog posts can give great ideas for the year ahead.

Apps for keeping in touch

Twitter – the native twitter app on Windows 8 is a great for keeping up with the stream while you are away.  New to Twitter – Here is a great guide from Edudemic to give you the basics and get you reading and tweeting with the best during the break.

Facebook – Use the Windows 8 Facebook client to join some great educator groups such as the TeachMeet Sydney Group or the New South Wales English Teacher’s Association.

Edmodo – Save the Edmodo website as a tile on your home page and keep up with the latest from the various Professional Learning Communities. Edmodo is a great safe environment for those who are just stepping out in educational social media, but also a place of great experience and global sharing. Check out some of the groups you can become a part of through this list.

News Bento – Keep up with the latest world news, and create some news feeds for your interest areas. Outside teaching. Focusing on teaching all the time makes for boring dinner party guests. Curate your news feed to topics you teach at school. Pass not his info to students to keep them developing an interesting the current state of play of topics they are studying.

Apps for exploring educational updates

Next Gen Reader – This a Feedly client for Windows 8. What is Feedly? It’s a very handy site that brings the latest posts from your favourite blogs or websites right to you phone. Just like a personalised newspaper. Some call this RSS Feeds. Join Feedly then follow a ‘topic’ or add blogs you visit regularly, or find some of the best blogs and sites around for education via the list of blogs nominated for the Edublogs Awards 2013.

Flipboard – This app is an amazing. Create your own online magazines, choosing sites and topics that you like to read about. Whenever you open this app it refreshes to give you the latest news and updates from your choses topics. It’s has a beautiful interface that makes it easy to use and easy on the eye.

Pinterest – Follow some educational boards to be inspired every time you open the app.Pinterest is a hugely popular social media platform and is used by many. The Microsoft Education AU Team even has Pinterest Page. For a full guide on how to use Pinterest for education see this guide

Apps for ‘Paying it Forward’

Pinterest – Create boards and share with fellow educators. Share your boards and pins to Twitter or Facebook and ad back to you online learning community. This guide has lots of ideas and inspiration for beginning your pinning journey.

Twitter and Facebook – Just as you read and become inspired by others posts and tweets, return the favour and give a little PLN Love. It’s scary sharing at first, but soon you realise that no one will judge you for what you love reading. Go on, give a little back to the online educational community!

Windows 8 Share Charm – Read a post that you liked? Then the likelihood of another educator in your PLN liking it too are high – why not share it out to them to read as well? The easiest way to do this on a Windows 8 machine is to use the ‘share’ charm on the charm bar (pull in from the right hand side of your screen, or click on top right hand corner of you are on a non-touch screen). The share functionality brings together all your social media accounts and other apps to make sharing content within your machine and to the rest of the online world.

Thanks to Kathy Shrock for her inspiration to write this post.

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