An Important Milestone – #RSCON3

The third Reform Symposium e-Conference has broadened my horizons and expanded my PLN.

It is hard to describe the Reform Symposium e-Conference, but the words ‘inspiring’, ‘informative’, and ‘insightful’ come to mind.

#RSCON3 was a wonderful opportunity to connect, learn and share with new and experienced teachers around the world; and it will have tangible impacts on my teaching and professional learning practice in the months to come, particularly when we launch the Global Classroom 2011/12 project later this year.

And presenting at #RSCON3 was an important milestone in my teaching career, as it was my first ever professional presentation. I’m proud that I was able to share my experiences, and “make my voice heard” on a global stage; and I suspect there aren’t many 2nd year teachers who can say they’ve presented at an international conference! (Thanks Shelly!)

My Presentation: “What the heck is a PLN?”

I shared my personal ‘PLN story’ at #RSCON3; exploring how my “Personal Learning Network has reawakened my love of teaching, supported me in tough times, and broadened my horizons.”

With the help of my wonderful moderator (and friend) @JoHart, I was able to lead a lively, interactive online session, attended by 33 teachers from around the world (although, sadly few Western Australians). And I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was received.

After exploring the gradual development of my PLN, and discussing some of the online tools / resources I’ve used to build it, I handed over the microphone and whiteboards to my audience, asking them to share how they “connect, learn, share, and collaborate”. They did so with gusto!


Themes and Takeaways

Having a PLN is a rewarding and transformative learning experience, but actually getting “out there”, and building your network isn’t an easy or rapid process. It takes time, patience, and perseverance – but you don’t have to do it alone.

By sharing my story and experiences,  I hoped to demystify the “Personal Learning Network”, and give ‘newbies’ a few ideas about where to start, and who/where to go for help and advice. With the assistance of the my session participants, this message came across ‘loud and clear’.



I hope my “What the heck is a PLN?” presentation will inspire and assist new and experienced teachers to take that critical first step on their own PLN journey. If I can make a difference for just one person, I will have succeeded in this goal.

So, thankyou to everyone who attended my presentation, and all those people who will listen to the recordings. I hope you find it helpful, and I look forward to reading your feedback.

Recording Links

Presentation Slides

I get this question a lot, so I’m attending the “What the heck is a PLN?” session with @mgraffin #rscon3” – @teacherjenny6

Following @mgrafin pressentation #rscon3. My first session. This is amazing!!” – @louvre2012

Great job presenting at #rscon3. So happy to be a part of your PLN and have you as part of mine” – @ncarroll24

Quite a warm wonderful mood in the text chat of @mgraffin’s “What the heck is a PLN?” in #rscon3. Could be I’m just a softie though 😉” – @harmonygritz

Could confirm in @mgraffin’s workshop the power of Personal / Professional Learning Network! Great workshop Michael!” – @SilvioCamposELT

9 responses

  1. Hi Michael~I LOVE your video! It really sums up why we need a PLN and how they are so beneficial to students and teachers. The presentation slide show just makes me even more excited to hear your presentation! Please DM me @frazierde as soon as it's up!Congratulations Michael! ~deb

  2. Hi everyone! Thanks for the comments! With the exception of @suewater's wordle, all the visuals are my own. I was quite proud of them actually 🙂 I'll update this post, and tweet out the link to the recording when it becomes available. Regards,Michael

  3. Hi Michael- I missed your presentation but loved this post. I watched your slides and it really did sum up why I need a PLN. It also helps me to explain to non-twitters why and how to use it. Thanks!

  4. Hi Vanessa. I'm glad you've found the slides useful. I'll be posting the link to the recording as soon as I can find it, and I'd love to hear people's feedback on the presentation itself. Feel free to share the slides with your colleagues – that's why I've posted them on "slideshare" :P. Seriously though, I hope they help a few people make that critical first step into our online education community. We're here to help, and the process is extremely rewarding. Regards, Michael

  5. Hi Michael, I am sorry to have missed your presentation, but I have just checked the slides, thank you soo much. I can't wait to hear the recording. You have elluminated me in so many ways, since I am still a newbie here, and try to catch up with the collegues from around the world. Thank you fro sharing some great links about PLN. And to be honest like you read my mind when you named your presentation "What the heck is PLN?" – 🙂

  6. Hi! I suspect you're not alone in asking that question, and indeed it was one of my first questions when I started out. Welcome to our little community. And for those waiting for the recordings, I've updated the post with the links. You can also find them here #RSCON3 Recordings

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