Mapping my PLN

Photo from Chris Jobling

I decided to use Coggle to map my PLN and quickly learned a few things! One, you have to pay to be able to use extra features which I wasn’t prepared to do as am not 100% certain if I will continue to use it.

Not having access to certain features made it difficult to connect some of the nodes and people in my PLN to each other if they were in different nodes. I also couldn’t necessarily identify the strength of my connections.

The other thing I learned was that using a new tool can take a bit of time! I hadn’t used Coggle before so I had to give myself a quick tutorial using You Tube and Google to answer some of my questions. It worked out just fine though as Coggle is a fairly straight forward program to use. I can see how it might be useful to use in the classroom.’s-pln-educational-technology/1ca9e500712abe1695ae962bb667e60881f2f761ca2934b23ca97b7f9e8c04d5

When mapping my PLN, I realized that I might not be using my local supports and network enough. There are several faculty and staff at Sault College that I should be connecting with more and collaborating on ideas. That is something I intend to do moving forward.

I did some searching for people that I might like to connect with /follow on Twitter to look at sharing our own practices, challenges, solutions, expertise about our roles of educators and ed tech gurus. I found a few people in the United States, and am hoping to expand my PLN in Canada a bit more as well. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed though with there being so many people trying so many wonderful things!

This module has really pushed me to look at Collaboration and the way it is being done in my own work environment. I am going to try to get some more collaborative practices happening within our College so that we can tap into the resources and expertise that are already here! We don’t and shouldn’t work in isolation of each other!


Extending my PLN

The first thing I did was log in to my Twitter account, which I rarely use, and began to remind myself of how Twitter actually even works! I looked at the Twitter Ed Chat calendar and wrote down some hashtags to begin my search. After finding four hash tags to search, I watched tweeted out a request to be added to the extend mOOC twitter list.

Taking a break from Twitter, I went back to the mOOC and watched “Beware Online Filter Bubbles”

This video then made me rethink the list of hashtags I had written down and got me thinking a lot more about everything I do…beginning to experience somewhat of an existential crisis!

Ok…I’m back and going to focus on making sure that I don’t get too stuck in a filter bubble. How I do that though is yet to be determined! I’m going to focus on extending my PLN and try to keep that thought in the back on my mind while doing so.

I decided to explore some of the previous extender’s recommendations for how they expanded their PLN’s and found Professor Danny Smith’s blog post to be very helpful! He gives some Tips for Creating a PLN:
1. Find a faculty discussion group online,
2. Participate in Twitter discussions,
3. Join an Online Community, and
4. Find a Teaching Buddy

I decided to start small and work my way up. I have a tendency to get excited about things and go too big right away…then I get overwhelmed (of course) and want to just throw in the towel. The faculty discussion group I decided to join was the Slack discussion channel for the Collaborator module for the Extend mOOC. I hadn’t been accessing those for some reason so I thought I would give it a go!

Next, I started following @cdnedchat and created a “Moment” on Twitter called Ed Tech Newbie. I am not all that familiar with Twitter so I hope I am doing it in a way that helps me with my PLN!”>Ed Tech Newbie</a> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Another recommendation was to find a teaching buddy which I believe I do on a regular basis. There are several faculty with offices around me that I collaborate on a regular basis! They aren’t necessarily on line though so I’m hoping that through my using Twitter a bit more and using it in a more planful way, I will be able to connect with some more like minded faculty there! I’ll have to post an update to let you know how it works out for me! Wish me luck!!

The Collaborative Dining Table

When I started doing my dining table, I decided to make it on a Prezi…it wasn’t until later in the directions that I learned that I was to share a picture of my activity! This posed a bit of a problem for me as the Prezi zoomed in and out to my information so the overall picture doesn’t necessarily show all of my work unfortunately! I decided to try using my Twitter account and post it there (as a picture) but wanted to share the actual Prezi link here on my blog as this is where I’m trying to keep my work from the mOOC together in one place.

As I was doing this activity I realized a few things…

1. The people I was collaborating with are no longer in the role/s that they were when I was working on this project,

2. The project is not happening anymore (at least not in the same way) and

3. My role has since changed but I am still extremely interested in this for my own personal/professional development.

I am hoping that I can continue, but just on a smaller scale and hopefully find some people to expand my PLN through here!

Here is the link to my Prezi


My OERs actually all passed the CRAAP test, which I think as others have pointed out is due to the fact that I try to think critically about all of these things when I am looking at resources to begin with. It is nice though to have some way to assess things that you find to ensure you aren’t just throwing random information at them (which is easy with how much info is available!). I’m hoping to look into adopting more OER textbooks in my courses/program!

I updated our padlet on the Extend mOOC to show this as well.


Curation Creation

I shared a video found through, a learning exercise also found through and a section of a chapter in a textbook found on www.openlibrary/ All three of these OERs will be beneficial to my student’s understanding of Personality Disorders (a topic that often is difficult to fully grasp). This is also very helpful as the textbook we are currently using does not have a section on Personality Disorders as it focuses mostly only on Disorders first diagnosed in childhood and adolescence. I look forward to seeing some of the other things that people share. I have opened up the courses that Helen Dewaard has created and am actually very interested in a lot of the material but am going to have to bookmark as I don’t want to overwhelm myself! Thanks Helen!


Curating the mOOC

When I read the instructions to find an activity I did that has a good number of responses, I struggled because none of my posts really generated that much response! Then I went back and found Krista McCracken’s discussion regarding no one having done the readings and that really resonated with me as this is a big challenge in my courses as well! I feel like I have tried so many different techniques to help with this, but still don’t see much improvement. Krista introduced me to an ed tech tool I have never heard of, hypothes.isĀ 

As discussed by Krista, she talks about maybe using as a way to for students to summarize a reading, then could be used as an in-class activity and as a starting point for discussion. Thanks @kristamccracken for introducing this to my repertoire!


So Many Resources!!

Down the Rabbit Hole” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by valkyrieh116

I found myself going down a rabbit hole, quickly!!! My search led to more information than I could handle as it was all interesting and I wanted to use everything!!! Then I remembered…MIND MAP! I forgot to do a mind map to try to narrow down my search and be specific about what I wanted to look for and remember that I was looking for resources for my students, not for me! My mind map was a quick sketch…

I started my search on and quickly realized that it wouldn’t meet my needs, interesting though for sure!

Next, I went to the eCampusOntario Open Textbook Library and found a great chapter that introduced Personality Disorders. My favourite part about this resource is that it is CANADIAN!!! This search has really made me realize that I need to do some more searching and put more thought into open textbooks for my courses! Below is the chapter I hope to use to introduce students to the basics of Personality Disorders.

Next, I went to and found this one quite interesting. I loved that there is a variety of resources such as videos, links, and my favourite, learning exercises! I’m hoping to spend some more time on there looking at other topics beyond personality disorders. Some of the resources I found that will be useful for me to use with my students are a Learning Exercise having students complete a 70-item online personality questionnaire that provides a rough indicator of temperament and correlates .75 with the Myers-Briggs method of personality assessment. This will begin a discussion about “what is personality.”

I also found a great video on how to tell the difference between Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, which is something I often spend a lot of time helping students try to understand.

Consider this…

I tried for the first time and searched for “queer youth” as I am always looking for pictures for my course “Working with Gender and Sexual Minority Children, Youth and Families.” I immediately found the following picture that really stood out to me:

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

What I liked about was that it gave me the attribution to copy and paste into my blog so I didn’t feel anxious about forgetting something and not attributing it correctly! I did the same search through Flickr on the creative commons site but didn’t find as many results and not nearly the selection I had found on

This image could be used when discussing advocacy work with Gender and Sexual Minority children and youth. A meaningful picture that says more than words could begin to express!


Copyright, Creative Commons & Licenses Oh My!

One thing I often find difficult, is when I find a resource that I love and can’t seem to track down the information I need to give credit to the original authors!! I like the idea of Creative Commons in that you can quickly and easily see how/if you can use/adjust something that you find. When trying to “curate” information for students, this will be helpful for them as well as they will easily know how they themselves can use the resources I put together for them or how they can use information that they find when they are doing their own research. I am looking forward to learning more about OERs in the later part of this module.

Once question I hope to have answered as we move through this module is “are the creative commons resources only available on or am I just missing a setting I should be using on my search engines?” I’m not sure if that is a silly question or not. Maybe I’m not understanding this whole Creative Commons thing at all!

I find Cog Dog’s view on this quite interesting, particularly when he talks about how “what is more important than licenses is providing gratitude via attribution for someone else’s media that you use.” Now THAT should be the main focus…giving credit where credit is due!


My definition of curation…

This is a fairly new term to me when it comes to my role as faculty. After reading “Teacher as Curator: Capture and Organize Learning Materials with Web 2.0 Tools” by Ted Curran, it makes a bit more sense to me.

It often feels like a very big responsibility…making sure that we have the most current and relevant information on our topics to bring to the students…when there is SO MUCH information out there!!! As Ted writes, it’s about “sifting through everything with a discerning eye, highlighting the very best available, and making it easy to find.” That feels like a daunting task given that most of the information is always changing so needs to be regularly updated. I really appreciated a fellow Extend mOOC participant’s comment about curation being more than “simply selecting items, it needs to include a level of research, thought, and care.”

I want to say that my definition of curation would be about trying to find reliable, current, easy to access information/resources on topics related to my courses and providing easy access for my students to go through for themselves. The key I think is that we need to spend time putting this together and not just “throwing it out there,” without that research and effort. As I work through this module, I will hopefully have a better grasp though!