In my first week of my COETAIL learning journey I read an article and two chapters of Reach: Building Communities and Networks for Professional Development by Jeff Utecht. It is an in depth guide to understanding networks and communities. He went through the process of setting up RSS feeds and how to build and grow your professional network. I enjoyed reading these two chapters and found some very useful information within them. Although I have used RSS feeds and Twitter for my own PLN I was barely scratching the surface of what they are capable of. I had never thought to directly target specific information that could be useful for my classroom. I would consider myself to be a passive user of Twitter. Instead of targeting information that I want, I wait to see what kinds of information, thoughts and ideas the people that I follow share and sift through them to determine what I need or do not need to read. I thought that targeting specific information using my RSS feed was a great idea that I plan to add to my practice immediately. Most references to creating an RSS feed from a search was related to Google Reader. I am not sure how to add this search to my Digg Reader (except by typing in the key terms in the Digg search bar). I did find that you can add a search alert in google (see image below) but I am not sure how useful this will be. This would be very useful if I could figure it out.
I am definitely a “lurker” in my Twitter PLN. I mostly read tweets and generally my greatest participation is by retweeting what others have put out there. I see how increasing my activity can provide greater opportunities to make connections with other like minded professionals and expand my knowledge base. I also have problems with the “self-promotion” required to build and expand my PLN.