PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY (PLC)
My Professional Learning Community (PLC) consists for the most part of UW-Stout contacts and the people who helped me get here as well as people who were already in my PLC. (Beth Still, in her 6/9/09 blog post, "What the Heck is a PLN?", said that Professional Learning Networks (PLN's) and PLC's can be used interchangeably, so I chose PLC.) In my PLC I include tech tools and web tools and social media as well. I used Gliffy Diagrams in its recent (to me) incarnation as a Google Chrome web application to make a map of my PLC. It was free and extraordinarily easy to access and use and re-use. The resulting mind-maps can even be saved as JPegs, which makes them much more adaptable to use in web creation.
My people contacts are in ovals, tech hardware tools are in cylinders, and software, web tools and social media are in rectangles, and things I wish to learn more about are in stars. The contacts I appreciate regularly now are surrounded in bright aqua. The ones I am on a learning curve and still experimenting with are surrounded in bright green, and the ones I aspire to use more in the future are surrounded in bright yellow.
Reflection: My instructor's feedback for the Professional Learning Community mind-map was appreciative of the brainstorming and sheer quantity of resources in my PLC, qualified by the suggestion that I organize the resources in a more obvious way -- with headings and each shape in its own area. After many, many revisions, I came up with the PLC you can see below. I made the organization more clear, with the same shapes obviously in the same areas, held to the color code referred to below, and added the stars (things I wish to learn more about) and headings.
The process of creating this PLC was quite rewarding. It inspired me to find the Gliffy Google Chrome app (free with that browser); apps are easy to use, no sign-in or registration required, and usually available at the touch of a click. I had used Gliffy before to create a mind-map for Assessment class but had lost my password, etc., so finding the app meant I didn't even have to go looking for it! Plus, unlike the original Web 2.0 tool, the Gliffy app allowed me to save the Gliffy file as a .jpeg or .png, which made it so much easier to embed on the web page. I also found, after trying both, that the picture file with the .png suffix came out much more clearly than the .jpeg picture did. Embedding images in website creation, in my experience, is simple and easy compared to embedding documents for some reason. It is always fun working -- playing -- with colors, and applying my favorite ones to meaningful categories was also fun. Most of all, though, the process of creating this PLC mind-map and incorporating the feedback allowed me to see how abundant I am with such generous and useful resources all around me in my circle.