PLN reflection: Catherine Morton

This year’s Personal Learning Network (PLN) program recently ended with over 150 people taking part. In the next few weeks Bright Ideas will feature guest posts from PLN alumni with the first being from Catherine Morton from Whitefriars College.

This year l completed the Personal Learning Network (PLN).

In May I wrote my first blog post…

“I’ve recently returned to teaching after working in the wonderful public library world. In my new position as a teacher librarian in a secondary college, l’m interested in exploring and learning the Web 2.0 world and am excited about the potential applications in my work with students and teachers. I’m feeling a little hesitant as l’m sure there’ll be challenges along the way. I’ve had some already. So the opportunity to learn from you all and my colleagues, who are well along the Web 2.0 road, will help my travels. Look forward to meeting you along the way”.

But by my last post in November…

“To think l’ve completed the PLN and about to post my digital story! It’s a great sense of satisfaction and achievement. It’s interesting that the frustrations, the enormity of the workload and the feeling of being overwhelmed have faded into the background.

I chose Animoto as it’s relatively easy to use and l’m quite happy with the results. There are some features that could be improved, however it’s a tool that l would use with students. The PLN program has been just like travelling, being introduced to new places and people, experiencing things for the first time and all of the emotions associated with travelling. The music l selected is titled ‘Flying’ by Mike Strickland, which l feel is quite a reflective piece and also a very appropriate title. Not that it was always a smooth flight as l weathered storms, heavy rain and grey days, along with sunshine and blue sky!

It’s been a year of so many learnings. Thanks to the PLN support team at the SLV. Your guidance, encouragement and support have been greatly appreciated. Thanks to the wider PLN community for your generosity in sharing knowledge and supporting my journey. There are improved outcomes for both me as a teacher and the students. I’ll always continue to travel.”

Some of my reflections on the PLN – I’ve gained more confidence with Web 2.0 tools, and have used some of these tools, both in the library and in my teaching. Now l feel l’m one step ahead of the students. I used the SLV ergo website to teach research skills to Learning Support students. I’ve benefited professionally by joining Twitter. I’ve also benefited personally from the PLN as I’m setting up a blog for my upcoming overseas trip! My goal is to continue to explore, learn and assist with educating students and colleagues in using these tools. If we have the ability to locate information, we can find anything.

The PLN program will be running again in 2013. For further information email

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