EdSurge’s Connect & Reflect PLN Tool

I receive EdSurge’s weekly newsletter on edtech news, events, products and companies that are at the cutting edge of the technology revolution that is just beginning to sweep through the K-16 education world. This is a must RSS feed if you are a teacher just starting their career, or for any teacher that is intent on adapting, leveraging and integrating technology to fit the needs of 21st Century learners. However, keep in mind that they are a Silicon Valley based organization dedicated to serving educators and edtech entrepreneurs and investors. In any case, their newsletter is packed with good edtech lesson integration ideas, potential edtech products of use, edtech professional development opportunities, ways to expand your Personal Learning Network (PLN) and collaborate with tech-savvy teachers around the country.

I recently came across an EdSurge article analyzing the very preliminary results of a sentiment survey administered to 59 teachers, 34 technology coordinators, eight district administrators, one vice principal. The survey is part of EdSurge’s beta collaboration and professional development tool for edtech innovators and teachers called Reflect & Connect. Here is the basic premise and four goals of the Reflect & Connect tool:

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I have been working on my K-6 teaching certification from abroad for almost a year now and this has required me to lean heavily on social media, MOOC’s and other forms of elearning for my professional development. Twitter is a big component of my PLN and is a rich resource of materials, collaboration and discussion among educators. Thus, I was intrigued by the Reflect & Connect tool and gave it a try to see what, who and how EdSurge would recommend for me to connect with on Twitter. Here are the results:

 

  • Four educators on Twitter, but @bodleianItch & @TeachrRevolutns were the only ones I decided to follow because the rest had many fewer followers and tweets than myself.
  • Three Twitter chats that I was already aware of and actively follow #edchat, #edtechchat and #ptchat, the first two are self-explanatory, the last hashtag facilitates collaboration between parents and teachers on Twitter.
  • The coolest thing that I netted because of this PLN activity was discovering Yale University’s Photogrammer Map, which is the largest database of American history photos, and it is now fully searchable. Check it out, it’s a rich resource.

So, in the end, a bit underwhelming, but as I said, the EdSurge Reflect & Connect tool is still in beta. At this point it is more of a data gathering tool for EdSurge than a PLN tool for educators and innovators. But, I’ll keep an eye on it and watch how it develops. In the mean time, here are the results of the EdSurge Reflect & Connect sentiment survey to date:

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