What is Personal Learning Networks (or PLN's)? I didn't know at first either. I watched some videos and read a few blogs and the video, Building Your PLN - A Primer for Anyone gave me a clear understanding of the definition. PLN's are new tools (twitter, skype, pintrest, facebook, blogs, etc.) we can use to broaden our global network to share our knowledge and passions with people around the world, and also gain knowledge from them as well. There are multiple ways PLN's can be useful to me, as a teacher. It could be as simple as using pintrest to find fun and creative ways to decorate my classroom, so that it is a nice, comfortable enviroment for my students. It could also be something like skyping former teachers and getting advice from them, or skyping teachers from all over the world to share ideas of what we are doing in our classrooms to expand our students PLN's.
So, how can we start forming our Personal Learning Networks? Well, it's like Steven Anderson mentioned in the video stated above, we already have started forming our PLN's! Almost every person in this world has a facebook, twitter, etc. or even uses text messaging. You may not know it, but this is part of your personal learning network. All we have to do is broaden our friends list or followers, and get more networks such as skype or a blog. Doing this may have you talking to a scientist from somewhere in the world like a seventh grader did in the video, A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment.
As for Symbaloo and Netvibes, I will definitely look into these more. I have not yet created an account, but will be doing so here shortly. I'm hoping these will help expand my personal learning networks!