The Flipped PLN


Too many tweets!

Twitter has become the most common way to start a PLN (personal learning network). It is quite easy to follow and connect with people or organizations who share information we find necessary for professional development: articles, ideas, opportunities, resources, etc. When I first joined Twitter, I was blown away by the wondrous amount of information I had just from following a few people. However, after a few weeks of tweeting, retweeting, faving and hashtagging, I began to grow dismayed by the malestrom of short messages studded with links, pound signs, and abbreviations. The Twitter feed can often be seen as a disorganized, textual mess. So, is there any way to break free from the maelstrom yet still have the same powerful information come through?

The answer is Flipboard – a social, visually-stunning, magazine app and website. There are two ways to use Flipboard as another (extension) of the PLN. First, you can subscribe to any number of magazines as well as Tumblr, Twitter, RSS, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, etc. For example, I subscribe to a general news magazine, The Atlantic, Forbes, and io9. You can also subscribe to your favorite ELT websites and blogs. Here, Flipboard offers a nice and organized way to access the articles you want.


Flipboard for iOS, Android, and the web.


Second, you can subscribe to other people’s social magazines in which they “flip” topic-related articles.  I subscribe to several social magazines which are flipped by other people (Language Matters; University Teaching; and Education, Teaching, and Language). It is with these shared social magazines that the power of Flipboard as a PLN can be harnessed. While all the articles I get from these social magazines are great, not all are related to ELT. In addition, there doesn’t seem to be a single source for ELT-related articles; there is not ELT magazine.

So, I have started two magazines in which you can begin to flip ELT articles: ELT Magazine and ELT Research. ELT Magazine is for blog, news, and web articles related to teaching English as a second or foreign language. ELT Research is for flipping peer-review journal articles on both theory and practice – readers may need a university database subscription for this though.

It’s easy to flip articles to these magazines. If you are using a smartphone, simply share the webpage with Flipboard and choose the magazine you want to flip it in. If you are on a regular computer, use the Flipboard bookmarklet.

If you like this idea and are interested in flipping articles to these magazines, please send me an email or private tweet with your email address and I’ll add you as a contributor. In order for these magazines to become useful, I need to get as many contributors as possible, so please help out! It doesn’t require more than a few clicks of your time – enough clicks to share what’s interesting in ELT. Remember: a PLN is a network. That means you!

View my Flipboard Magazine.View my Flipboard Magazine.