Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Google, etc. We all know what these are right? These are the most popular forms of social media. We use them to be connected with our family and friends. We use them to share information and receive information from the people we follow or are friends with. They are usually used as a way to stay in touch and to easily see what is happening in the world. However, these forms of social media can be used as tools to further our education and careers. They can aid in our PLN.
What is a PLN you ask? Great question. PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. I was just introduced to this term this week and I wish I had known about it sooner. We all know what networking is. It is the interaction between people to exchange knowledge, meet new people, and further our careers. The personal part of a PLN is about reaching out to other teachers, administrators, and/or experts to build relationships. We can interact with these people who come from all over the world and share ideas or experiences from each other’s classrooms. We build these relationships to learn and further our knowledge about our subjects and just teaching in general.
Throughout this week I was to start building my PLN through social media. I mainly used twitter to find informative people and was really kind of surprised to discover so many people, not only in my subject area, but who were looking to teach and inform others about their experiences. I sort of spread my net wide and am now following teachers and administrators from early education to higher education universities. I also found organizations and groups of people just looking to inform others on a certain subject. We were only required to follow 100 more people but from each of those people I followed 100 more would appear and it was like a never-ending spiral of knowledge. I am favoring some of the people I had followed because I loved what they put out there for me to read and learn and discover. As I continue to follow people and really understand who are good who are not good people to follow, I will begin to “tune” my PLN. I hope I can learn from these people and become a person that people want to follow and look to for information.
Looking through each of the twitter accounts, many of these educators have blogs. Not surprisingly, their blogs had even more information, going more in depth to what they tweeted or providing entirely new information and ideas. I managed to follow 10 new blogs and had discovered a website that sort of acts as a teacher blog. This website contains many blogs that people from around the world submit. I thought this was a great way to find new blogs and pick which ones that relate to you the most for information.
This was a great start to building my PLN and I hope to discover even more people to learn from. I didn’t realize that building relationships on this scale was so important but I have already learned so much.