Post 22 on the TeachThought 30-Day Blogging Challenge: What does your PLN look like? What does it do for you teaching?
I have written numerous times about my PLN and the value and importance of it. Feel free to click on the tag list to the right and view some of my other posts about PLNs.
As others have written, I also connect with the PLC (Personal Learning Community) in my school, district, and state. I learn a lot from my local colleagues and relish their contributions to my learning.
I also connect with my PLN – my Personal Learning Network. These are the folks I might know or might not know, but we all share something in common. We want to learn, to grow, to connect, and to share. Sometimes I get the opportunity to meet those in my PLN at conferences, like the ISTE conference at the end of June. It’s a true joy to finally greet them face-to-face. But most of the time, I benefit from a global group online. I use Twitter and Google+ the most, though I know others use tools like Pinterest and LinkedIn.
You have to find what works for you. You have to decide that this is something you want to commit to and make the time. The more you put yourself out there, the more you get in return. Twitter has become a more refined Google search for me -helping me get the results I need from the people who count the most. It’s hard at first, but building relationships and trust matter in the same way they do face-to-face. My networks help me learn, but they also help me stay current. I connect with others who share the same passions, and I also follow others who may have a different mindset- in order to stretch my thinking and see things from varied perspectives.
As a connected educator, the ideas, resources, conversations, and comments I receive directly benefits my work with other educators in my PLC as well as my work with students.
The lessons I’ve learned have impacted my work. I am a connected educator. I tweet, I share, I blog (!). I attend edCamps when possible, conferences, and workshops. I have taught classes to educators in my district about building our PLNs. I’ve seen the return on my investment and feel that the many other educators on Twitter and other networks have as well. Now to help those who are not yet connected, connect. October is Connected Educator’s Month! What a great time to expand and grow!