Years ago we had to sit in a classroom to learn. Find that college, school, course, and teacher that had the expertise to deliver the information to us. We all know how different things are today. Educators are now using various social medias to connect world wide through their PLNs using different hashtags. What is a PLN? Simply stated, it’s a personal or professional learning network. Here is a great article explaining what it is plus a few resources to get you started.
To young teachers of today, this is their world. If they want to talk to someone it is usually through some form of social media. They plan their parties, pick up times, locations, etc. everything that the older generations did via a phone call or face to face conversation is now done through digital communication. So moving this aspect into the professional light isn’t too big a challenge.
Then there are the rest of us. Those that had to get up to change the channel. Those that had to dial a phone. Those that had to put a coin in a public phone to make call. How do we begin a PLN? As with anything…start with baby steps.
- Create a Twitter account. It won’t take long and it’s easy to follow. Most educational blogs have twitter accounts that you can follow.
- Find 4 people/companies that you respect and follow them. Think about your current professional life. How many people do you go to for advice? Probably not more than that. A few favorites..Richard Byrne (
@rmbyrne ), Tammy Worcester ( @tammyworcester ), #smartee and @SMART_Tech (I’m a SMART Technologies junkie).
- Learn the lingo. You will need to know what RT, FTF and TIA mean.
- Be a lurker for a bit. All that means is read what people have posted. Click on their links. See who they follow. Follow some of their professional ‘friends’.
What can this lead to? For me…a weekly chat with a group of teachers all over the continent (USA and Canada) all talking about technology integration, professional development, different forms of media all while continuing to light the flame of excitement in our classrooms. What can it be for you? You will decide.