Building a PLN
Personal Learning Networks for Connected Educators
Learning isn't something that just happens to you. Learning involves you having an interest and pursuing it passionately.
A Personal Learning Network is:
- Personal - you get to decide who is part of your circles.
- Learning - not necessarily teaching but more what you want to learn more about
- Network - you are connected to others who share your interests
You get to control how connected you become, when you connect, and with whom. Being part of a Personal Learning Network doesn't mean you will end up like this:
Start With Why
Here are some ideas:
- educational leadership
- 1:1 iPad or MacBook programs
- Visible Thinking
- PYP Exhibition
- Augmented Reality
- Google Apps for Education (GAFE)
Tweeting...you can do it!
Here are some quick tips for getting started on Twitter:
- Pick your handle - eg. @terSonya or @sonyaterborg or @sterborg - something that people will know to be you and isn't cumbersome to remember
- Upload a photo - this makes you seem like a real person and people want to connect with people!
- Fill in your Bio - as much as you are interested in sharing. It is a good idea to put what you are interested in (Looking to learn more about 1:1 programs) and not necessarily your whole life story
- Do a search on Twitter for your passion and see who is tweeting about it. Follow those people.
Read this book for more:
Take a listen to what Alec Couros has to say about Twitter in Education:
Just For Laughs: Take a quick look at this lighthearted take on the hashtag from Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake:
Search Out Bloggers Who Connect With Your Ideas
- follow the blog by email
- follow the blog author on Twitter
You might consider creating a feed reader. This is a website where you can store all of your websites and you will be able to go there and check all the blogs you follow at once.
You could start with Digg Reader or take a look at this video below which includes a review of Digg Reader, Feedly, Flipboard, and Fark:
When you are ready, begin to interact:
- retweet someone else's tweet
- add a comment to a post on one of the blogs you are following
- respond to someone else's comment on a post to further the conversation
- tweet a link to an article you have read
- ask for ideas about an upcoming project or unit
- share a photo of classroom displays
This sharing can be in the form of a Tweet or a Blog post on your own blog if that is what you choose to do.
Carve out some time in your week or day to stay in touch with your network. Peruse the Twittersphere using #hashtags to refine your search. You may even wish to look up when other connected educators are getting together to chat via one of the many online chats through Twitter such as #pypchat or this massive list of online chats.
Twitter is alive 24/7 and while you are too, it is recommended you don't try and 'keep up' with all that is happening. Other people will tweet and blog daily - that is their thing. It doesn't have to be yours.
Find a balance in what works for you!
Ready to Begin?
The Teacher Challenge is made up of free professional learning challenges where educators are stepped through weekly tasks that increase their skills while being supported by mentors.
The Challenge is open to any educator who wants to increase their skills.
Participants can complete as many of the tasks as they like and in any order.
It’s all about you choosing when you want to learn, while being supported by mentors would assist you with your learning!
I am an international educator located at the intersection of innovation, creativity and passion – I look forward to meeting you there!
I have been teaching for 18 years in 7 countries, located in 4 continents. I am passionate about finding a significant opportunity to make a positive change wherever I am working. I enjoy learning more about the challenges and triumphs in education and believe in sharing ideas in order to deepen understanding.
I am the Learning Technologies Teacher in the Junior School at Munich International School. My job is to work with teachers, teams, and students to integrate technology into our units of inquiry.