Friday, November 11, 2016

PLN: What my Personal Learning Network has done for me

Starting my PLN (click to enlarge)
At the beginning of this class, I was not quite sure what a personal learning network was or how to expand it. I thought about the clubs I was in and people I went to when I needed advice about teaching; it never occurred to me that I could use the internet and social media to learn, share, and collaborate with other teachers. I only used the internet for personal reasons, and rarely would post anything for I had nothing to say. Educational Technology and Design changed the meaning of social media for me; it is no longer a platform for poking or tweeting at my friends, rather a tool to communicate, collaborate, learn, and share with the people in my career. I was tentative at first about following and communicating with strangers, but after following my professors and digging around in their follows, I began building a large base of teacher connections. Instead of opening Twitter and seeing it filled with poorly worded jokes, I now have a dash full of resources specific to my career that encourage me to stay informed, research, ask questions, and share my own experiences. Instead of seeing slews of baby photos on Facebook, I now have invites for education events and other happenings here at UNI. I have created organizers like Symbaloo and Pinterest, and receive weekly emails about new ideas from the blogs I follow. I am constantly being informed and often persuaded to participate and share. Such collaboration even takes a step further with events like Tweet Chat, group discussion boards, and video conferences like Zoom where I can interact with other teachers at any distance. The internet has unlocked forms of knowledge and communication I never imagined possible for my career; my education is not stuck in the walls of a classroom, and it does not end upon receiving my diploma. Thanks to expanding my PLN, I have become a more resourceful, informed, and involved teacher, and I will be adequately prepared to help my students in our ever changing and updating world.

In the posts to follow, I will describe in detail how I expanded my PLN and the amazing resources and people with whom I have connected.
My PLN now (click to enlarge)


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