Step 1: What is a PLN?

A PLN is  Personal Learning Network. . A PLN is a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time. Participating educators, worldwide, make requests and share resources. The PLN consists of relationships between individuals where the goal is enhancement of mutual learning. The currency of the PLN is learning in the form of feedback, insights, documentation, new contacts, or new business opportunities. It is based on reciprocity and a level of trust that each party is actively seeking value-added information for the other.

Step 2: Making Connections

Educators are using online platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pintrest to connect with each other. You can develop relationships by investing time in your PLN, trying new tools and finding the best ones that work for you. diversifying your search, and involving your students. The task I completed was preferences. I plan to connect with educators using social medias I am already comfortable with such as twitter and facebook but I would also like to branch out and start getting into blogs and other digital resources so I can expand my horizons and introduce myself to new things.

Step 3: Using Twitter to Build Your PLN

I  liked this step because Twitter is the social media I use the most, both professionally and personally. Twitter is a place where you can catch up with your PLN. It’s a place where educators can find advice, give advice, find great links, share work, and engage in general musings about education. Since I already have a twitter, I decided to find more people to follow in the educational world to learn from and help better my teaching.

Step 4: All About Hashtags and Twitter Chats

Putting a hashtag symbol (#) in front of a relevant keyword or phrase helps to categorize the tweet and make it easier for people to find.  I used hashtags more when I first joined twitter, about seven years ago. I used them faithfully for the first three years but since then, I have strayed from them. They are a great way to find things fast. From popular news to education, you can find useful information by adding or searching a hashtag and looking at all of the tweets that include the hashtag or word.

Step 5: Using Blogs as Part of Your PLN

Blogs are usually set up for a dynamic community. It allows for feedback and interaction using comments, sharing, RSS, and subscriptions. It is typically formed like a journal, expressing personal thoughts and opinions. A blog traditionally would be updated fairly regularly and display posts in reverse chronological order and comments are a key feature of blogs, providing an interactive space. They can be used to share information and tips with other educators, collaborate with a global audience. Increased collaboration with others leads to greater innovation and new perspectives, and reflect on their learning or their teaching/work practices.

Step 6:  Using Curation Tools as a Connected Educator

A person with good curation skills saves us time by sifting through the vast abundance of content on the internet to select the best, most relevant resources on a specific topic or theme. The curator organizes, manages, and collates for their own use and shares with us. Educators curate content to find, organize, and manage information and resources on specific topics, to stay informed about the latest information on specific topics which leads to professional growth, and to learn through the process. As you search for and curate the best resources, you reflect on their value and you may develop new ways of thinking.

Step 7: Making Time to Build Your PLN

You should find things that work for you and start small, it does not happen overnight. Set a goal and commit to it, again, start with reasonable goals and then continue to expand them as time goes on. Set a routine and consider becoming more productive with your time. Lastly, never give up. This is something that you have to continuously work on to allow it to grow. It is okay to feel uncomfortable with it at first but the more you work at it, the more comfortable you will get.