I have always been a firm believer that communication and collaboration between co workers, especially educators is a large step towards success. Although I am young and fortunate enough to have seen the development of many social media and technology platforms, I can honestly say that I haven’t use them to the best of my ability. Sure, I follow a few teaching boards on Pinterest and share articles on Facebook that I think could be of use in the future, but I have never been part of a personal learning network, in fact I had never even heard of it before this.
After exploring what a PLN is and how to become apart of one I was very excited to get started. I love learning from others and being able to experiencing things from their point of view. Often times I get stuck in a singular way of thinking and have a hard time breaking that without hearing what others think or how they react to it.
Through my exploration I came across a great article entitled “Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips” all of the tips were great but three really stuck out to me.
- “Connect: The growth engine of your learning network is your willingness to reach out and make connections with new people. Leave a comment on a blog post or podcast, reply to a question on twitter, or +1 a post on Google+ (or like something on Facebook). Merely reading, listening, or watching is not connecting.”
I am awful at this. I never comment or ask questions unless I have to. I am one who tends to just read, listen, and watch. I am currently challenging myself to become better at connecting with others in hopes of building a better PLN
2. “Contribute – If you have something to share, post it online where it may be accessible and useful to others. Your expertise (and even your struggles) are valuable to others who don’t have your experience. Anything you create for work (or your own schooling) might as well be shared, and might be valuable to someone else. . Sharing online is even considered a moral imperative by many educators; sharing contributes to the greater good. It’s one way we can pay it forward.”
Again I am awful at this I share a lot of things that I come across online, but the majority of the time I set it to private so only I can see it. I think of it more as a way of saving things rather then sharing them for other people to use. I have never thought of sharing things online in terms of paying it forward. It definitely gives me a different perspective on it. I plan on making my shares public and allowing others to use them.
3. “Converse – Over time the connections and contributions you make online will evolve into conversations as others respond to you as well. These conversations will in turn grow into relationships, if not friendships. Sharing something about your passions (and challenges) outside of work can also enrich your relationships. Someone you’ve connected with about baseball or raising a toddler might be more likely to respond to your questions about work as well.”
And one more thing I’m awful at. I tend to shy away from small talk, I don’t know why but it gives me anxiety. This keeps me from developing those beneficial relationships. It’s something I am currently working on and plan on continuing to work on.
Check out the article to see all of the tips: Personal Learning Network for Educators: 10 Tips