PLN = Personal Learning Network
I'm not a fan of acronyms, but this is one that all educators should know! PLN means your Personal Learning Network. I've heard it called your Professional Learning Network as well, but it really is up to you personally who you follow.
Personal Learning Network for Educators: 10 Tips
Take charge of your own professional development!
Motivation? Everyone is motivated by something...
A complaint that is heard throughout school districts across the globe, "They don't provide enough professional development for me to become proficient in new strategies for my class."
First, who is "they"?
Second, why would we want someone else to control what and how we learn as adults?
After attending many professional development trainings, I realized they didn't always provide what I was hoping to get out of the training. I have attended sessions where I walked away inspired and motivated to implement my new learning the next day! However, most of the time, I left with more questions and suggestions (in my head) as to how I would have made that training better.
This is where you can take charge of your own learning! If you leave and you still have questions, you need a network of professionals in the same field that may be able to provide more resources for you on the topic. For example, you leave a training on Responsive Classroom Practices and need more information. The first thing I would do is go to Edmodo in my Professional Development Community and ask the question, "Does anyone have any great resources for Responsive Classroom Practices?"
Then I might go to Twitter and post a tweet like this, "Anyone have Responsive Classroom Practices info. to share? #ResponsiveClassroomPractices". You may also type the title as a search to find their Twitter page. They do have one, by the way. @responsiveclass
Within a couple of hours, I usually have at least a few new resources as well as connections to people who already use this in their classrooms. Those are the people I would then follow or connect with to build my PLN.
While I'm waiting for resources from my PLN, I would move onto Pinterest. I know, that seems weird to call that a part of your PLN! If you think about it, the people you follow on Pinterest have similar interests, right? If you choose carefully (only certain boards), then you will hit the jackpot for resources you need!
You get the idea, right?
Motivation = the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way or the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
Some educators are fine with the knowledge they are provided and don't need anymore to feel like they are effective in their profession. If you are reading this, you are probably NOT that person. This is where motivation comes in... I need more information and ideas to motivate me in my job! It gets a little boring doing the same thing every day, right?
If you are motivated to become the best educator you can be, building your PLN is the way to keep your passion and excitement alive!
1. I never thought I'd say this, but join Twitter. Remember, who you follow will determine the content you see. I used to think it was for teens or following your favorite celebrity. Here are some great resources to tell you more about using twitter as an educator. Printable Twitter Guide Video! Twitter for PD
2. Join Edmodo! I'm an Edmodo Ambassador (which just means I use it A LOT). I like to call it Facebook for educators. I wrote a blog post about it before I became an ambassador and I still love it for professional development, organizing and sharing resources, and communicating with other educators and/or your students. Here's my previous post on the topic. Facebook for Educators
3. Join Pinterest (if you haven't already)! Another way to find resources and people who have the same interests/profession. When it comes to searching for new ideas before I create something, I don't "Google it"...I "Pinterest it"!
I type my topic in the search box and BOOM, a ton of resource and links to blogs for people who already created what I was looking for!
I always tell the teachers I work with, "Steal it and Tweak it, Don't reinvent it!"
4. Take it slow... don't overwhelm yourself. The purpose is to make your like easier!
* If you enjoyed this post, feel free to connect with me. I'd love to be a part of your Personal Learning Network!
So what should my next steps be as an educator or adult learner?
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina and a Google Certified Trainer.