This week, I’ve been asked to create a portfolio post to share the PLN that I have started to build in this week’s Technology Exploration activities.
The purpose of my PLN:
The purpose of my PLN is to extend my life long learning methods by connecting with and learning from other professionals beyond my classroom and school. My main goal, as stated in “Developing Your Virtual Personal Learning Plan Network”, is to connecting, finding “opportunities to reflect,” “finding information and support,” and “sharing [my] expertise and ideas.”
How I plan to use my PLN:
Reading the resources this week, it’s clear that the development of my PLN has already begun. I started an unpublished WordPress Blog last semester to start documenting, reflecting, and gathering resources. I use Google Drive within my district to share resources. I’ve been enrolled in TRU’s MEd program since Fall 2018 and taken all of my courses online. A couple years ago, I started a social networking site for my teacher persona through Instagram to connect with students and other educators. I have my own YouTube Channel where I’ve started to post educational content for my students, especially when we transitioned to remote learning briefly. I use my district email and Google Chat all day long.
One area that I would like to explore more is Twitter. We were asked to create an account back when I did my teacher training at SFU, but it feel by the wayside (as many things do when you’re a new teacher). Because the nature of my partner’s work involves me moving around a lot, it would be nice to make consistent connections to a larger teaching community.
Because I most likely will be balancing the role of ‘mom’ and ‘teacher’ for the next couple years primarily TTOCing, I would also like to create a teaching WordPress blog to start documenting and reflecting on lessons and tools that I can them look back to when I am back full time in the classroom again.
The platform(s) that I have chosen to start building my PLN:
The two new platforms I would like to explore are Twitter and Blogging on WordPress. I would also like to continue to create short useful learning videos for my secondary ELL learners using Powtoon and uploading them onto YouTube. But as mentioned in the readings this week, I plan to start slow otherwise I think I might get overwhelmed. For now, I am focusing on finding people and organizations to follow on Twitter with my new teacher account.
The peers, experts, and/or organizations that I have already added to my PLN:
In my currently established PLN, I have some of my former students and former colleagues connected to my Instagram Account. I also am connect to the school district staff in my school email account and Google Drive. As mentioned, now that I’ve started my own teaching Twitter account, I’d like to start by adding educational leaders and accounts to follow. I started with people like Shelley Moore and organizations like BC Education, and have started to find more like-minds through their posts.
Strategies that I have used, and that others can use, to start building their own PLNs:
I think the best advice I could give myself and others moving forward and building their own PLNs is to give yourself time. We work in incredibly demanding, emotionally draining, and time consuming careers, with many of us thinking that it’s impossible to add more to our plate. Instead of taking a whole full serving of online networking (like joining multiple social media outlets, following 20 new blogs, and writing daily in your teacher blog), take a pea-size gradually. I find that networking and building an online resource community has been most manageable (and enjoyable) when taken a little at a time. After all, as committed life-long learners, we’ve got a long time to soak up all our new learning.
US Department of State, The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, American English. (n.d.). Developing your virtual personal learning network (PLN). Retrieved from https://americanenglish.state.gov/resources/teachers-corner-personal-learning-networks-plns
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/network-earth-blockchain-globe-3524352/