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Helpful Tips on how to weave aspiring PLNs


Personal Learning Networks, or PLNs, are a universal reality extending from family and friends teachers and students, to worldwide communities like Facebook, blogs, wikis…

Your  PLN can do wonders for your Professional development, Classroom resources and lesson plans and your students skills (Watch the Networked Student Video)

It is in fact a global learning network, enabling you build personal relationships with fellow educators, school administrators and experts from around the world, share resources, learn and collaborate and get feedback on your ideas and projects.  It’s well worth taking time and effort to build it as you’ll soon discover that your PLN is the best professional development you’ll ever have.

At the beginning, the whole process might seem overwhelming. However, creating a PLN, has proved to be the best way to get new teachers on the move.

Start with what you know! Set your goals

Open yourself to the world!

Become an active social-media (Twitter) user by visiting  hashtag.org, choosing from hashtags that connect to your interests and  starting using them. It might seem difficult at first to follow threads of conversation but before giving up, try rethinking your strategy. It’s only a matter of weeks before you’ll be able to train others in social media practices. Remember that educators always look for innovative resources.  Thus sharing quality content, will help make more connections quickly!

Sign up in twitter,a diverse and innovative network giving you access to thousands of like minded  teachers around the world with rich backgrounds that can contribute to effective teaching and learning, complete your bio, connect to edubloggers from the Edublogs  (International Edublog Directory-Edublog Awards Nominees) community, tweet, retweet and contribute.  Don’t forget to check your twitter interactions, email inbox daily and always respond and comment back and thank for RTs / mentions. Whenever possible start twitter topic discussions

Set a daily routine

 

Take one step at a time.   Read educational blogs and keep on tweeting about your professional discoveries, news, considerations. Get involved in webinar series as participant or presenter.  Share links, ideas, content with other educators and connect to those having a more in depth knowledge about different topics.

Alternatively view webinars (Serendipitiy – FineFocus) post your thoughts about them on your blog, leave comments and  links to your blog posts..

Join educator communities such as EdutopiaClassroom 2.0, and Teacher 2.0 forums that encourage and promote teacher collaboration.  Learn from others, be appreciative and help others learn.

Organise your Resources Put together livebinders, start scooping your favourite content, define your blog objectives

Don’t rush things. Let time take its course

Be resourceful and creative in the use of Skype

Be Prepared to Collaborate and Take part in projects

Blogging (wordpress)and following other blogs helps you build a strong PLN. Read , Write, Comment… Approve comments quickly, and always respond back to your posts readers

Subscribe to RSS feeds,

Use Flipboard,

Backchannel in conferences, follow conversations and highlight links

Share Bookmarks (Diigo, Delicious)

Keep up with experts (LinkedIn Teacher’s Lounge, ISTE),

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