In modern learning circles, having a personal learning network (PLN) is almost more of a requirement than a preference. One of the best things about a PLN is that you can take advantage of it for many years to come.

It’s a reciprocal network of people and resources you can tap into for studying or learning about anything. You can use a personal learning network as a form of support for your career and personal endeavours. Just make sure you don’t overlook the many ways that social media can be of assistance.

Here’s a closer look at optimizing your personal learning network using social media platforms.

The First Step to a Personal Learning Network

In order to use social media to enhance your PLN, you’ll need to join several platforms. Chief among these will be LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can build solid connections with others on these platforms. Best of all, you don’t have to meet face-to-face to learn from these associations. So take the first step and put yourself out there by signing up.

Look Into Groups and Communities

On Facebook you’ll find that you can join many types of groups. These groups are referred to as communities on Google+. Joining communities and groups gives you access to people just like you. People in these circles are wanting to further their careers and enhance their education. You can connect with other people who have many years of experience in professional development.

Join Discussions

In these groups and communities you’ll see that members carry out extensive discussions. You can learn a lot simply by reading through these discussions. That said, it helps to become actively involved them. Pay particular attention to those that are relevant to your field of teaching.

You can also start your own discussions. Suppose you have a question about getting parents to fill out permission slips for field trips. Starting a discussion in the appropriate community or group can generate quick and helpful answers.

Have a Scoop or Two

Want to curate a PLN magazine? It’s easy with Scoop.it. Search for and discover content and build up your own hub using the tools they offer. The content in your “magazine” can be based on the resources in your personal learning network.

Use Social Media Resources

Most social media sites have a range of tools and resources you can use to build your PLN. Some of these are Yahoo! Answers and AddThis. With these resources, you’ll see that creating a PLN isn’t as difficult as you may think.

Don’t forget about social bookmarking tools! You can use them to collect the resources that you find the most valuable. Livebinders, Delicious, Educlipper, and Pinterest are all great choices. You can then share these resources with others in your PLN.

Share Your Lessons

The best place to establish a personal learning network and share your lessons is on our Solution Fluency Activity Planner. Create lessons, add rubrics, connect to curriculum, and more. best of all, it connects you with educators all over the world. You can view others’ lessons plans and use them to make your plans better. It’s a win-win for you and everyone in your PLN. Tumbler and Edublogs are also great for sharing presentations and lesson plans.

A Personal Learning Network Counts

The importance of creating your own personal learning network should not be overlooked. As you start connecting with other professionals in the education field, you’ll find that your professionalism is deepened as well as the knowledge you share with your students. Make sure you don’t limit yourself to connecting with people who live local. Thanks to the Internet and social media, you can now connect with people all across the globe who can bring much value to your PLN.




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