PLNs have been described as providing: “Professional Development 24/7” “Looking beyond the borders of our campus – Global reach and global perspectives” “Advice from experts in the field” “Links to free classroom resources” “Immediate solutions to problems”
But in essence, PLNs are anonline evolution of an old idea: Asking a colleague for advice and providing advice to colleagues when you have a solution.
So how do you get started? Easiest way is to sign up for a Twitter account. (Free!) http://www.twitter.com Fill out your profile information. Find some people to follow… *Don‟t follow the “interesting” people suggested by Twitter. When you feel comfortable, introduce yourself and add your thoughts.
Why Twitter? Easy to use. Third party apps such as Tweetdeck allow a separate desktop window so you can use your browser for other sites. Can be used on smartphones via other free apps. (Tweetcaster, Motoblur). Large community of educators. Ability to post links to more detailed information. Can be used as communication platform with students and parents.
A few tips*: – Find people using a Profile Search http://twitter.com/invitations/find_on_twitter – Put some relevant and interesting information in your profile. – Share and share alike. – Use URL shortening service. – Look at people who follow someone in your network. – Don‟t be afraid to „block‟ people who you don‟t think you want following you. – Don‟t worry about numbers. – Use #Hashtags. – Do more than just tweet about yourself. – Be polite. – Widen your network. *From:http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/twitter/twitter-tips-for-teachers-educators-2/
And a few more*… Don‟t judge Twitter until you‟ve spent some time with it. Try to understand what it is by what it is doing. Work out your purpose, find others with a similar purpose, and follow them. The rest, as they say, will be history. You Tweet to everyone; not just your current followers, but their followers, and all future ones too. Be careful who you follow, and who follows you. “… remember that Twitter is about „small pieces loosely joined‟, which is really how the world works in real life … the more connections you make, the more likelihood you have of these „small pieces loosely joined‟ actually leading you into things that you never knew you wanted and that you never, ever could have predicted. That‟s what Twitter does.” * http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/twitter/rt-betchaboy-twitter-is-messy-elearning/#ixzz0xOJwFUvc
“I think the fact that following in Twitteris asymmetrical, whereas friending inFacebook is symmetrical is a keydifference.” from @derekbruff on Twitter.
A few posts from my PLN: And the content it leads to:
And an example of the sharing and problemsolving that occurs.
Further reading: Tips http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/twitter/twitter-tips-for- teachers-educators-2/ Calculus Wars feed – An interesting class project http://www.slideshare.net/wyandersen/the-calculus- tweetwars-3790755?from=ss_embed Twitter in Academia http://strategicplanner.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/twitter-a- tool-for-academia-to-connect-share-and-grow-relationships/