The farther and farther we get into our class load in EC&I 831, the more and more time I spend thinking about PLN‘s and my personal PLN that I am in the process of creating right now. I have always worked well with my co-workers (or at least I think that I have) that are in the same building as me, as well as the other teachers that are working at the same grade level as me in the same school division. Until I started this class, that is was as far as I believed my reach stretched. Sure I know other teachers in other schools, in other school divisions and even in other areas of the province and on many occasions I have spoken to them about numerous different school-related topics, but I never really considered them part of my learning network.
After being encouraged to start a blog and create a Twitter account for this class, I can see how valuable a PLN really is. With the limited experience that I have cultivated to date (thanks again in large to this class), I am beginning to see how valuable it is to put yourself out there and to simply ask the questions that I need help with. Like I have mentioned in the past, I had always thought that Twitter was more of a waste of time than anything. Man, was I wrong. Over the last few weeks, I have gotten many good suggestions, great ideas and incredible website links that I would never have found on my own. I have connected with people who I have never met and probably never will, but that doesn’t stop them from helping me out. I find it amazing that in 140 characters or less that so much professional growth can happen. I can’t wait to try Twitter out in my classroom in the future for Educational purposes with my students.
Creating a blog has also been a great way for me to develop my PLN. I have always loved writing things down and discussing things with others. I find that writing the odd blog entry about something that I have been working on at school or an idea that I am tossing around in my head helps in so many ways. One, if I write it down I find that I can work through some of the kinks myself. Two, when I post the blog I am always amazed by how many people are willing to help me out and respond to different questions that I have included in a specific post. The suggestions that I have received to date have all been useful and many have led to more thought provoking moments for me.
I know that these are just two ways that I have developed my PLN during this class but I have to admit that they are two of the most powerful ways for me. So in parting, thank you to everyone who has contributed to my PLN and I look forward to continued encouragement and support from you fine folk in the future.
P.S. Thanks Alec for the great image.