Last year I completed a 12 week professional development program for educators. The first activity was to set up this blog as a place to reflect on the course and communicate with other participants. This image shows the tools I used to develop my online Personal Learning Network (PLN).
For my post on “Promote That Blog” I selected words from this Wordle Build Blog Relationships to chat about.
Building a Personal Learning Network started with the 2010 Personal Learning Network for Victorian Schools program. Until then my PLN consisted mainly of colleagues at school, particularly those in the maths and science departments.
Now I think of my PLN as the whole collection of educators that I chat to, learn from and share information with, online and face to face.
The building of relationships started with a blog and grew as comments were exchanged between participants. Commenting built connections which started the process of peer to peer teaching, learning and the sharing of information.
The next stage of building a PLN took us out of the comfort zone of blogging and into the Twitter network of micro bloggers, using the hash tag #VicPLN.
After several attempts over a few months I was tweeting away and sharing links with my PLN. Twitter has become a place of professional development, with educators from around the world, at any time of day or night.
Connecting in real time, via Elluminate, in a webinar with passionate educators, has been a highlight of developing a PLN.
To appreciate my enthusiasm, have a look at Anne Mirtschin’s article “Building a Digital Classroom with Global Educators”, and read about yesterday’s Tech Talk Tuesdays webinar.
Lately Facebook has come to my attention, as a place for networking and continuing the conversation with my PLN.
I’ve created a professional account to chat with educators from around the world and a Group for mentoring participants doing the Teacher Challenge.
It’s early days yet, I need to continue scrutinising the settings and reading everyone’s tips.
I’ve been chatting about how my PLN developed without focusing on how to “Promote That Blog”. Having an online presence where you interact, comment on other’s blogs, tweet new posts, retweet great finds, share links, images, tools and quality information….that’s all good promotion.
It doesn’t have to be the explicit, in your face, shout it out from the rooftops kind of self promotion…for me it’s about staying safe online, feeling comfortable, being professional, making contributions, helping others and sharing information.
Would anyone be interested joining a Facebook Group to continue the conversation about using Facebook in education?
Let me know and I’ll start one up…
Thank you to the creators of Shabby Blogs for allowing me to use their images in this post.