collaboration, PLN

What My PLN Has Done for Me

I have always considered myself a bit of a techy geek, a badge I wear with pride; I may not look it, but I love technology and computers.  My school has a couple of people like me and we meet in secret; sharing sites and ideas for how we can make our classrooms more technology friendly.  And yet, Twitter escaped me.  Sure, I had an account, but no desire to follow celebrities or wannabe celebrities in their daily doings.  So last Friday, I was following 15 people on Twitter, had 4 followers myself which included my husband and two of my brothers (who the 4th one was I have no idea) and I had used Twitter as a status update tool.

Last Friday, my world moved a little bit:  One tweet came across my computer that mentioned PLN, not knowing what this meant I clicked on the link to the article and was brought to @shellterell’s twitter account.  I scanned her tweets and clicked to follow her; the rest they say is history.  In 9 days, this is what learning about a PLN has done for me:

  • I now follow more than 100 educators, bloggers, techies from all around the world and daily add more valuable people .
  • These fantastic people have invited me to join in the The Educator’s PLN where I have established contact with even more educators and resources.
  • I have started my own blog, not just doing a classroom blog anymore, and through that have been challenged to think about my teaching and which direction I want to go.
  • Strangers have complimented me on things I post and encouraged me to keep blogging.
  • I have been introduced to phenomenal free tools such as Voki, WallWisher, Wordia, Glogster, Prezi, and Mouse Mischief
  • I have set up a student blog via KidBlog for next year and have designed lessons for the students to blog about.  No one does this at my school.
  • I have discovered blogs to follow who do the research, try out new technology, come up with incredible lesson plans for me amongst many other things.
  • I have changed my Master’s Degree to Technology Instruction – no joke.
  • I have forwarded blogs and articles on to my principal, PTO, Professional Development Coordinator for our district, and fellow teachers hoping to inspire them as much as I have been.
  • I have made tentative plans to go to my first technology conference, ISTE 2011.
  • I have out-geeked my husband for the first in our 10 years together.
  • Most importantly though; I have become energized about teaching!  I am not alone and nor should I be.  Reach out and there are people who will learn with you, teach with you, and go with you on your journey.  I can’t wait to start the school year and create PLN’s for my students.

In the last 9 days, I have discovered that there is a whole world out there waiting to join me on this crazy teaching ride and they all have the time to talk.  I cannot hide behind the excuse of not having time to collaborate anymore now that I can do it in a matter of 10 minutes of skimming the tweets from my PLN.
All I can say is; this is what 9 days with a PLN did for one teacher in a district, imagine a year with 10 teachers or 100 teachers.  Where will it take us all?

6 thoughts on “What My PLN Has Done for Me”

  1. Welcome to Twitter! You'll be amazed at how much you learn from your PLN and how many resources will be available to you. At times it may almost overwhelm you. Be sure to have a good social bookmarking site set up to save those resources for when you need them. At the same time, through that social bookmarking site, you'll be able to share the resources with others. Happy tweeting!

  2. Great story – I have a similar one – having participated in the School Library Association PLN program this past 9 weeks. My PLN has increased exponentially – Twitter and Blogs being the most amazing tools. The energy from other people is contagious.The PLN process has been blogged at ccoffa.edublogs.org

  3. Mrs. Ripp, Welcome to your new twitter world and the PLN that has energized you and your teaching. "What my PLN has done for Me" will be a starting point for many other teachers. Thank you for sharing your twitter experience with the world. I celebrate with you and your PLN that continues to add value to you and your teaching. The BIGGEST winners: your precious students for years to come.

  4. Welcome! I can totally sense that you just got a breath of fresh air! I joined Twitter a little over 1 year ago and my outlook on education has been boosted so much! My husband and I attended parts of #iste10 and met so many of our great Twitter/education friends. Be prepared to be challenged and to grow. I can tell that is already happening!@MrsBMG

  5. I am glad that you've learning so much about PLNs in the last 9 days and that you've shared this with us. This is the spirit of PLNs. I use a similar term called learnstreaming – publishing your learning activities online for the benefit of you and others. Here's a link if you're interested: Learnstreaming.com Good luck with your journey!

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