Building my Personal Learning Network PLN Part 1

#edtech #edchat I have been hearing the ideas about building your own PLN for the past year and even though I have most of the parts already in place, I think that it is high time for me to get serious about doing it up right.

Step 1: Understand exactly what a PLN is.

A PLN or Personal Learning Network is really a collection of online and offline resources that you will use on a usual basis to make you better at whatever you do. Since I am a tech teacher, my PLN will be resources that will make me a better tech teacher.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Step 2: Start with Twitter.

I don't know why I started with Twitter, but to me making room in my hectic schedule to read 140 characters is a lot easier that finding time to read a book on edtech.

I have had a twitter account for years, but if you don't have one, or you have no idea what twitter is, a good place to start is the video below. When I searched Atomic Learning I found 57 video tutorials about Twitter -- so you have no excuse not to set up a Twitter account.

Once you have Twitter you now need some people to follow. After using the search function for edtech and school technology to find some people to follow, I clicked the follow link on the people I liked and thought could help build my PLN. If you want to see who I am following, just click the link below.

Brad Flickinger's Twitter Account

The next thing I did was to set up some twitter searches for the hashtags (#) that people from my list where using as a sort of keyword for subjects that might help me as well. I found these hashtags to follow on Twitter.

  • #edtech
  • #edchat
  • #elearning
  • #elemchat

Now I can follow Tweats about these subjects for my PLN without following individual people. Following these hashtags really gives me a "feel" for what is happening in the world of edtech -- this keeps me up-to-date. I use a program called TweetDeck to keep it all straight on my laptop. For example, right now while writing this blog post; Twitter is buzzing about tablet computers and teaching -- cool!

Already now that I am a little more organized, I feel like my PLN is starting to look better. The last thing I did was to schedule a little time three times a week to check in on Twitter and see what is happening. I feel smarter already.

Check out Part 2 in a few days.

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