A personal learning network is a great tool for all teachers to understand, have, and use. One of the main things I have been taught through all of my education classes is to be a lifelong learner. A personal learning network helps you do just that! It is important to look to others for advice, help, or ideas, a lot of times people who you normally would not be in contact with have some of the best ideas. This is why social media plays a huge part in developing a personal learning network.
Social media is almost essential in a PLN. Of course you could go to teachers and administrators in your school for sharing ideas, but social media pretty much opens up a whole other world for a personal learning network. It allows you to expand your PLN to people from across the country, even across the world. Someone in Germany may have an instructional strategy that would fit perfectly in your classroom, on the other hand your ideas could benefit a teacher in Alaska. Using social media in developing your PLN really expands the possibilities.
One of my favorite things from the “How to Cultivate Your Personal Learning Network” article was to always keep tuning your network. It is something I had not thought about before, but with how quickly society changes and how diverse our students are it is important that our resources be useful and accurate and work the best for us. You could initially agree with someone in you PLN but over the course of a year it is possible that one of your views have changed and no longer work well together. Another possibility is the way your student body changes and adapts. If you share ideas with a colleague and try their strategies in the classroom, but the students do not respond well it is important to look for other options. It is so important to constantly be adjusting your PLN to get the best results for you and for your students.
A personal learning network is a great tool that can have a significant impact on you as a teacher and your classroom. It is important to utilize you PLN to be a lifelong learner and to constantly grow as an educator. The best way to develop a PLN is to use social media to learn about ideas from others as well as sharing ideas of your own. A PLN is a tool all teachers should learn about and take advantage of.