Monday, July 25, 2016

3 Steps for Improving my PLN

This week’s readings in What Connected Educators Do Differently by Whitaker, focused on building relationships, modeling the way, and knowing when to unplug.  As my participation grows on Twitter and on my personal blog site, I am more aware of the behaviors of every educator, administrator, instructional coach, and technology leader in my personal learning network.  Through them, I am making connections with many traits described by Whitaker, Zoul, and Casas.  
Three areas that I am working on are:
1. Building relationships with my learning network.  
Building and maintaining trust with all of my followers online and in real life will be a crucial factor in growing my personal learning network.  I noticed that when I retweet about other’s work on Twitter or write about their work on my personal blog, they are very kind to tweet the link to my posts or send me a personal email thanking me.  This makes me feel good about what I am doing, and this also grabs the attention of new followers, too.  I am noticing that genuine followers look to follow those who display trustworthiness.
For fun, I followed the advice from Whitaker, et al. and took a free quiz on TrustedAdvisor to determine the level of my trustworthiness.  I definitely need to practice public speaking in front of strangers.  I fear that I am wasting people’s time by showing them what they already know or not meeting their needs.  I am feeling more confident with my PLN.
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2.) Making a commitment to promoting and advocating student learning through social media such as Twitter, YouTube, and blogging.
I am loving the efficacy of Twitter, YouTube, and blogging.  I am helping my colleague building a blog website to promote her writing curriculum and her own learning network.  Once all the pages with her curriculum is ¼ completed, I will link her site to my resource page and blog roll.  Most importantly, I am currently setting up a framework for building a Kid’s Tech Club after school to provide support to other teachers and other students with homework.  I have already gotten an approval from the principal to compensate teachers for helping me with this vision.  I will be utilizing hashtags, YouTube, and a blog site to facilitate my Kid’s Tech Club.  I hope that other professionals will follow in my lead for the sake of a relevant and meaningful education for the students everywhere.
3.) Taking risks by presenting Twitter and blogging practices at staff meetings and personally to any colleagues.

I feel confident enough with my skills and knowledge to introduce and guide my colleagues to join a new form of professional learning to improve their lives.  I will have enough resources to reach out for help if more assistance is needed to support the use of Twitter and blogging.  I believe that my colleagues and administrators will be impressed with the wealth of information and help available on Twitter.
To ensure that my PLN is purposeful, I need to continuously work on strengthening my relationships with my followers and integrate their ideas and resources into my professional practices. They are also learning from me as well and I am from them.

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