Over the course of six weeks, I have truly changed my views about the efficacy of social media with teaching. I have connected with so many professionals from around the nation, and they are so humble with their level of expertise. But the fact that they are so willing to help like #Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) and #Shelly Rees (@appletastic5th) make being a connected educator a great and encouraging experience. They have so many free resources to help with my instructional practices, even with implementing technology. I feel confident with my skills to seek for help outside the classroom and not wait on others to personally provide me with professional development or learning. I can personalize my own needs with my own learning network.
No accomplishment is as rewarding as those, which posed the most challenges. The most difficult task for me throughout the whole ordeal with Twitter and my blog website was remaining private. I value my privacy, and as a teacher, I didn’t want to risk anymore scrutiny or negative publicity from the community although I trust that my actions online are always honest and respectful. The challenges that I expect moving forward will be finding time to expand my knowledge on maintaining my blog site as the school year gets busy with planning, collaborating, and grading not to mention furthering my education and being a parent to a toddler.
Finding a balance with connectivity will be an integral part of sustaining a successful PLN. As Vicki Davis advised in an interview with me that there is so much to learn and practice with technology, and I will have to find out what certain pieces will work for me. “It’s not the technology. It’s about building relationship.” She suggested focusing on a 1 to 3 things like Twitter, Facebook, or Google Classroom and spending 15 minutes a day reading, exploring, and playing with the content.
Therefore the next steps for me in growing my PLN I will:
- Transfer over to a more user friendly blogging, WordPress. Buy my domain. Transfer my information over.
- Participate in webinars and chat rooms about leadership, student blogging, and Twitter.
- Build my technology leadership and sharing my experiences on my website to help others learning from me.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “I am not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.”