Starting to Grow

This was a truly exciting week for me. My assignment for this week was to follow 100 people for my PLN. PLN stands for Personal Learning Network, a network of people you have found that share information you want to learn about. For me personally this would include educators and administrators from all points of education, from preschool up to high school. I think that one challenge throughout my professional career will be to keep up with the people I follow on Twitter, meaning to keep seeing if what they are posting is informative for me, helping me in some way, or new information that will help me grow. I think that contributing to your PLN is just as important as asking questions or researching for answers. Sharing your knowledge and experience will go a long way for others as well as establishing yourself as a trusted resource for others in your field to use. A good way to do that is to engage on Twitter, they have a lot of #’s to spark discussions and use different chats to communicate with people and for people to get the chance to see what others opinions are. Very cool to see these chats play out and watch the ideas become more fine-tuned.

Originally, I thought this would be a drag and take forever with little to no payout. So, I started researching and found that finding people was much easier than I had thought. Tom Whitby wrote several great articles about improving PLNs and had several resources for me to use right on his blog. I obviously followed him and from his article, “To Follow, or Not to Follow-That is the Question.” I found what he calls “My Twitter Stalwart List.” Oh my goodness, this list is chalk full of elementary educators, principles, superintendents, and founders of organizations focused on children learning and helping them get resources to learn. I was in heaven. I went through the users of that list and went crazy adding them, not expecting them to respond or want much to do much with a twitter account of an aspiring teacher.

I was so wrong, I didn’t look at my Twitter again until Wednesday and I had quite a few mentions from Twitter. I had people that I had added mention me in tweets and share one of my blog posts. I was seriously so excited. My post has now been shared on Twitter by the very professionals that I aspire to become after college, this assignment really opened my eyes about how excited current teachers are about new students coming up and sharing what they know with them and making the education area more effective and beneficial for everyone involved.

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12 thoughts on “Starting to Grow

  1. Mackenna,
    This blog is very well written. It’s very well organized and flows really well! I liked that you shared what you found difficult, and what you really found interesting. I’ve had a few Twitter accounts follow me back as well, and it’s very cool!! It makes me want to publish/tweet more stuff! Sounds like you got a great start on your PLN!

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog this week! I think it is awesome that some people in your PLN mentioned you in their tweets and shared your blog! It’s a good experience for us to see how excited current teachers get about future teachers moving up into their careers!

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  3. That is way cool that one of your blog posts had been mentioned! I too think that it is such an exciting journey finding people and experts in topics that you are interested in. It sounds like you are on a great path to creating a successful PLN! I am excited to see what else you will come up with!

    Haley

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  4. Mackenna,
    Discovering all about personal learning networks was way more helpful than i ever thought it would be too! But to me it sounds like you had an amazing outcome with people reaching back to you on both your Twitter and your blog! After I had followed people on twitter I then saw the next day that some had even followed back and I think that is so neat. For other professionals to follow people back is how this PLN is suppose to work. We create these networks to benefit one another and when we can follow and keep up to date with everyone it allows us to communicate and give advise and so much more! I hope you PLN continues to grow and change and better the more experienced you get. Best of luck with the rest of you media exploration!
    Take care!
    Bailey

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  5. This is so cool: “My post has now been shared on Twitter by the very professionals that I want to become after college.” I have two different Twitter accounts and it’s always exciting when one of my tweets is shared or when someone I deeply respect decides to follow me back. It’s funny when one of your very old tweets is still being passed around. Every once in a while I’ll get a notification that something I tweeted last fall is being sent back around. PLNs can eventually become like family. Over the years, some of your contacts will learn more about you, begin following your blog, and you may even meet up one day. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for sharing that! I think that being able to rely on people around the US and possibly world is such an amazing tool and will create such a great learning atmosphere in all kinds of classrooms.

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