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How to grow your professional learning network using social media

Education

How to grow your professional learning network using social media

Growth is easy if you take simple steps.

The idea of connecting with other educators, school leaders, and parents online is a great one. But figuring out where to start can be a challenge. Currently, about 80% of U.S. teachers are on social media and using it to become better at their profession. In an effort to make sure these teachers are making the most of their time, we wanted to put together a handy visual guide that will help you grow your professional learning network (PLN) using social media.

These tips and ideas are simple and there’s a big reason for that. Instead of giving you 50-100 different ways to use the social networks, we wanted to start small. Teachers have basically no time to learn 100 different ways to use Twitter so why not instead offer our best tips in one simple-to-use visual.

The below visual offers 1-2 different ways to grow your PLN by connecting with other educators as well as digital publishers. In other words, it’s important to enhance your PLN by talking to more than just teachers. For example, you might discover an all-new video style that you really like and would love to use in your classroom. This may not have been found by just chatting on Twitter with fellow teachers. Instead, you can go on YouTube, discover new videos, and then message with the creator of the video. Let them know you’re a teacher and love their video – see where the conversation leads. I’ve done this a few times and it always ends up somewhere tremendous. The video creator loves hearing from a fan and will offer you tips on how to make your own video that is similar. What’s better than that?

There are a boatload of ways to use social media to enhance your learning network, of course. This guide isn’t exhaustive and is instead mean to be a jumping-off point where you identify a social network you’re currently using or not yet on – then take the time to see if it can help grow your learning network in new ways.

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How to grow your professional learning network using social media

Here’s a goal: pick one of the social networks below that you’re not currently on. Create an account and give it a couple weeks. Use it regularly. Make an effort to connect with others and share your thoughts, pictures, etc. You never know what might happen. Worst case scenario? You made a few new connections you might not have normally made. Good luck!

learning network social media

Thumbnail credit: Alan Reeves via Flickr cc

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it's not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.

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