Friday, July 25, 2014

What would I do without my PLN?

This is, by no means, a rhetorical question.  I must admit that I rely on my PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network) nearly every day.  Sometimes it's for a serious question- How would you handle this situation?  Sometimes it's for a laugh- Anyone know someone who has hilarious "auto corrects"?

But seriously, my PLN is my source for so many answers, thought provoking questions, sharing, and fun.  I love to learn but sitting in a classroom, listening to a professor lecture, reading "last year's thoughts", having shallow discussions with classmates, and writing papers that seemed more like regurgitated information really weren't getting it done for me.  Then, thanks to @chris_reuter and his introduction to Twitter, my world of learning opened up in a big way.  It started small, with following a few educators and following a Twitter chat or two, and now it's a big deal for me.

My social media PLN, people I have connected with on both Twitter and Voxer, has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, stretched my thoughts and beliefs on education, and provided suggestions for improving my educational practices and the educational practices of those with whom I work.  Because of Twitter, our school has done a book chat for Teach Like a Pirate written by Dave Burgess, celebrated #eduwins, and developed an #edcamp style professional development afternoon for staff.  My PLN helps me to become a better principal and lead learner each and every day.

My PLN validates me, challenges me, makes me laugh, makes me cry, and ultimately makes me a better person.  Before connecting on social media and developing a PLN with so many great educators and leaders, I was a loner, afloat in an ocean with little direction except for that provided by the waves that moved me in a variety of directions.  With my PLN, I have a rudder, paddles, and a direction.

What would I do without my PLN?  I'd still be drifting aimlessly, searching for a direction.  Thanks to those of you in my PLN for accepting me for who I am, for molding me each and every day, and for sharing your wonderful thoughts and ideas.

Blogs from my PLN about this topic.
Amber Teamann
Tony Sinanis