Last week while reading through my Twitter feed, I learned that October is Connected Educator Month. If you read my post on Tuesday (or if you’ve had anything more than a casual conversation with me lately) you’ve probably heard me talk about all the things I’m learning through my PLN – my personal (or professional) learning network. Here in Mechanicsburg, when someone says “PLN” they are usually referring to the “Penn Literacy Network“, which has taught many of us the importance of integrating literacy across the curriculum. It wasn’t my intention to highjack that acronym, but I didn’t make this one up. In our conversations, we’ll have to allow the two PLNs to coexist and use the context clues to figure out which one we’re talking about.
Personal learning networks are one of the ways that educators (and others) can continue to learn and grow throughout their careers. We’ve always had conversations in faculty rooms and standing in the hallways after school, but today’s PLNs take advantage of digital tools, which allow us to connect with like-minded (or not so like-minded) people from all around the globe.
If you’re interested in growing your own PLN, here are a few helpful resources. This one, which I found via @AdamBellow on Twitter, does a nice job of summarizing Connected Educators Month and how it works. It features a short video of some education leaders talking about the value they find in being connected. You could also read this article, which features a video by Skip Via telling about how he created and manages his PLN. The video is a few years old, so a few of the tools he mentions are no longer available, but there are plenty of others that have taken their place.
There are lots of ways to become connected and build your PLN. Where will you start?