Power of the PLN

I love my job as the Director of Technology at the International School of Stavanger in Norway. I love the day to day interaction with teachers and students. I love working with the admin team.

I also love the network of #edtech people that I get to “work with” around the world. It’s my PLN, my “people” that I can connect with around the world that are so fantastic! Part of my personality just loves meeting new people and my PLN allows me to do that frequently. My wife, who has recently returned to Twitter after a little “time apart”, said to me the other day, “I can see why you are not on Facebook anymore, there is so much to learn on Twitter!” I smiled deeply inside and out. She’s finding her “people” again in the art world and is singing the praises of Twitter and Pinterest.

Documenting my PLN (a task we are assigned to do in this course) is both easy and hard at the same time. Twitter has been a part of my PLN for a long time. In fact I’d say that the #coetail hashtag is one that I use frequently. I used to tell myself that I had to tweet a certain number of times a week but now I just find that I naturally tweet things like this:

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It’s just a natural part of how I work and learn. That’s why it is hard to document. Being asked to document a part of your daily workflow is a little overwhelming. If you are in doubt about my PLN, just have a look at my Twitter account I guess!

I find that especially through the use of hashtags the conversation is sustained, two-way. Here’s just one example of a thought provoking set of tweets with someone I have never met (via Twitter) This “chat” was about the idea of removing explicitly taught tech skills from MS and HS curriculum, something I am interested to see how/if other schools are doing successfully.

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So there you have it, a little evidence that Twitter is a vital part of my PLN. So what is next for me? I’d like to be a part of a few more hosted, content-specific chats and I would like to be a little more vulnerable in my Tweets. So far I have kept things strictly work-related and I will mostly keep things that way, but I may experiment a bit with some personal/vulnerable tweets.

See you on my PLN!

3 thoughts on “Power of the PLN

  1. Hi David, how are things in Sweden? I would probably know more if I was following a #sweden twitter community! However, I am not a natural tweeter like you and I have to admit that I have not used my account much since I created it with you last year….Shame! Google+ communities and Edmodo have been useful to find my language people and build my PLN. But twitter was still in the back of my mind….So after asking my husband about his twitter use and opinion, I recently logged in again. Like your wife, I am finally seeing the incredible sources of information and learning that network has to offer. For example, I like photography and by following the writer William Dalrymple, I learnt about Karen Knorr and her amazing photographs of some India’s heritage sites in Rajasthan(we actually tried to buy one of her print, but prices were way out of our range!). Education, Technology, art, music, sciences…. twitter has it all. I guess I will try to prioritize my interests to avoid feeling too overwhelmed by it. And I will follow you, bien sur!

  2. Hi David!

    I really enjoyed reading your post, especially as this is one of the things that I’ve struggled most with. I find it hard to make the leap and make it a part of my normal work routine without taking away from something else that I’m doing. I really love the way it is so natural for you and the learning that accompanies your interactions through twitter is obvious. Additionally it seems like you are forming some helpful contacts.

    I especially liked your last paragraph about how you’d like to grow. The vulnerability piece is key–I’d rather not put something “out there” that I haven’t thoroughly thought through or edited, etc. And because of this, I see it as a time constraint–something I hope to get over moving forward.

  3. Hi David, After reading this post I really feel that I need to get going with twitter. I started using it (thank you Maureen for getting me started) however, I could not integrate it into my work or with my students effectively and over time I stopped. I would go and check out some stuff when I received it in my inbox but nothing beyond that. It seemed like an add on, extra and it was an effort to keep up. Now I have to go back and put some thought to it. I now also know that I could use your expertise with twitter.

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