I wasn’t a technology enthusiast. I wasn’t even on FB. I just wanted to blog for my classes.
While doing it, I started my journey in the cyber world. I didn’t know anything about twitter nor PLNs. I learned twitter is a wonderful arena for sharing links, knowledge and starting collaborations. I met wonderful educators who followed me back and retweeted when I said something useful. I couldn’t even believe my eyes when I saw myselef in Shelly Terrell’s follow friday list after my first month. Everything was so new and challenging.
Then I realised how she encouraged me to contribute to the twitter. I got amazed how she continued enthusing other teachers or educators in her PLN. Whenever she retweeted a post of mine with her smile on her photo, I said to myself I had to continue. This is something like she wrote in her goal #29.Yes, We run better when we have friends with us.
However, she was not alone. There were others who were helping me when I needed and I’m trying to do the same when somebody says something. I retweet. That’s why I love RTing.
I met teacher’s like Arjana Blazic who started a project and my students contributed to her award winning wiki. This was my first global contribution. What she was doing inspired me and I started a wiki project for my classes where I would add my students’ glogs, animotos. It was then Alexandra Francisco left a comment on my class blog and said she liked what I had done with my students and she suggested having a skype conversation with our classes. An other great idea from a colleague living far from me…..
We just opened our classroom door to other ideas. My friends, Alexandra Fransisco and Arjana Blazic joined my wiki project and my class project became something global. It was an other act to move one step further.
After our skype conversation we decided to continue collaborating and now we started an other wiki project for celebrations.We are working on it now and when I tweeted about it, two of my friends from twitter joined us. I’m sure we will grow bigger soon.
Here in the virtual world, educators help, support, motivate, enthuse each other and they like collaborating with each other. It’s different than the staffroom. We all know that staffroom atmosphere is different. Although we have to work in teams, we rarely do it. We find something to criticise each other.
However, having a PLN is a priviledge. I don’t know whether it would be like this when we all worked in the same big school. Would we continue to support each other as we are doing it here? I want to believe that we would do but anyway, at the moment I’m just enjoying the comfort of having a PLN.
A PLN is a great resource for teachers. I learn so much from mine. I also try to get more teachers involved in a PLN and I am running a professional development session on it next week.
For more information on getting started with Personal Learning Network: http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/2009/11/creating-personal-learning-network-pln.html
You are so right! In the staff room it is different. I am surprised if I get to see most of my colleagues weekly because we are so caught up with what we are doing. However, I talk with my PLN daily and they give me exactly what I need when I need it. Sometimes, they provide me with valuable resources and other times they provide me with a listening ear and support. Thank you for being part of my PLN.
It is an amazing privilege that never ceases to fill me with wonder. I have had the same experience with Shelly and her generosity and wisdom.
It is different from the faculty room because we come together by choice to share and grow together. I am not as tired on Twitter as I am over a grabbed cup of coffee between classes. I am there to learn and to change. With the teachers down the hall, it always feels more about survival and less about growth, something that is too bad, but makes me all the more grateful for my PLN.
I’m new to the idea of a virtual pln, but the journey has been amazing. I’m inspired everyday by the collaboration, ideas, and classroom projects educators develop and share. I hope this is just the beginning of my story and it takes on a new life of its own, just like your story. I couldn’t do this without the encouragement of others like Shelly.
I agree! I think it’s being able to find people who share more than just an employer; you can find individuals with a very similar professional focus and outlook in life. A great advantage over the staffroom is our asychronicity, being able to drop by a few hours or days later and still communicate meaningfully. That said, I do think that face to face communication has more dimensions and being online has taught me to appreciate and value them more.
The only downside of our PLN communications that I see is that you have to limit yourself, because there are no natural limits to our connectivity. Surfing is addictive. I personally do find I have to watch out a little.
Have a lovely day,
Great post Eva! 🙂
You are so right about the teachers in our own staff rooms. At my school, I feel like it’s a battle to get anyone to join me, most of my colleagues always say they don’t have the time nor the skills. So thank good for PLNs! 🙂
It’s amazing, and strange at the same time, how connected I am to people I have never met F2F, but with whom I share resources almost on a daily basis, people who cheer me on and encourage me to do better, to be a better teacher. People like you, my dearest Eva. Thank you, for being a member of my PLN.
Thank you for dropping by and your nice comments. I really feel great that I’m part of your PLNs and you are part of my PLN. I enjoy the wonderful privilidge of it every day.
Such a great explanation of the importance of PLN.It is so important and I totally agree with you about the amazing power of twitter and their PLN at there..You,Shell Terrell,Burcu Akyol,Ken Wilson and many others amazing educators gave us to learning new things about teaching and like a computer programs we can update our knowledge about teaching..
I sincerely thank all of you and I wanna thank you for great explanation,Eva.Bye..
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I have been “online” for quite some time and I am now just discovering how to use twitter. I have within a day discovered an amazing array of resources, just by searching for teaching english, and following a few people.
It is nice to hear your success story with twitter. Thank you for the article and encouragement!