Honestly, I would never really categorize myself as someone who is wary of technology. I am a part of a generation that grew up with technology as a part of my education, and I embrace technology every day. Despite that, certain “buzzwords” always intimidate me slightly and seem to catch me off guard. This is why, when given the task of creating my own Personal Learning Network (PLN for short, don’t ya know), a tiny, internal part of me rolled my eyes and rejected the idea. To me, talking about your “Personal Learning Network” was akin to how people sound when they talk about the importance of “networking” and fibbing to beef up your resume. Maybe that was just because all of those ideas are a bit foreign to me. However, the fact of the matter is that what I was expecting vs. what I actually came away with were completely different, and I couldn’t be happier for that.
The first step I took was googling, verbatim, “good people to follow on twitter for education.” No, not my most eloquent search. I was pleasantly surprised to find a full page of promising articles at my disposal, though. Not only were these articles (or listicles, rather) very helpful, but they were also good sources themselves. I found that most of the webpages I visited had their own Twitter accounts. After visiting their Twitter accounts, I was often recommended people to follow based on who I have already followed. There are two important things I have learned from this:
- The internet and social media platforms are built to help you and can be a great source for a purpose like this. Having similar recommendations and such to help you along with your search is extremely useful and cuts down on time.
- On Twitter, a good bio will definitely help you convey who you are and what you’re using the platform for. It will most likely also help you gain followers with similar interests. I followed a good number of people by merely hovering over their bio to see if we had similar interests. As someone who hasn’t updated their bio yet, it’s definitely something to keep in mind!
Overall, my entire view of what a Personal Learning Network is has changed immensely just by going out and exploring what there is to learn. I think collaboration is one of the most important parts of learning, and what better what to do so than through social media? I’m so glad I’ve had this opportunity to see PLNs in a different light, and I’m very excited to continue to grow mine with the help of like-minded people!
PCC: Jurgen Appelo