Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Your very own Personal Learning Network

So with all of these social networks out there, you’re bound to hear the phrase Personal Learning Network. And maybe at first glance you think, “wait, ANOTHER network I need to join?”  - but no, this isn’t its own website like Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn – this is a group of people who help you on a professional level to learn various things. And in my experience, a majority of the interactions are online via social media sites. Although it’s a bonus if you get some face to face interaction!  

So how can YOU get yourself a Personal Learning Network? 

Get out there! Sign up for a Twitter account (it took me months to finally relent and stop thinking it was silly and who wanted to hear what I had to say!? ), create a Facebook page, and most importantly, INTERACT on them – the interaction is the key element to maintaining your PLN. 

But HOW do you do it? How do you manage the time to be on these sites and establish a relationship with fellow professionals? 

Well…there are several different ways to go about it – you can dedicate an hour or so to it each day – after all it *can* be considered work related since you *are* building your network professionally. Or, you could concentrate on it on your off hours at home. Whatever you do – if you create an account, and you realize that you can’t spend the time necessary to get out of it what you want, don’t be afraid to delete that account and try something else that you can handle and maintain – in my opinion there’s nothing worse than finding someone on Twitter to discover that their last tweet was 3 months ago – I mean really – why bother.

Once you’re online, work on creating a reputation for yourself – follow others – post articles relevant to your industry, and join in on chats (twitter is famous for their various chats, varying from readers advisory to author chats in the library field). And most of all – have FUN – you never know who you will meet and who you will teach and learn from! 

Here is a great article that goes a bit more into depth about PLNs if you want to take a peek

And this article talks about social media in schools - which is another spin on the PLN

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