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Welcome to second step in our free professional learning series on building your PLN.

In the first step, we unpacked the definition of a PLN and looked at the benefits of being a connected educator.

You may now be wondering how to begin building your own PLN.

The aim of this step is to:

  1. Offer an overview of how to build a PLN
  2. Provide a snapshot of some tools educators use to connect with their PLN
  3. Share tips for connecting with educators from around the globe
  4. Discuss barriers to building a PLN

The Networked Teacher

Around a decade ago, Alec Couros created two diagrams that have been shared thousands of times.

This first diagram demonstrates how a teacher would traditionally connect and learn.

Image by Alec Couros, CC CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This diagram of “The Networked Teacher” demonstrates just some of the ways that educators can connect now that technology is at their fingertips. Note, the “old” ways of connecting are still there.

The Networked Teacher diagram by Alec Couros showing the different media that educators can connect with -- blogs, social bookmarking, chat etc.
Image by Alec Couros (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Alec’s brother George reminds us that the arrows go back and forth and it’s not only about what you consume but what you create. You can give as well as receive.

What Tools Are Used?

Teachers from all over the globe are online and learning together, but where exactly do you find these teachers and develop working relationships with them?

In a 2016 study called “Together we are better: Professional Learning Networks For Teachers”, K-12 teachers were asked how they use PLNs.

The most popular tool in the sample was Twitter with 53% of participants indicating that they used this tool to connect with others.

Other popular tools listed in the survey included blogs, Edmodo, Facebook, Discovery Education Network, and Pinterest.

84% of survey participants indicated that they use more than one medium or site.

How Are Teachers Connecting On Online Platforms?

Teachers use social media and other online spaces in a variety of ways to connect with their PLN.

Here are ten examples:

  1. Twitter — Educators follow people they’re interested in, ranging from “thought leaders” to everyday teachers in a similar subject area or age group. Teachers also use hashtags to follow topics of interest, and join Twitter chats to discuss ideas in real time. Be sure to follow Edublogs and CampusPress on Twitter. The next step in this series will explain how to start using Twitter.
  2. Facebook — Educators follow pages and profiles of people and businesses involved in education. They also join Facebook groups to post questions, ask for feedback, and respond to others. Visit our Edublogs Facebook page and Facebook for Education to start learning something new.
  3. Instagram — You can follow educators to get new ideas for lessons, activities, learning spaces and more. Hashtags make it easy to search for topics you’re interested in. Check out Tony Vincent’s Guide to Instagram For Teachers.
  4. Pinterest — Pinterest is ultimately a ‘discovery engine’ and is becoming a go-to for many educators looking for fresh ideas, resources, and connections. Be sure to follow Edublogs on Pinterest!
  5. Blogs — Blogs play an important role in most educators’ PLNs. This might include reading blogs from a variety of different people or writing your own blog. Visit Step Five of this series for more information.
  6. Email newsletters — There might be an educator, thought leader, or blogger who you really enjoy following. Chances are, they have an email newsletter that you can subscribe to for free to have curated news and contented delivered straight to inbox!
  7. Voxer — This walkie-talkie like tool can be used as an app on your mobile device or on your computer. Educators can engage in both synchronous and asynchronous conversations about their professional practice. Learn more in this article on Voxer by Amy Heavin.
  8. YouTube — Video is a powerful medium. Many teachers enjoy following a selection of YouTube channels to keep up to date with a variety of topics. Check out Kasey Bell’s 20 YouTube Channels for Educators to find some channels that might interest you.
  9. LinkedIn — Considered a “professional” social networking platform, educators can connect with a large community of professionals on LinkedIn. Explore this collection of 25 LinkedIn groups for networking teachers via Fractus Learning.

Feel free to share this graphic on your blog or with your colleagues.

Popular ways educators are learning with their PLN Edublogs Teacher Challenge

Tips For Developing Relationships

PLNs are all about relationships! Here are a few tips to consider as you begin to build your PLN.

  1. Invest some time in building your PLN. Set aside even 15 or 20 minutes a day and you’ll build momentum in no time.
  2. PLNs work both ways. Remember, the more you share, the more you’ll find you receive in return.
  3. Try different tools. There are so many different forms of social media, online tools, and ways to connect. Dip your toes in and see how educators are using various tools.
  4. Find tools that work best for you. While it’s definitely worth giving things a try, not every platform is for everyone. Choose to dedicate time to the tools you enjoy and find the most rewarding.
  5. Follow up with people. If someone connects with you whether it’s through a tweet, blog comment, Facebook group, or any platform, thank them, ask a question, and get to know them. These are the building blocks of forming a relationship.
  6. Ask for help. If you find someone who already has a number of connections (on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or wherever) ask them to introduce you to others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re figuring out how various platforms work either.
  7. Curate wisely. If you want to share interesting resources with people in your PLN, make sure you read beyond a headline and share things you think will be truly useful.
  8. Diversify. Try to connect with people with diverse opinions and points of view. It’s easy for “birds of a feather to flock together”, however, sometimes there is more to gain from communicating with a range of people from different backgrounds.
  9. Involve your students. Once you get to know a few educators, you might start to think about ways you can connect your students. Check out our Edublogger’s Guide To Global Collaboration for lots of ideas.
  10. Spread the word. As you begin to explore PLNs and online communities, share this information with others in your school or district. Maybe they don’t realize this wonderful virtual opportunity exists!

Barriers To Creating A PLN

In our first step, we looked at many of the advantages of building a PLN. If the benefits of being a connected educator are clear, what holds so many teachers back from building their own PLN?

Perhaps the first obstacle is that many teachers simply don’t know about PLNs. They don’t know there are thousands of educators from around the world who are online connecting, collaborating, and learning together.

Furthermore, Tom Whitby has outlined three deterrents to educators using PLNs as a tool for ongoing learning.

The PLN is a mindset, not the outcome of a workshop or the PD offered annually by many school districts. It is not a one-shot fix.

Teachers have learned through the “sit and get” model for generations. This mindset shift where you need to realize that you are responsible for your own learning and you can take control can be difficult to adapt to.

Additionally, prioritizing the investment in time that building a PLN requires would certainly be an obstacle for some. Step seven in this series offers some tips on finding time to invest in your PLN.

Successful users of PLNs overwhelm the uninitiated with techno-babble.

Hopefully, the future steps in this course can break down any overwhelming “techno-babble”.

You will probably find that many teachers who are regular uses of online technologies proclaim that they are “not very tech savvy”. Even George Couros who has a Twitter following of 224,000+ has said, “I’m not that good with technology and you probably aren’t either“.

It requires, at least at first, digital literacy beyond a Google search.

It is certainly essential that educators develop their digital literacy. As Silvia Tolisano has pointed out, our notion of what it means to be literate or illustrate calls for an update. 

... merely reading and writing in text form and on analog platforms is simply not enough to call yourself literate. The skills and abilities MUST include reading and writing in various media forms and on multiple platforms INCLUDING digital spaces. We can’t continue to differentiate between our analog and digital world. We live in ONE world after all.

If you feel like you need to improve your own digital literacy skills, don’t despair! You don’t need to learn everything before you embark on building your PLN. We will provide you with the essential tips and skills throughout this course and you can learn as you go.

If you feel like your skills need updating in other areas, such as blogging and online tools, we have other free courses you can work through at your own pace too.

Conclusion

Becoming a connected educator is something that takes work but has enormous advantages for both you and your students. In fact, many educators would say that it’s an essential responsibility of teachers to connect and commit to lifelong learning.

As George Couros has said, “Isolation is now a choice educators make“.

There are so many ways to free yourself from isolation. The following steps in this series breaks down three powerful avenues to becoming a connected educator — Twitter, blogs, and content curation.

Your Task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation on building your own PLN by undertaking one or more of the following challenges:

  1. Preferences: We all enjoy connecting in different ways. Write a post or comment on this post about how you plan to connect with other educators. What sites or tools do you think you’d prefer to use to make connections. Why?
  2. Relationship tips: Revise our list of tips for developing working relationships with other educators. What resonates most with you? Do you have any ideas to add? Tell us in a comment.
  3. Barriers: We have identified some common barriers to building a PLN. Leave a comment and tell us what the biggest barrier has been for you (or others you know). Share your thoughts on how this obstacle can be overcome.

Also feel free to leave a comment to ask any questions or share your tips.

How to leave a comment: Scroll down to find the comment box. Write your comment, then enter your name and email address (email addresses are not published). Enter the anti-spam word. Press submit and we will moderate your comment ASAP.

235 Comments

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  1. I enjoy connecting with others in various ways. I plan on using Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter to collaborate, create, communicate, share and curate content for teaching, and learning. I believe that one should never stop learning and PLNs allow me to carry out my beliefs.

    • Pshantel DeanMcGruder
  2. I sometimes connect with other educators via email. I recently connected with @Flipgrid via Twitter at the start of the pandemic. It was me wanting to keep up with the most current information about Flipgrid. It has been beneficial to my growth as an educator. With that said, I will build on connecting and following more educators using Twitter. Another way I will connect with other educators is through edublog. Blogging will allow me to connect with other educators on a deeper level.

  3. Time is still my biggest barrier, however, leveraging the time I am given by completing this work through my ISTE certification process, I think I can get a clear and deep understanding and purpose tailored specifically to my needs/strengths/interests today and organize myself in a way that provides easier access via mobile devices that I have been neglecting due to a need to clean out more storage space. By increasing the availability and ease of my access, I will be able to maintain a stronger commitment to investing in PLCs I discover are uniquely tailored and supportive of again, current needs/strengths/interests at this time. Have that more narrowly focused and intentional purpose starting out, in spaces specifically addressing and collaborating on these areas together, I hope to find more meaning, greater expression, and more purposeful time dedicated to improving outcomes personally and professionally.

    • Danae Peterson
  4. As a future educator I believe its important to always be open to grow and develop to become a better educator. I plan to connect with other educators firstly within my own physical classrooms that I observe. Investing time to stay connected is what I feel I’d like to plan to strengthen. The initial connection is easier but to further stay connect by keeping in touch within email newsletters and sharing information that I find help or each week just circulating with a group of teachers to share their tips or helpful resources. I feel like it will help build those connections for teachers I come into contact with in the physical world and I can build conversations around our weekly newsletter.

    Some barriers may be some educators automatically writing off PLNs because of the technological aspect of connecting. But, PLN as explain in this step is really a mindset that can be incorporated in a personal way to help better connect educators in a number of spaces.

  5. I am curious to see how educators use twitter for useful information. I have never used twitter and have never been interested in making one but if it is the most popular way educators connect I might see what all the hype is about and make a professional twitter. I have a Pinterest account but use it only for DIY ideas. I will probably make another Pinterest account for education. As far as blogs go, I am familiar with reddit, and used to have a tumblr back in high school, I would definitely make a reddit account for education.

    • Jessica Loehr
  6. The truth is I have not used twitter in many years. But seeing as it can be a useful PLN tool I plan to try and utilize it much more as an educator. One of the biggest barriers right now has been COVID-19 of course. But while reading this, I realized that not being able to see other people does not have to be a barrier when connecting with others. There are so many ways to connect out there.

  7. I will have to look into Twitter as a tool to connect and build my PLN. I have an account but have not used it too much and I am curious how Twitter is the most popular resource amongst teachers. My go-to tool is Pinterest, that is where I find so many tips and ideas from educators all around the world. I also use Facebook and I think that would be one of my main tools because I have the most experience with it.

    • Rebecca Pierce
  8. I would use try to use accounts like pinterest, youtube, or credible blogs, podcasts. I think that it is important to build relationships with my VCU classmates because they will be my colleagues in the future and it would be nice to keep in touch with them to bounce ideas for content. A barrier for me is using a personal account like Facebook. I am extremely private; and I think that teachers need to be very careful about what they choose to post on social media because they are held to such a high standard.

    • Kathryn Clemons
  9. During this step I realized that the educator platforms were a bit whitewashed. When I looked up teachers, the search results were mainly white, straight women. Diversity is very important to me and I was surprised at how much time it took to find POC, LGBTQ+, and male teachers. Once I found these accounts, it was easier to find more accounts that focused on inclusivity. This is not saying that the accounts I found first didn’t post about inclusivity, but it wasn’t a main focus, or it was sugar coated in a way. For example, they would post things like “Be kind to everyone.” vs. other accounts that would directly address racism or classism in the education system.

  10. Twitter has been my go-to social media platform to keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments. I am currently in school to become an elementary education teacher and have yet to use Twitter to follow other experts’ work in education. I now plan to use Twitter to connect with other educators. Another social media platform I also believe would be a beneficial tool to connect with other educators is Reddit. Reddit is a social news platform that allows users to discuss and vote on content that other users have submitted. I have looked, and there is a subreddit for teaching and education. I am eager to look into this!

    • Rebecca Campbell
  11. I think both instagram, and youtube are avenues I would absolutely use to help connect with other educators. One thing I love about both is that you’re not limited to a certain area or demopraphic, you can find anyone anywhere and connect in a more visual way. Using an instagram you can connect with so many people through social media and for educators who have a teaching account, it’s great to bounce ideas off of them, share your own ideas in your own teaching account, and either spread and share your own knowledge or take inspiration from someone else! Same with youtube, it can be used as an incredible platform for sharing and testing ideas and collaborating with people all around in a very direct and visual way.

  12. I prefer to use Instagram and/or Youtube. Instagram is a popular platform already and I personally know some teachers that use this platform to promote their program or class experiences. I know band and choral teachers that use this platform. Youtube is popular and there are some good videos out there for educators to watch. Lesson ideas, funny videos about a certain topic, fun games, Youtube has everything you need. If I had to choose, I would probably say Instagram. I check Instagram more than Youtube, and I know educators who have Instagrams, so easy connections.

    • Isaiah Alexander
  13. I believe I will use Twitter and Pinterest to connect to other educators. Twitter, because it is a very popular social media site that many use that will get me instantly in touch with thousands of educators. Pinterest, because it is a place where I have found lesson ideas there in the past and I have found it to be pretty reliable

  14. I prefer to connect with educators through social media platforms, specifically Instagram. It’s convenient for me to follow people and access specific information using hashtags. I also use YouTube. However, I only use it to observe different classrooms and teaching styles. I can start to comment and ask questions to really engage in the information presented.

    • Tarana Tavangar
  15. I think that a big barrier to the PLN online is being a young educator (or a pre-service educator – me right now!!), so I will be an observer of content for what feels like a little while. The barrier is it might be easy to feel inexperienced and like there isn’t as much to share on the new end, but also that isn’t true because there’s plenty of other young educators right alongside you!

  16. I have an unofficial PLN on a twitter I don’t use anymore where I had followed a number of local educators, along with a ton of other accounts. I think that I would likely use twitter again, with a dedicated PLN focus to avoid the noise that comes up with other accounts. I have recently started looking through a few curated blogs for pedagogy and lesson plans. My favorite is the Zinn Education project, which provides social history lenses and lesson plans. On Instagram I follow a number of historians and grassroots reporters as a way to inform my day to day understanding of the world and developments in scholarly history. I also follow a number of local pages that look at how to teach as an activist. This article has shown me I should find more educators to follow as well. 

  17. This section emphasized the time and effort required to make a good and helpful PLN. It said a starting point would be to invest 15-20 minutes daily. I tried to spend 15 minutes a day for three days in a row looking at different social media platforms. I looked at twitter, instagram, and pinterest. There were so many resources that came flooding in! It would have taken much longer than 15 minutes to actually invest some time into looking into each source to determine if it would be a helpful source for you. One of my favourite resources I found was a page on instagram titled “papach_phys_ed.” It was a teacher who posted fitness games, fitness circuits, fitness challenges, and health questions. This was a high school phys ed teacher who started using instagram as a resource to still offer physical education to his students during the pandemic.

    • Morgan Hanley
  18. I personally like connecting with other educators through social media platforms. When it comes to people in my own school or immediately around me, we often exchange social media information and cell phone numbers to stay in touch. This also applies to Facebook groups that are typically geared towards teachers in local school districts. When it comes to more professional ideas and development, I think massive online sharing websites (Google Drive, etc.) are a great way for educators to discuss, compare, and collaborate on their resources.

    • claraweingarth
  19. I use Facebook and Instagram fairly regularly as a part of my PLN, but I am primarily a consumer, I don’t always contribute or create much content. The biggest barriers for me are time and the already generally overwhelmed feeling one has in their first few years of teaching. When it comes to building a PLN I can’t help but immediately think, “great… something else to worry about keeping up with”. This mindset has prevented me from being consistent. I go through weeks, occasionally even months, when I feel I am staying very engaged and involved; then things get busy at school or at home and my PLN gets shoved way down on my list of priorities for a time. The first tip listed in developing relationships is to invest the time; while it may only take 15-20 minutes each day, what happens on those days that I feel like I can’t possibly be pulled in one more direction for even one more minute? And how can I keep that from snowballing into a few days or even weeks without that 15-20 minute check-in?

  20. After reading about the barriers, the biggest one that stood out to me that I felt as if I had a difficult time doing is really getting out of that mindset of the sit and get and knowing how to explore and reach other educators. This also plays into the barrier of figuring out how and when to invest in your PLN as we all know there is not always enough time in a day!

  21. Currently, I use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to make connections. Each site is very easy to use, however, I prefer using Instagram because I follow a select group of teachers and they use their platforms daily and post about particular lessons/assignments that were successful and most of the time they link their resources on their site. I have used plenty of their materials. Sometimes I get inspired from their assignments and I make my own.

  22. So far, I connect with other teachers on Facebook, and Instagram. I have only just recently rejoined Twitter, so hopefully I will actually figure out how it works this time.
    I know that with Facebook, I can ask a question or comment on something, and I will get many answers in no time at all. Sometimes all the comments can be overwhelming, and I cannot read them all. Sometimes after leaving my comment or question for a day, I will close the comments because it just gets to be too much. Often well meaning teachers will leave a comment that 40 others left just before them. But I do know that getting comments can sure help you decide if what you want to do is worth it, is too messy, the best way, or simply just don’t even bother. lol

  23. There are a few tools that I already prefer using to connect to educators. I use Facebook because I can join groups with other teachers and share ideas. It is less overwhelming than something like Twitter because the posts you’ll see are limited to a certain group of people. I also like Instagram because it’s easy to follow certain hashtags. For example, I follow #middleschoolteachers which allows me to see posts with that hashtag. I would like to try Twitter. I spend a lot of time there anyway. I feel like I need a little training about how best to search or who to follow. I would also like to try videos because I find them most engaging.

    • Sydnie Stockton
  24. I think I would prefer to use the following: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I already have been using Pinterest for a while to get ideas from other educators as well as Facebook occassionally. However, I would like to get a Twitter account and also follow more educational people on Instagram as well as share my ideas with others on these platforms. I think that these would be the easiest for me since I am already familiar with them and they are pretty easy to use. I also think that TikTok is a good platform for sharing and getting ideas. I follow a few educational people and although some are just purely for entertainment and giggles, there are some videos that give some really great ideas for classroom management and classroom setup.

    • Kaitlyn Steckbeck
  25. I think that my preferred method of contacting other educators and making connections will probably be through Facebook. I already follow a lot of blogs on Facebook that are intended to teach tips and tricks for educators. I also think Facebook has a lot of features that are beneficial for communicating with other people, regardless of location. This really allows educators to gain global knowledge through relationships with other educators.

  26. There are so many various ways to connect with other educators, whether that be through youttube, facebook, tiktok, or twitter. There’s so many places to get ideas, discuss lesson plans or anything like that with people all over the world!

  27. I can connect with other educators through Facebook groups, Tik-Tok groups, and through Zoom. Zoom would be an especially good way to connect currently due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All of these are great ways to connect with other educators about various topics.

    • elizabethyahner
  28. I plan to connect with others through the technology community at my school as well as networking into the larger community. I think that using things like instagram an snapchat will help me connect with my students as well.

  29. I plan on connecting with other educators through email newsletters (since the majority of professionals use email), blogs (due to easy access), and webinars and live streaming (so people can follow along and interact virtually). Personally, after looking over the list of tips, I thought they were great– highly useful when creating a PLN. My favorite was following up with people because it is a personal network that calls for personal interaction with others. At this moment, I do not have any suggestions to add to these tips (as they pretty much covered the bases). I think that the biggest barrier that I have found would have to be the lack of technological knowledge. I find myself in the middle when it comes to technology– I am not bad at working with it, but I am also not the best. For my own classroom, I feel that is where I would struggle the most when creating my own personal learning network.

  30. I plan to connect with other educators through the use of local networking as well as global networking using various platforms such as facebook and instagram. The reason I picked these two applications is simply because the ease of use. They are all so very easy to use and the post that can be made are explicit and everything you need to know as well as would like to know is at your fingertips.

  31. I enjoy learning from others and am excited to start creating a network. A barrier that I have is simply finding enough time to sit down and dedicate myself to exploring/connecting online. I am excited to learn more about Twitter and connect with other education professionals.

  32. I think that I would prefer to use Twitter to connect with other education professionals, as it is the most popular tool among the teachers sampled.

    • Serena Scalzi
  33. The main barriers for me are the fact that I naturally like to solve problems independently, and there is only so much time in the day. I have a hard time asking for help sometimes and would almost rather solve problems on my own, so this would be a big step for me to reach out to others. As many teachers know, our days are full and we often do not have time for what we need to get done, so the other barrier is just a lack of time.

  34. When looking at the relationship tips for connecting with educators, there are a couple ideas that resonate with me. I think it’s really important that if someone reaches out and shows that they care, you need to give that same attention and care back. I always appreciate when people follow up with me after I talk about an issue, because everyone is so busy that it doesn’t always happen. Another thing that resonated with me is that you need to focus on providing ideas as much as you are taking others’ ideas. This is also a give and take relationship so this makes sense to me.

  35. Another way I could connect with other teachers in my city or elsewhere would be to use Teams or Zoom, since these are resources that are used so much right now. As a school/district, we use Teams, but I have also used Zoom for various meetings since the pandemic started. These are great tools to be able to get a group of teachers together and talking about topics of interest.

  36. I think I would prefer connecting with other educators on Instagram or Facebook, because I know that there are great teacher accounts that I can find and learn from. These are accounts that I am very comfortable with, so it would be an easy transition to use these networking sites to meet other teachers. Twitter is something that I am also open to using, but it is not a site that I currently use or know as much about.

  37. I would say that the biggest barrier for me in making and using a PLN is time. It sometimes feels like I have so much I am already do inside and outside of school that this is just one more thing. As is often the case when I go to conferences I find that I will learn about something that I really want to try in my classroom, but then finding the time and PATIENCE to do it is challenging for me. This is something I am working on, as I do very much see the value in trying new things. And I should, since I’m always telling my kids to!

    • Cara Anderman
  38. I believe I will use Facebook and eventually twitter to connect to teachers and build my PLN as a future educator.

  39. One of the biggest barriers is nervousness. Many people today, like myself are very shy and nervous to put ourselves out there. But that can be detrimental to your PLN because you may be stopping yourself from making a connection that is highly beneficial to your career.

  40. One of the biggest barriers is time and nervousness. Many people today, like myself are very shy and nervous to put ourselves out there. But that can be detrimental to your PLN because you may be stopping yourself from making a connection that is highly beneficial to your career.

  41. I plan to connect with other educators through Twitter and Facebook especially, but I also think it would be interesting to try out the Voxer app. I have never heard of it before, but I think it could be a really handy tool. I could also see myself getting into some educational blogs.

  42. Loved “PLNs work both ways”. The reasoning given the more you share the more you’ll find you’ll receive in return. This is based on a Proverb about giving. I love when I see spiritual principals express in common day vernacular to suggest the character we ought to possess. I really believe that the world would be a better place if we where to instill more spiritual principals in our daily lifestyles.

    • One of the new things that I have been using in one of my PLNs is “Slack”

  43. I have found that I tend to use Facebook, I follow many pages of teachers and groups that offer ideas to everyday classroom occurrences.

  44. I plan to use Twitter to build my PLN. I also use Pinterest and Instagram for my personal things, how could I begin to use these platforms to network? Should I create a professional account?

    • Hi Valerie, yes it’s always advisable to have a professional profile separate from your personal one. All the best with building your PLN!

      • barrystofberg
  45. The biggest barrier for me is time. I used twitter about 5 years ago on a regular basis, but got overwhelmed with the feeds. I attended several discussion groups at the time that focused on Instructional Technology in the Classroom. I attended a few Educamp workshops and piloted the use of tablets (Zoom) in the classroom. I was always sharing out my experiences. I think I just got overwhelmed with all the options and information. As schools have become one to one with technology and more teachers are participating in instructional technology discussions especially with Distance Learning, I found that my skills transferred very well. I was better focused on what I wanted to do and what I need to learn to better facilitate the digital learning environment. I was swimming up stream for a long time as a pioneer and got burnt out. Now, I am re-entering with a new goal. I started a new twitter account and I am intentional about what I want to learn and who I need to follow. I hope to continue to grow as a learner as I create my PLN. This time, I am not swimming upstream and trying to find what works because there are so many more teachers engaged in this work.

    • Debbie, I love the part you mentioned about being intentional with what you want to learn and follow. Technology can be so exciting easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of new ideas you want to try everywhere you look. I find it so hard to stay focused on just one or two neat ideas and tailoring them well to my classroom needs, before sprinkling in more.

      • Patricia Weithofer
    • Debbie, I really liked how you mentioned being intentional about who you follow and what you want to learn. With all of the avenues full of neat ideas, it is very difficult not to run down the rabbit hole and get lost. I often find it very challenging to choose just a few neat ideas to focus my improvements on, then tailor them well in my classroom setting, before moving onto the next.

  46. This summer I have really enjoyed connecting with other educators and librarians using Facebook. I have joined several educators and librarians facebook groups. In these groups, we share ideas that can be used for the upcoming school year. Especially since a lot of districts may be doing some type of virtual teaching. Having other educators to bounce ideas off of is very important during a time like we are experiencing right now.