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.

416 thoughts on “Step 2: Making Connections

  1. For relationship tips, two stuck out to me- 2. PLN works both ways, and 8. Diversify. It can be difficult for me to come out of my shell sometimes and post, but this tip reminds me that the more I share about my own experiences the more other teachers may be motivated to reach out with their own similar experiences and challenges. Although it can be difficult to get started and take that initial step, it will help us all in the long run. I think having a diverse group of people that have their own unique experiences and opinions will be helpful in growing as a teacher and give me a wide range of advice and critique. Speaking with people from different backgrounds will also be extremely helpful as our classrooms will be made up of students from all over who each have different cultural and educational experiences.

  2. The biggest barrier out of the three the website listed is the concept of becoming tech-savvy when you are not currently that great with technology. Barriers two and three are very similar, but share a very real discouraging aspect of developing an personal learning network. I am 24, in what is basically online college now, and I am still trying to get the hang of the technology shift. I can’t imagine the frustration with the teachers. I feel technological ignorance is the number one barrier because it is the whole underlying concept of networking because we can communicate and share ideas with people from all over the world, not just in our community.

  3. Regarding barriers…For someone like me who supports a large group of teachers, it can be quite hard to fit it all in. Most of my time is spent researching, creating and designing/facilitating PD sessions and materials for teachers. This has made me question how I can fit in time for successful PLN experiences. Since I use my calendar for everything I do, I plan to actually schedule an appointment time that will repeat on a regular basis to allow myself intentional time to engage more actively and authentically in PLN interactions.

  4. I really enjoy the idea of being able to connect with colleagues and peers in a digital way and to learn from them. The idea of a PLN is very enticing, but also overwhelming. As someone who has been on social media for while and as a younger (24) student teacher the technology doesn’t deter me as much as the intimidation of being successful on a platform. I see successful users of PLNs having tons of connections and followers and I struggle to get started because I don’t know how I will ever get to that many connections. I also struggle because I just don’t know where to start. I think that this course has done a good job so far in helping me to overcome the fear of getting started, but I still struggle with how to be good at building a PLN.

  5. (1) Preferences: It makes sense for me to continue using Facebook because I have already started creating personal and professional networks with VCU professors who mentored me and fellow alumni who have gone on to careers in education and/or public history. Since more than half of respondents in the 2016 survey use Twitter to develop their PLNs, I will definitely create a Twitter account and start engaging with pre-existing networks of educators as I begin my teaching career. The list of educational YouTube channels that Kasey Bell complied also looks like an invaluable resource that could help me to develop my pedagogy and technology skills.

  6. I love Twitter and love the idea of being able to connect with educators on that media. I would love to make my own podcast, blog, or vlog to get other educator’s opinions and knowledge. I also love Pinterest and have seen a plethora of education related pins on the site. In watching/listening to others sharing their information, I can ask questions or comment to further connect with the teacher. On teaching podcasts I have viewed, there is a large comment section. I think that is a great way to get a quick response.

    Throughout (virtual) college, we have used a wide variety of online medias to facilitate learning. We have been exposed to Google Classroom (along with Google forms, slides, and sites). We have created our own blogs where we comment on other’s blog posts. We have been assigned podcasts to listen to and videos to watch. I think this was a great way to introduce us to using media for our PLN without us realizing.

  7. In my current attempts to build a PLN without even realizing that was what I was doing, I have predominantly used Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Each of these apps have different benefits and therefore, serve different purposes for my PLN. I have found Youtube and Instagram to be more beneficial for “lurking” to find ideas from videos or infographics, but while there is a space to leave comments or private message, these apps can sometimes create a disconnect between the post and the person who posts it. I think Twitter and LinkedIn are a bit easier platforms to directly communicate with individuals, but LinkedIn definitely has a more professional feel. I have been using LinkedIn mostly to find job opportunities and to find the paths individuals that in my desired career took to get there. Twitter is a platform that I want to use more effectively in creating my PLN because while I have searched some hashtags, I think this platform can help with creating more public discussions on topics.

  8. One way to connect with educators is through Facebook and Twitter. There are tons of support groups that allow educators to reach out for advice or a quick chat. With recent events, it’s excellent to communicate with educators through video chats. A few popular apps would be Zoom and Google Meet. A virtual meet helps us study emotions and understanding what others are feeling.

  9. I see my self connecting with other educators through Pinterest a lot, I already use that platform to pin ideas that I would want to incorporate in my future classroom. I like making boards of activities I would enjoy creating a lesson plan with. I also like to see how other educators decorate their rooms and find little things from each that I would want to add in my future classroom. Pinterest also allows you to get easy projects ideas that don’t use that many supplies which would help make it more accessible for every student in the classroom. I can also see myself using face book to stay in touch with other educators and asking each other questions on what things we might need help or improvement in.

  10. I see my self connecting with other educators through Pinterest a lot, I already use that platform to pin ideas that I would want to incorporate in my future classroom. I like making boards of activities I would enjoy creating a lesson plan with. I also like to see how other educators decorate their rooms and find little things from each that I would want to add in my future classroom. Pinterest also allows you to get easy projects ideas that don’t use that many supplies, which would help make it more accessible for every student in the classroom. I can also see myself using face book to stay in touch with other educators and asking each other questions on what things we might need help or improvement in.

  11. 1. Preferences: I have honestly never use twitter before but have obviously heard of it so I would consider using it for the sole purpose of making connections for my PLN once I’ve learned how to use it. I would use it to connect with other educators whose ideas I find interesting or others whose lessons have been impactful/effective. I’d personally prefer to use sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and mainly YouTube because those are the sites I am not familiar with and already know how to navigate. I specially love YouTube because I love learning through a good video!

  12. I think the main sites that I will use for my PLN are Pinterest and Facebook. Pinterest is so interesting to me due to the number of ideas and inspirations it is constantly able to generate from people all over. It provides you with visuals and ways to message with other people. I like how you can also save all of the ideas you have learned from others into one specific board. This makes it easier to save and organize your new findings. Facebook is another tool that I think would be great for the PLN. Facebook connects you with people all over and gives you the ability to join specific groups based on your occupation or interest. A lot of ideas and helpful feedback can be found in these groups. Professional relationships and opportunities are also commonly generated in these types of groups in my personal experience. I plan on trying to reach out to other people in different school districts or states to gain more knowledge and see if they have found new ideas that work for them.

  13. Preferences: As of now I connect with educators through an app called groupme. We use the app to ask and answer each others questions from another educators point of view. I have also used podcast made by other educators to help me learn more. I personally prefer using skype and social media as a tool to connect with educators because it is the fastest form of communication.

  14. I’m addressing prompt 3 because there has been a particularly massive obstacle in all of our lives as of late as it pertains to making connections. I’m currently working on my first practicum class, but I haven’t had the opportunity to attend class in person because of the pandemic. I assume that this has been a pretty massive obstacle for most young teachers like myself because there are few ways to establish connections with other teachers right now. Because of this huge obstacle, it is increasingly important to establish a network of educators over the internet, although this is a bit less personal than I would like. A benefit of establishing a network over the internet, however, is the possibility for nation or world-wide inclusivity. This would provide even more perspective and knowledge for someone like me that has yet to experience much teaching. As we move further towards heading back into schools, I think that creating a network with educators from different places is probably the most productive thing to do. The pandemic is a barrier that is pretty much impossible to get rid of, so it’s important to find ways around it.

  15. One of the biggest barriers that I have experienced when building a PLN is countless way to connect to others and being able to tell which ones are legitimate and which ones to steer clear of. I am a new teacher, so being able to connect with other teachers is so important to growth as a teacher. But it can be overwhelming the ways to connect with others, and for me personally, this can be discouraging for me. This is one of the barriers that I have faced when I have begun building my PLN.

  16. When planning to connect with other educators, I want to utilize technology while also maintaining in-person communication. As far as online goes, I think I will really benefit from sites like Twitter and Pinterest, where other educators can share their creative ideas and lessons with others. I think Twitter can be used to create more of a conversation as people comment and retweet ideas. However, as important as virtual connections are, I also want to maintain those interactions in person that can help me grow as an educator. Having positive and constructive conversations with my colleagues and mentors can have a huge impact on my growth as a teacher. I also think that my students can play a role in my PLN as they can definitely offer some insight into my teaching. I think one of the most important things to remember is that we should not make our PLN small and instead should network from all different aspects of our lives so that we get a variety of opinions and ideas.

  17. I think that the main sites that I will start working on to curate my own PLN will be Facebook and YouTube. I work with another high school chemistry teacher right now and she tells me all about a planning group that she has joined on Facebook for one of her classes. She says that this resource is so helpful because the class she is teaching is very unique and she need the specialized help that is right at her fingertips. So, I will start with Facebook and then also YouTube because this has a lot of content on it. Facebook and YouTube are both platforms that I am familiar with so that will help me transition to establishing a PLN. I also know that making connections with others would be easiest to do on Facebook, due to the social nature of the way that the technology works. I would then also like to branch out and try new things as well. I think that listening to Podcasts of science educators would be great because I can always put something on in the background to listen to while I am working on other things. This will help me soak up new ideas regularly. Also, I will subscribe to chemistry professional network organizations like the ACS, NSTA, and Flinn Scientific in order to get materials from them into my inbox.

  18. My personal preferences for PLN would be to use Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest because I would love to share my ideas through images and video posting. I already follow so many teachers on these websites and I would love to create my own.

  19. From my experience, the most pure social sites today are Instagram and Twitter. However, I view these platforms to be more personally based so I think I would stay away from these if I wanted to connect with other professional educators. I would primarily use Facebook, LinkedIn, and potentially YouTube to connect with others. Facebook and YouTube are typically used more casually, but they both have a level of professionalism to them. However, LinkedIn is the best place to meet people in or relating to your field.

  20. 1. One way I would like to connect with teachers is through teacher pay! It would be cool to buy designs from others.
    2. I think that if you set aside portions of your day to invest time into PLNs, you may become more successful and have a better outcome.
    3. My biggest barrier is not being able to set aside the proper amount of time for different things that I need to set aside time for.

  21. 1. I think that youtube, Twitter and Instagram are all popular forms of PLN. I think that these platforms are familiar to more people. The familiarity of these platforms makes connecting with others that much easier.
    2. It can be easy to put minimal effort into something like a PLN. I believe that setting aside a small fraction of each day to improve upon it could go a long ways. Connections are important and putting in effort is the key to this.
    3. The biggest barrier to a PLN is educators or students not knowing about it. The whole point of a PLN is to connect. You can not connect with an individual who is unaware of PLNs. The best way to fix this is to get the word out. People should be talking about it and encouraging others to join. It just needs to be spread.

  22. 1. one way I would like to connect with different teachers is by using teacher pay teachers to buy designs from them
    2. the investing some time one really stuck out to me because with taking time i think the best outcome will come out of it.
    3.my biggest barrier is not understanding everything to the fullest extent

  23. I really enjoy connecting with teachers face to face, with my coworkers especially. I know that with the pandemic is a lot harder, so I connect with them through social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. Some of the relationship things that stood out to me are the finding time and that the PLN works both ways. #teac295a

  24. One barrier for me is that I did not know about PLN’s until recently so I did not know there was so much information out there to explore.

  25. One idea that resonated with me is asking for help. I sometimes have difficulty with asking for help but if you need help you have to ask for it.

  26. One site that I will use to stay connected with other educators is LinkedIn. It is very easy to search for other educators and make connections with them. There are also many groups for educators that you can find on that site.

  27. When looking at the platform’s provided in Step #2: I feel the most drawn towards Pinterest, FaceBook and YouTube. I already follow or research multiple education accounts/ideas on all three sites. It amazes me how easily we can connect with other educators and to be given great ideas for new lessons, classroom hacks or even simple decoration ideas!

  28. As a young new educator, I am aware that the world of social networking is quickly growing and adapting before we can even catch up to what is in right now. From a strictly PLN standpoint, I think Twitter is the most beneficial due to it’s layout and format. Educators can quickly search and catch up on any trending topic, and even start a discussion thread that can be quickly read, commented on, and “quoted-tweeted” to reflect and redirect a conversation. However, from a classroom standpoint, I am a big fan of email newsletters that can be sent home weekly outlining what will take place this week, what to expect, and what their child will be focusing on in the classroom. This keeps parents involved and up-to-date in their child’s education.

  29. The platform that I would love to use would be Twitter. This platform is very easy to use and there are so many different ways to connect within this resource. I have seen many educators and education resources on this platform and have found them very informative and resourceful. I am very comfortable using this platform because I have been on it for years.

  30. The platforms I am most interested in using are Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube! I already use Instagram and YouTube to follow and find educators and accounts that are made to help out music educators with resources, ideas, and motivation.

  31. My preferred platform would be Twitter or Instagram. I’m familiar with both and I think it would be easier to find what I need. On both platforms, I can follow people that I’m interested in like other teachers that may be teaching the same things as I am and they also allow you to look up hashtags of certain topics. You can also use these platforms to join discussions to get new ideas.

  32. The most appealing platforms, to me, are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. These are the most appealing because Facebook allows you to create pages and join groups with people who have common interests, Instagram allows pictures and comments and personal communications with people and pages you follow (BONUS because there is not much spam and you can set your settings to what makes you comfortable) and Twitter because the amount of characters is counted and causes less lengthy comments which is good for people who may not like to read as much on a screen.

  33. My favorite ways to connect with other teachers is Pinterest and Youtube. Pinterest is great for finding examples of what other teachers do, such as ways to make bathroom passes or to show how they show the correct standards on the board. I can also make comments and they can too, which creates a conversation.Along with Pinterest, Youtube is great for finding better ways to explain different things. If your strategy for a math problem is not great, then find another teacher’s explanation. This also helps students and yourself. You can also leave a comment to help make the video better.

  34. I would like to use three platforms to start my PLN. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most comfortable I am using. I have seen various others use Youtube and even more recently TikTok to create their networks. I would love to one day work up to those platforms as I have learned so much from other teachers who use them. All of these platforms are great for sharing, posting, and interacting with other educators and communities. I’m excited to start working on creating my PLN and love that social media is being used to do so.

  35. Instagram would be my preferred platform and the one I am most comfortable using. I would like being able to search certain hashtags and post several pictures of lessons along with explanations. I also like how you can link websites, etc. I know this is available as well on other platforms, but Instagram is what I would be most comfortable using.

  36. 1. I plan on getting connected with my future educators by using applications like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. These are great apps to follow individuals and stay connected with them through their posts about things going on in life, or simply being able to message them. I am very familiar with these apps, so as long as I can find the educators, I should be able to easily connect with them. I really believe Instagram is the best tool because you are able to search up hashtags to for topics that you are interested in. In this case, if I want to search up hashtags about lessons or activities for school, all I have to do is hashtag lesson, activities, or anything related to education. Additionally, Instagram is a great way to see each other’s post about things going on in their life, or outside their life.
    2. Following up with people and asking for help are the two tips that resonate with me the most. I think once you follow someone you know; it doesn’t hurt to just reach out to them and connect with one another. It is okay to ask each other questions. Having these friendly relationships are helpful, especially if the two individuals have the same goals and interests. Asking for help on those applications I mentioned is not a bad thing! It is okay to ask for help with whatever you need. First, you must build the connecting by following up with people, then you should be able to ask for help whenever you need it.
    3. To create a PLN, it requires you to have a solid digital literacy skills. I think at time I might lack in some of my digital literacy skills. I can definitely improve on them. Yes, I know how to search things up online and find solid information, I’ve been doing that for years. I still think that I can improve on what information I find, or what sources I use. With technology, you can always learn something new, and I can definitely learn a lot more about technology.

  37. The platform that I would feel the most comfortable using would be YouTube or Facebook. These are the two that I use the most and I am pretty comfortable with both of these platforms and how they work.

  38. The most appealing platform that I would like to use would be Instagram, as you can post more pictures about lesson plans and write thorough explanations about the pros and cons of the lesson that you did. You can also link alternative websites in the “bio” section of your profile for further information about lesson plans and ideas. A good PLN will have more than one platform to use for their classroom for other educators to reference, as well as their students.

  39. The most appealing platform that I would like to use would be Instagram, as you can post more pictures about lesson plans and write thorough explanations about the pros and cons of the lesson that you did. You can also link alternative websites in the “bio” section of your profile for further information about lesson plans and ideas. A good PLN will have more than one platform to use for their classroom and students to be able to use.

  40. The most appealing platform that I would like to use would be Instagram, as you can post more pictures about lesson plans and write thorough explanations about the pros and cons of the lesson that you did. You can also link alternative websites in the “bio” section of your profile for further information about lesson plans and ideas. A good PLN will have more than one platform to use for their classroom.

  41. The platform that I most prefer to use is FaceBook. I am already on it more than other media, and I have used it a bit for Children’s Ministry. It would be the most comfortable platform for me to use right now.

  42. My preferred platform to connect to other educators is YouTube. I find myself watching teacher’s YouTube accounts when I am looking for strategies to use in the classroom. YouTube provides lots of great videos that relate to education that I have personally benefited from in the past. It is most appealing because it is easy to navigate, has millions of educational videos, and there are thousands of teachers on there that want to help educate other teachers.

  43. I personally like blogs because I can read people’s in-depth opinions regarding certain lessons or topics. Also, blogs help provide me with innovative classroom strategies for my students. In addition, if there is a blogger that continuously produces innovative ideas, I can email them for advice.

  44. Having grown up in the social media time and day, I️ have developed multiple ways I️ like to connect. The most recent one I️ have become interested in is LinkedIn. I️ love this network because I️ can connect with education professionals I️ have known, those I️ have met, and those I️ can meet. I️ like the network because it is solely geared towards the professional world. Other medias like Instagram or Facebook, it can stray far from the professional world and cause distractions.

  45. I would like to use Twitter to build my PLN. Twitter seems like the most current and straightforward platform that would make it easy to network and connect. I also like Pinterest just because there are so many great classroom ideas

  46. During this time as I become a first-year teacher, I plan to connect with as many educators as possible. I love the idea of using ideas gathered from educators with experience. I am currently using Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers for my online research for ideas. I am interested in learning how to use Twitter for this purpose. I am not at all familiar with Twitter, but I do use Facebook and have started using TikTok to gain teacher tips along the way. I like the idea of being about to view many resources and then picking what is best for my need at the time. I then take that idea and try to make it my own for my classroom.
    I think that tip for developing working relationships with other others that resonates the most with me would be the asking for help. I think that word of mouth is going to be the best way to learn new things. If someone on one platform shares some information, they are more than likely using another platform also. As an educator, we just have to ask others for help sometimes to find the resources that we need.
    I think the biggest barrier for me will be the initial setup of the accounts and finding educators to follow. Once that is established, I feel like the other will fall into place pretty easily. Just setting up the social media accounts is time consuming to me, but once that is set up, the other will easier to research as well. I think that just having a few places to follow would be helpful for me as a beginner in this process.

  47. When looking at the platform’s provided in step 2: I feel the most drawn towards both instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. I already follow multiple education accounts on all three sites. I love being able to connect with other educators and to be given great ideas for new lessons. I am an avid instagram user so it is nice to be able to connect on apps that I already use in my own spare time on a daily basis!

  48. The biggest barrier for me is that I’m currently trying to “cut down” on social media time. I find myself a lot more at peace without the constant feed and scrolling… However, I hope I can find a balance!

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