Friday, June 17, 2016

Building Your Professional Learning Network

Happy summer all! Whether you're already enjoying the lazy days of summer break, or still counting the days this post is for you! Not only is summer great for catching up on your favorite shows and pool time, it's also the time to build your PLN. What's a PLN you may ask? It stands for Professional Learning Network.
Social media can open up a world of opportunity for teachers! It can be overwhelming knowing how to get started, who to follow, social media buzz words, etc. Here are a few my favorite uses of social media to build a PLN.
This is an area I'm working to improve on myself. If you have a blog, use summer to catch up on reading and share all the amazing things you did in your classroom. Join a linky party or two. Linky parties  are a great way to connect with other teachers. Don't forget to leave a meaningful comment after reading other blogs. 
I can remember I resisted getting an Instagram account for the longest time. I figured I could just post any pictures I wanted to share on Facebook or Twitter and it would be the same. Boy was I wrong. Instagram is a great way to share everything from special activities, classroom decor ideas, teacher time out pictures, and more. I love using Instagram to share a quick pic or two of classroom happenings.
You can choose to have a professional teacher or classroom account. As always double check your district's policy on sharing images of students before you post. Here are a few of my favorite Instagram hashtags.

Check out this article for more explanation on how to get started using Instagram. 
I LOVE me some Twitter! Whether your a Pre-K teacher or college professor, there's quality content being shared on Twitter for you. Virtually every grade level/area of education has it's own hashtag. One great place to begin on Twitter if you haven't already is with your school. Follow other teachers in your school or district who are actively sharing content. 
Some of my favorite Twitter hashtags are...
Once you get comfortable with basic tweeting, try a Twitter chat. A Twitter chat is a virtual conversation centered on a certain topic. The chats usually follow a question and answer format using the letter Q for the question and A for answers from participants. For example, the first question would begin with Q1, and participants would put A1 at the beginning of their response.
Chats for teachers are happening every day at different times for teachers. For the mother lode of all education chats, check out this link which breaks down the dates and times of chats. 

Remember, social media is what you make it. If you share and seek quality, educational content, then that's what you'll get in return. If your learning more towards bathroom mirror selfies...well then you know what you're gonna get back. Social media doesn't have to be a huge chunk of time taken out of your day. As little as ten minutes of browsing, sharing, and re-tweeting can make an important impact on your teaching. If you want to dive even deeper into social media for teachers, check out this Edutopia article.


  1. Great ideas, Princess! I love learning from others on all social media platforms, but especially Twitter! Your blog is a great resource for so many ideas to make me a stronger better-connected educator. We are just starting our blog journey and would love it if you'd drop by sometime -

    It was such fun to meet you at #tptorlando16 - thanks for sharing a walk back to the resort with us one night!

    1. It was so nice to meet you in Orlando! Thanks for stopping by my blog!