The PLN, that acronym in education is one buzzword that has buzzed around our heads for the past several years. You'd like to create a PLN, but don't know where to start. When I first dove into creating my PLN, I dabbled in a myriad of places, some online and some face-to-face. Each month, I add a few new members to my PLN community. After several years, my PLN consists as a blend of people whom I have first met online, have only met online and a few whom I only network with in person. Your PLN is crafted from your ability to network with professionals. Networking has many benefits, so get out there and start creating your PLN today!
#1: Jump in an online Twitter conversation
If you don't have a Twitter account, sign up now! This is where I make the most of my networking and adding people to my PLN. The best place to start is this EdChat Calendar where you can search for Twitter educational chats by date, by subject or by time. The calendar even gives you a time zone conversion so you don't miss that awesome ed tech chat because you miscalculated by an hour (like I did one time!).
#2 Pinterest for Education
Not only is Pinterest a great resource for recipes, home decor and DIY craft ideas, its a myriad of teachers whom you can follow, repost and post your ideas on your own board. I'd suggest creating a separate account for your teacher account for ease of use and to post all of your teacher ideas in one space. Network with others, get great ideas and even use Pinterest inside your classroom!
#3 Conferences Away!
Whether near or far, a great educational conference is a good way to network and build your PLN. Network with presenters, other educators or vendors. Ask vendors if they have communities online for their teachers, as you can use this for a lesson resource and build your PLN at the same time. It's double dipping PLN! Check out this link for EdTech Conferences You Need to Know from EdSurge
Remember to use a variety of sources for your PLN. Find what works for you. The coolest part of PLN? Meeting someone FTF whom you've only networked with online!