What does your PLN look like, and what does it to for your teaching?
When I started my Twitter account in April of 2009, I had no idea what this social media format was all about let alone how much it would change the way in which I teach. In those 4.5 years, I have collaborated with, shared ideas, developed lessons, discussed teaching philosophies, and even met IRL with some of the most dedicated and awe-inspiring educators. They are my PLN.
In 2013, I participated in two Edcamps, one in Battle Creek, MI and the other was virtual. I was able to accumulate even more contacts during these sessions, and my PLN grew from there. Additionally, I have participated in Twitter Chats that have focused on content, teaching philosophy, teacher-mindset (Teach Like a Pirate), and projects (Genius Hour) Because of my virtual PLN, I have totally revamped my teaching approach, implemented new teaching strategies and resources, and grown in my creativity and resourcefulness.
**A Story About How My PLN Came to the Rescue**
I was talking with one of the organizers and some of my Twitter PLN friends about an idea I had for the upcoming school year: Genius Hour. I had learned so much from a friend, Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr) and several #GeniusHour Twitter chats. Joy had been successful in her implementation and I was still in the planning process, never having actually conducted a Genius Hour sessions. The organizer of nERdcamp asked for me to host a session after lunch and talk about Genius Hour.
“Sure! I’d love you,” I replied, while in my head I was like, “WTH AM I DOING!?!??!”
Another friend, Bernice (@BHomel1) whom I had been talking to for months on Twitter and met for the first time that day, agreed to help me present. We immediately tweeted Joy and told her what we were about to do. Joy was thrilled, filled with, well, joy. She said she would add notes to a live Google Doc that we could post in the classroom and would add to it as we went through the session. And guess what! It was a grand success!