A few weeks ago, if you would have asked me my opinion of Twitter, I would have shrugged my shoulders. I wasn’t really pro Twitter or con Twitter. I didn’t really consider Twitter to be more than a social extra. My only reason to sign up for Twitter would be to follow a few comedians, to catch a good joke now and then.
But now, and for the past week, I have been gathering information and working to begin building my own Personal Learning Network (PLN). Having taught online Physics for the last 7 years, I have relied mainly on my coworkers as my mini network. Over the years, I have successfully traded ideas, hosted professional development sessions and collaborated on projects with my coworkers from across the state and country. However, this semester, in starting my Master’s degree in Educational Technology, I finally realized my network goes little beyond my circle of coworkers.
1. Comfort/ Time? First off, I find comfort in the fact that those in this process before me have mapped out a series of stages for adoption of a PLN. I am clearly in stage 1: Immersion and I am enjoying it! My question, how much time should I spend in stage 1? What’s realistic?
2. Power of Twitter/ What else? I am impressed with the power of Twitter. It quickly connects so many with common interests, so simply. What is the next tool I should add to help me in this process?
3. Overload/ Best practice? I went from following 2 people to 30 in just a matter of days. So, I’m also in overload mode right now. I’m sure this will pass as I get used to including Twitter in my life. I’m planning to limit my Twitter time daily. What else can I do to make this step less overwhelming?
I’m realizing that it is important to take ownership of your own growth as a teacher. I find this process empowering. I’m also excited to revisit my place in this process weeks and months from now. I have a feeling; I may slide up and down hill from time to time, in the stages of this process. I also have a feeling; I’ll be able to turn to my growing personal learning network, weeks and months from now, as well.