One of our first lessons of COETAIL was the importance of connecting into a community of educators and building our PLN, or Personal Learning Network. For most teachers, a PLN comes mostly from teachers in your school or perhaps workshops you attend. For the technologically tuned in teacher, however, your PLN can be more far-reaching and global. This happens through blogging, commenting, and tweeting.
I have enjoyed the process of writing blog posts, getting feedback from readers, and commenting on other blogs. I have only started to get into twitter, however. I first signed up at an EARCOS conference in 2009, used it briefly, and then ignored it for the next 3+ years. At the start of my first EARCOS class, I dusted off the old account, started following leading educators and coaches, and occasionally tweeted links or articles.
One of the reasons teachers list for joining twitter is the ability to get quick answers and ideas from your network whenever you need help. After landing some ipads for summer school, I posted the following question:
Although I haven’t been too active, I’ve managed to amass 130+ followers. I didn’t think that was enough, so I crammed in every hashtag I could fit to get more eyes on my question.
Luckily, Jeff Utecht then retweeted my post to his 14,000+ followers, and I got some quality answers to my question.
This won’t happen every time I tweet, of course, so it’s my job to further build up my network, add to conversations, and provide value to others. With twitter, like most things in life, you get back what you put in.