So, I know that some of you may be thinking I heard of a PLN before and thought to yourself, “I won't need that until I have my first teaching job.” That is what a lot of teachers in training think, but you are WRONG! A PLN is a powerful tool in every teacher tool bag - no matter if you are a preservice teacher, new educator, or a veteran teacher. A PLN can support, encourage, and challenge you as a teacher.
It is up to you to overcome these lies and start to build your PLN today. In this post, I hope to dispel some of those lies and help you to see the light about the importance of building and growing your PLN. Let's talk about the three lies preservice teachers tell themselves about a PLN or using Twitter to connect with educators.
First, my friends, it’s not about how many followers you have; it’s about the quality of your content. If you are posting quality content then you will get followers. Trust me they will come! Just be consistent and post quality stuff. What does a quality post look like?
Picture of a bulletin board that you made
Image of a killer presentation that you did
Picture of you working with students (don't forget about the permissions please!)
An idea or strategy that you learned about in class
Link to a compelling article from a credible source
Idea that you have for your next lesson
Link to an artifact that you created using a tech tool
Last word of advice, in the words of RJ Dula, "Don't over do it on the hashtags please!" Only use hashtags that are relevant to your post. If you can include a picture, gif, or link. The more content you can provide to support your statement the better.
I am not saying post every hour on the hour, but use tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule out tweets daily, weekly, or monthly. Seriously, Hootsuite is my Twitter lifesaver. With Hootsuite, I schedule posts to go out on Facebook, Twitter, and Insta each day. All in one click of a button, I have posted content to three different social media outlets to reach my audience where they are. I can customize content for each network and sometimes I do just that using hashtags.
You can do so much with Hootsuite – it is a powerful T3 (teacher Twitter time saver).
I encourage you to check it out. And oh, did I mention it is FREE?
Of course, you have something to say – everyone does! Did you know that administrators are looking to new educators for innovative teaching techniques and technology tools? Tweet out what you are learning in class with relative hashtags, and you will get some responses. Sharing is caring, so share out your favorite techniques, strategies, and tools. Just as we like to read our favorite blog and website updates, people want to see your Twitter updated.
Having a PLN is all about engaging in the professional world and building and growing together; not having canned answers and takeaways from class because a professor told you to tweet, but to really taking ownership of your learning and putting yourself out there. Do it today! Get connected.
Want to learn more? Check out 3 reasons why a PLN is important for a preservice teacher. Or maybe you want to up your Twitter game and get connected by participating in a Twitter chat - then you may want to check out this post - how to slay your first twitter chat. So, please I encourage you to get out there and take a risk.
You have the EduMagic in you!