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Copy of Pins and Blogs and Tweets, Oh My!

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Rebecca Adkins

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Pins and Blogs and Tweets, Oh My!

Pins and Blogs and Tweets, Oh My!
A Bit About Me!
Professional Learning Network?
We all know about Professional Learning Communities. We also all know that being part of PLCs is an important part of our current evaluation practices. A Professional Learning Network (also sometimes called a "personal" learning network is a group YOU build. It may contain teachers, administrators, experts, and more. Anyone whose opinion you value can be a part of your PLN. You can build a PLN with people you know and see on a daily basis, but, equally (or perhaps even more) powerful is the PLN you can build with diverse individuals nation and world wide.
Most people know Pinterest as the social media/digital bookmarking site where hours can be spent browsing and pinning items of all types...but it can also be a wonderful place to build your PLN!
Blogs allow educators to read about the experiences of other educators, to share their own experiences, and to learn from one another through text, images, and even video. You can simply follow bloggers who are of interest to you, or you can join in the blogging conversation. Some bloggers are more casual, and others tackle the tougher subjects in education. Find the level that is comfortable for you!
Twitter has a reputation in social media. Either you love it (amazing tool for PD) or you hate it (it's just a bunch of celebrity nonsense!). Maybe you wonder what can really happen in 140 characters...let me tell you...
While this app is often used with smartphones, you can also use it with your computer. Many educators are beginning to use Instagram to connect with one another. You can follow other educators, comment on their photos, and be inspired by what they share.
Final Thoughts
Here are a last few things to remember about building your digital professional learning network.
140 Characters
Well, in 140 characters, you can..

Share a blog post.
Show student learning.
Ask a question.
Join a discussion.
Find a new resource.

and that's just the beginning.
Using Social Media to Build Your Digital Professional Learning Network
Who Am I?

Becca, kindergarten teacher, "techie" wanna-be.
Social media in personal life: parenting forums, facebook, digital scrapbooking forums. Using these types of forums for over seven years.
Social Media in Professional Life:
Blogs (on and off for past several years)
Twitter (about 10 months)
Instagram (about 9 months professionally)

For me, building my PLN with tech is all about my number one expectation of my students:
Try something new and different.
Reach out to those you admire.
Put yourself out there!
The world of social media can be overwhelming, daunting, and nerve-wracking to those attempting it's use for the first time. Even individuals with experience in social media (such as Facebook) may feel lost when interacting with other social media sites for the first time. That's where I come in! I am NOT an expert. Instead, I am a teacher, like you, who has simply been brave enough to begin the journey.
Today, I invite you to travel with me, and see why social media may become your new favorite tool for building your Professional Learning Network.

Bill Powers, July 2013
"My Powerful Personal Learning Network has evolved over the course of the last two years. I have gone from consuming what was placed on my PD Plate to controlling my Professional Learning Buffet. I can choose what I want, how much I want of it, and when I want it. Powerful Personal Learning Network!"
Jennifer Carey, 2013
"If you’re unfamiliar with a PLN, it’s a network of individuals you foster specifically to learn from and cultivate your professional skills. They are especially important in the world of education where classrooms can easily isolate you from your colleagues and peers. Starting a PLN and cultivating it is surprisingly easy and doesn’t take a lot of time."
Connect with Educators
You can use Pinterest to follow educators who teach your grade, teach similar subject areas, or use similar methodologies or curriculums.
Research Specific Topics
Deepen your understanding of curriculum, methodologies, and so on by searching for pins/pinners who are active in that area, and connecting with them.
Daily Five
Simply search the topic you are interested, and find resources and experts in that area!
NoBlog, No Problem!
Search for blogs of interest to you.
When you find one you like, add it to a blog reader site, such as bloglovin'. Make a goal to start with about five blogs. Read them, and leave comments. Leaving comments allows you to begin to build a relationship with the bloggers.
Have a Blog?
Use all the ideas from the "no blog" section, but be sure to leave your blog address in the comment, so that others can check out your blog!

Participate in Linky Parties, book studies, and different challenges. Post about your experiences.
It Takes Time
Please keep in mind that you will not build your PLN overnight. Building relationships with others on social media sites requires time and commitment, just as building an "IRL" relationship does. You won't have 500 followers overnight. Your idol may not "follow you back" right away. Keep at it, and you will get there. Be polite, be respectful, and engage in the conversation. Good things are worth the wait, after all.
Be an Active Participant
You have to participate to build your PLN. It's okay to sit back and observe (lurk) for a while, but you won't start to build your PLN until you put yourself out there.
Remember, Be Brave!
Start with One
You do not have to use all of these social media sites to build your digital PLN. In fact, it's probably better to start with one. You may find a blog you love, and it's writer is on Pinterest, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Following just one (or a few) people, is a great way to start. Take your time, build your confidence, and before long, you will have an amazing digital PLN.
Personal vs. Professional
Consider having two accounts for social media sites you would use for both personal and professional use. Many times, other educators are happy to follow your professional thoughts, but are not particularly interested in your personal life (and, in fact, may tune you out if the personal side weighs too heavy).
Let Me Show You!
Instagram uses #hashtags, too, both like and unlike Twitter. Like Twitter, they are used to label and sort information. Unlike Twitter, there is no character limit, so you can be as creative as you want with those hashtags!
Some Examples
Teachers are using Instagram more and more to share information and ideas. Here are just a few samples from my IG feed the past 24 hours.
Collaborate as a Team
Collaborative Pinterest boards allow all members of your team to make their voice heard, add their thoughts, ideas, and findings to any discussion. It allows teams to share information visually, and collaborate on projects of all types and sizes.
Oooh, the much hated #hashtag. It is the key to using and understanding Twitter. Without a #, your tweets will go nowhere. With the right #, you join ranks with amazing people. Did you know there is a conversation going on all around you, right now? People all over this conference are discussing what is going on, without saying anything. Let's see if I can show you!
Good Hashtags to Know
#kinderchat #edchat
#2ndchat (etc)
Best Place for Ed Hashtags?
CybraryMan's Twitter Hashtags page! (Google him. It's the fastest way to find him)
Fastest PD on the Web
The Twitterchat. One hashtag. One set time and topic. Join the conversation, or just listen in (lurk). It's lightning fast, so you have to be brave, but the connections you make, the knowledge you gain, and the support you get are worth the effort! Also, if you feel lost or overwhelmed, many chats are archived afterward for easy review.

(want to find out what chats there are and when they happen? CybraryMan is your hero once again. Find his Twitter Educational Chat page, for a full weekly schedule)
Don't Forget FERPA
If you are sharing images or information from your classroom, don't forget to follow FERPA. Be sure to have photo releases on file, blur out names or identifying information, and be mindful about what you are posting.
Take a moment and think...if you were a parent, would you want to see this?
Follow Me!

This presentation will be available through my blog, www.kindergartenatoz.blogspot.com

You can also follow me on Twitter @BeccaAdkins3
On Instagram (both professional and personal) Becca372
and on Pinterest, personally as Becca Adkins, and professionally as MrsAdkinsKindergarten
Full transcript