When it comes to education, technology has been a huge impact. Teachers are able to communicate with other people around the world in a matter of seconds. For new teachers I think it is important to establish a mark in the social world, but it can be very intimidating to do so. We are told from the beginning of university that what we post stays on forever. This can be scary since you never want to post something that you will regret later on. But through encouragement from many professors I was able to start a professional online presence.
A great place to start is through Twitter, you can start your PLN by just reading and re-tweeting important tweets that you find beneficial. On tagboard.com you can search what hash tags you are interested in and all the tweets that use that hash tag are shown on one page. You can also see tags related to your search that might interest you. A couple of good hash tags to search are; #ecs210, #useful, #edchat. I’ve had Twitter for some time now but I still only comfortable with reading and re-tweeting other peoples tweets. The one tweet that I actually created was back in my first year of university when I saw an interesting post.
Some of my favourite tweets from other people are;
The only issue with twitter is that it limits your tweets to 140 characters. You have to be really talented to be able to get your point across in such a small frame. Personally for me, this is my I find blogging to be better. I have started a few different blogs in the past but I never seem to be able to stick with them. Hopefully with this blog I can continue using it even when this class has ended. One of my post popular blog post was one of my most recent ones, where at the end I asked “Do schools value grades or do we value student learning? This blog received a bunch of different comments that got me thinking about, how do we change how we value what is important to schools.. In our class we are also expected to read other classmates blogs. Reading other blogs is a great eye opener, you are able to get a different perspective on a topic which you may not have thought yourself. One blog post that I really enjoyed and commented on was by Leanne, she talked about how teachers are ones to jump to conclusions if the student is not a “good” student in the common sense way (so they are fidgety, loud, etc.)
When it comes to blogging though there are many different ways to do it. Another domain of blogs is through Tumblr. With Tumblr you are able to search hash tags or topics that you want to know more about and they will bring up some blogs that are related to what you have searched. Some useful blogs that I have found are Matthew Maddux, We Are Teachers, and Girl With a Lesson Plan. These blog range from useful tools to humorous stories to inspirational quotes and much, much more. A few of my favourite posts on Tumblr are;
Blackout Poetry (totally check this out!!!!)
When I first started Tumblr I used it for just personal reason. Looked up funny cats here and there but it wasn’t until I saw a blog about charts that I realized that it can be something more. I still thoroughly enjoy looking at cats but I also can see all the resources that I have access to at the tip of my fingers. Another website that I used for personal reasons at first was Pinterest. This site is useful for everything and anything. You create boards for your topic and then “pin” things to them. I started my own teaching board where I have gotten different ideas about classroom management, classroom decoration (see below), lesson planning and plenty more.
Overall there are many different ways to create an online presence. Most people who have created any social networking account have created some sort of PLN and the way we use the sites are going to determine how useful they are to us. For myself I am not at the point where I am creating my own posts/tweets. However I have created my own PLN where I am able to find resources and helpful tidbits. Hopefully soon, I will be able to feel confident and post my own ideas without being prompted.