Everyone probably starts off as a skeptic of the value of PLNs. However, when people stop tweeting about being stuck in traffic or wishing it were the weekend, you can end up with an awesome tool. There is no possible way for one person to find all the hidden gems of the web … so thrive on the knowledge of your PLN.
They were helpful in directing me to teachers who not only use technology in their classroom, but are also in a similar or the same subject area. No offense, all the great science lesson ideas have little relevance in my own classroom.
Now there is another tool to adding to a PLN. I saw a tweet on Twitter: “TeachaKidd I will be working with some tchrs soon on PLNs. Please add to my VoiceThread http://bit.ly/uCsPk” Of course being curious on a Sunday morning, I checked it out. I loved having a voice or a face behind the story.
I am eagerly anticipated the PLCs that will start at school this year. For the most part, it sounds very similar to a PLN except for the community emphasizes more face-to-face interactions. I think that a huge advantage to working in education is the concept of sharing. Most teachers honestly want students to succeed. If we find a tool that will accomplish that, we want to share it with any other teacher who would benefit from the same thing. It is not about using something first, or being more creative, it is about making education better for the students. This creative collaboration is hindered in the corporate world, especially right now when the job market is so tight. Much of the sharing has a personal agenda. Anyway, I am excited about the possibilities of connecting to teachers I would not normally get to interact with. They would bring fresh new ideas I had not thought about yet.