1. What do you hope to learn more about with respect to your PLN in the coming weeks?
I hope to connect with others to help one another with whatever we can, and perhaps connect with projects that help our students meet their standards in real ways– connected globally.
I hope to learn how people do balance their lives with the inspiration from their PLN, with the tasks of our work, and with the needs of our families.
2. What have you learned with creating your PLN that you wish that someone had told you before and what tips do you have to share?
I’ve learned that participation in tweets, social networks (ning, Facebook, wikis, etc.) and webinars helps to build one’s PLN. I’m thankful to those who welcomed me when I joined. Please read about that journey two years ago here (you will find many people to follow– and perhaps you were even tagged): Twitter Mosaic
One thing to remember is that your PLN is fluid: one connection will ebb today and then tomorrow will flow again; another link will breathe life into a project, and later will sigh away to come back another day. Your PLN breathes partnerships in and out according to needs. But the inspiration, the relationship does stick: we are sticky notes to each other, posting one day here and another day there. It will continue to grow, but will change; your projects will build, discontinue, rejuvenate. Just keep participating; that is key.
Participation means tweeting, retweeting, blogging (your own or in Nings you’ve joined, ASCD Edge, NCTE, etc.), attending and chatting in webinars, and joining projects (Build PLN Challenge, #JJAProject, Flat Classroom, etc.). It does not mean writing treatises, but rather adding some bit to the stream of ideas; something that helped you that could help someone else. Just choose a few of interest to you and check in at least weekly.
Places for Webinars:
Places for connecting in projects:
But always remember: balance and basics. Just do what you can. Like teaching, you never know when that one statement, idea, or link totally changed someone else’s situation.
In the Middle East there is a legend about a spindly little sparrow lying on its back in the middle of the road. A horseman comes by and dismounts, asking the sparrow what on earth he is doing lying there upside down like that.
“I heard the heavens are going to fall today,” said the sparrow.
“Oh!” said the horsemen. “And I suppose your puny little legs can hold up the heavens!”
“One does what one can,” said the sparrow. “One does what one can.”
So, even a small contribution can support someone’s needs.
“Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; People are friends in spots.”
~ George Santayana
So go forth as you can; your PLN are your “friends in spots.”
What “spot” are you looking for to help you? What “spots” do you wear from which others could learn?
Photo Credit: Sparrow 1 Flickr CC by Fiqman Sunandar and Spots Pic Flickr CC by raysto