As an introduction to the series on developing a PLN (Personal Learning Network), I wanted to share an infographic with some of the social media platforms we recommend teachers to be active on. Over the course of this series, we will discuss the benefits of using social media and building a network of educators and experts to help you become the best teacher you can. We are always better together and this has never been more true in this digital age. To reference one of the oft-quoted 4Cs of 21st Century teaching - collaboration - when we work together, we find solutions to problems we may all face in the classroom.
I have highlighted Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest as good starting points and top accounts and/or ideas to follow or try. I would be crazy to attempt to address the plethora of material out there to help teachers become effective consumers, curators and creators of social media but crazy I am! A great starting point for all things EduTech is the ever-faithful Edutopia who wrote a fantastic article, Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources & Ideas, in 2015, but it still holds weight today. There is everything here from ways that teachers have used social media in the classroom to safeguarding guidelines for use with students to Free Parents’ Guides for Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook from ConnectSafely. I would recommend bookmarking this article for future reference - you will definitely want to come back to it!
Infographic from https://leveragenewagemedia.com
Erin Miller, in a 2017 Guardian article, Teachers on Twitter: why you should join and how to get started, wrote:
"Thanks to inspiring and generous teachers on the social media site, my passion for my job has been renewed...I’ve been using Twitter for six months and it’s already one of the best career decisions I’ve made...have since found Twitter to be an excellent way to develop professionally.Over the past few months, I have learned so much, not only about classroom teaching but also about wider educational debates."
She goes onto recommend the following benefits of being on Twitter:
Find and share resources
Get a fresh perspective
Embrace new ideas
Change the conversation
This is complemented by a fantastic set of advice from WeAreTeachers and TeachThought as well as example of a great social media policies from South West Grid for Learning Trust and Charlestown Primary School.
I do hope this introduction has been useful and look forward to sharing more great ideas on building an effective PLN in the next part of the series.