Monday, October 6, 2014

It's Better to Learn Together

Just recently I attended and presented at our state gifted conference. I wasn't sure I was going to make it this year, but was glad I did! This year I presented, Birds of a Feather Tweet Together: Building Your PLN through Twitter and other Social Media Tools. For years, I have connected, collaborated, and as a result grown professionally thanks to my PLN. I have noticed that members of my PLN have even made it to more personal aspects of my life. From my Facebook account to my RunKeeper App, I am surrounded by my PLN who inspire me to be the best I can be. I know that sounds corny, but it is true. For this reason, I chose to share my love for my PLN with colleagues from all over my state.

My Sharing in a Nutshell

In my presentation, I focused on my why. This is what not only drives our instruction, but is the reason we connect. I made sure to also differentiate between a connected educator versus a connected person. This idea was inspired by Amanda Dykes' (@amandacdykes) post, Are You a Connected or a Connected Person? I shared that in my case, I was both. This is why I don't have separate accounts on Twitter or Facebook.

To check out my presentation slides, click here
For my handout, click here

Sharing is Caring 

But perhaps the biggest moment during my session was not my sharing. Instead, it was when my colleagues gave their input and insights. This made my heart smile to know that my fellow teachers were comfortable enough to share their experiences, whys, and questions. And to know that they were engaged throughout and related to my message was absolutely priceless! Conversations were going before, during, and after the session. We even started a Google Spreadsheet on our state Facebook group page to continue the conversations. And that's what's it's all about for me. The connections.


So here are a few topics that emerged from our sharing during the session. I have also included more resources to explore. This section is dedicated to my state crew!

Tips for Building Your PLN

  • Find your people
  • Start small (with one tool) and get comfortable with it! 
  • Pick the tool that is right for you and stick to it 
  • It's amazing how far we've come thanks to technology! Now we can connect with gifted educators all over the nation and globe. 

The Maker Ed Movement: 


Professional Conferences/Groups: