Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Finding Time to Build a PLN and Learn

It is more important today than ever to build an understanding and appreciation in our students that learning is a life long process.  Change is happening at a rate faster than ever before.  This video reflects just how fast change is occurring.

With that said, you need time to learn as well.  Here are a few things to keep in mind, so that you can be successful in your building of a strong PLN and stick to learning.

1.  Learning styles and personal preferences:  Consider how you learn and prefer to learn and know that they are unique to you, so the way you learn or the tools you use are truly not the focus.  Rather, find a way that works for you and meets your style and needs.  I may tell you that Twitter is the best thing ever, but if you aren't feeling it, that is ok.  There are other great tools to use for your PLN.  Pick one and concentrate on one.  You can not embrace them all; you will go completely crazy.  

2.  Set a goal:  This can be whatever is realistic to your circumstances.  Setting a goal helps many of us see the task through.  A goal could be like, I am going to stick with Twitter and embrace its power as a learning tool for this summer and then reflect on the process OR I am going to follow 6 professional blogs of people who are in positions in education similar to mine.

3.  Set a routine:  This is an important piece.  The routine could be as simple as you will check Twitter or whatever tool you choose each day for 15 minutes OR every Saturday for 1/2 hour.  What works for you?  What can you stick with?  With that said, you do not need to read every tweet or every blog post. You decide how much and how long.  In fact, it is an impossible feat to expect to read every piece of information out there, so do not even try.  Take in what you can in the allotted time. Scan and sift and find the good stuff that is relevant and of interest to you.

4.  Try and Try Again:  Keep working at finding the right resources, the right connections, the right routine.  This will not just happen over night.  Building a strong network truly takes time....months perhaps.  Just do not give up.  Give it the time it takes to be powerful and rewarding.

Read this article about Connecting PLCs with PLNs

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