The most important thing I learned from this article is how helpful Personal Learning Networks (PLN) can be. Chuck Frey explains PLNs in eight simple steps; explore, search, follow, tune, feed, engage, inquire, and respond. These are presented in his article, “How to cultivate a personal learning network: Tips from Howard Rheingold”.
I chose to form my PLN are education and literature because they are a couple of my favorite topics to learn about. I am also studying to teach English someday so planting my roots in this network now will benefit me later on as well. So far I have followed Twitter accounts and blogs by literary journals, education organizations and authors. Like any other garden, a PLN may have some weeds. In this case, the weeds will be accounts that fill newsfeeds with irreverent or repetitive information. They can be easily exterminated by just clicking or tapping ‘Unfollow’.
One concept I hadn’t thought about before was reciprocating materials or contributing to the network and not just following along. In the beginning, I may just stick to watching and learning about my chosen topics. As I become more acquainted with PLNs and begin my career, I will feel more comfortable commenting it the world of PLNs. A couple of professionals have already followed me on Twitter and, I’m not gonna lie, it makes me pretty excited to be getting my name out there! So for right now I’ll stick to just following and favoriting.
To find these accounts, I searched terms like “English education”, “literature in education” and various academic societies. I was able to find many accounts I think will be very useful. The biggest challenge I see in the future is remembering/recording all the information I will learn from my PLN. Favoriting tweets won’t make me remember them. Even thought one of the highlights of a PLN is it’s technological capabilities, I will probably end up writing down my favorites in a notebook because some habits just can’t be stopped.