I’ve always felt that I a decent effort at continuing my education both professionally and personally; however, this week has highlighted an area I have neglected. I have not made much of an effort to increase my professional learning network outside of my work environment. A one of our main topics this week I decided to make that my focus during my spare time. I have done this by seeking out new connections, or seeking out information for curation, on four social networking platforms.
Twitter is perhaps where I put forth the most effort this week. Many people in the world of education technology (EdTech) and computer science education (CSed) use Twitter to share information, current projects, opinions, and opportunities for collaboration. I made it a point this week to seek out as many of my contemporaries at the district level as possible, with the hope of having two positive effects. I hope that by connecting in the manner I will be able to form a closer working relationship, and an increased exchange of information. I hope this will improve my ability to provide guidance an assistance to districts throughout the state by gaining a better understanding of their needs.
I will admit that Instagram is the social media platform I put the least amount of work into. Not many in my line of work use Instagram as their main method of connecting and sharing information. The focus of my PLN growth was reaching out to follow schools with EdTech or CSed programs. Though this will not directly increase my ability to connect with people and gain professional knowledge it will allow me to see what schools throughout the state are doing in these areas.
I approached Linkedin with three goals in mind. The first goal was to seek out connections within the Department of Education that I have meet through various projects, or the Leadership group I am a member of. My second goal was to start reaching out to as many of my contemporaries at the district level as possible, with much of the same goals in mind as I had when focusing on Twitter. My third goals, was to seek out other professionals, groups, and industry leaders which I could follow to benefit from the advice and information they share over this social network.
As it is a very different web tool/social network I had to take a different approach to Pinterest. There were a couple people I could reach out to, but there isn’t a big use of Pinterest for “traditional” professional knowledge in the EdTech and CSed world. There is however a large amount of EdTech and CSed resources shared through this platform. I have started the develop different Pinterest boards covering different EdTech and CSed topics, but it will be a slow growing collection of resources. As I represent the Department of Education I have to ensure any resources (especially lesson plans) I am willing to share meet a certain level of rigor and quality.