PLNs make LLLs

First off, this title of abbreviations lends itself to some explanations. This week I learned about personal learning networks, or PLNs. Until this week, I had never heard of a PLN before. Essentially, it’s networking to learn things–connecting with others that share your interest of a common subject, and using their knowledge to educate yourself. I think PLNs are fantastic. They are a great way to utilize all of the information and technology that we have at the touch of our fingers for a good purpose. Plus, many are done through social media platforms, which makes them very convenient! Most importantly, PLNs create LLLs, or life-long learners. (Education already has so many abbreviations so I decided to add my own! 😉 )

Having spent four years in the education department, I can’t even count the number of time that I’ve been told a teacher should be a life-long learner. This is for good reason. Teachers should constantly be educating themselves about their field. PLNs allow teachers to stay up to date and exchange ideas with others.

I decided to build my PLN around STEM and STEAM. I’ve done a lot of STEM/STEAM activities with students outside of the general classroom. They are fun for me, and I feel like it’s when I have seen students the most engaged. STEM/STEAM hit on important curriculum aspects, but also teach students real world problem solving and perseverance skills.

I know that I have just scratched the surface of the STEM/STEAM community. So, I wanted to take this chance to fully engage. I’d like to eventually end up in a general classroom, so I think it would be great to learn how to incorporate STEM/STEAM into my required lesson plans and standards.

My biggest challenge thusfar has been not becoming totally overwhelmed. 100 Twitter feeds is alot, especially when my professional Twitter is used for two different education classes with two different subjects. It’s a lot to keep straight! I’m new to Twitter, so if anyone has any organizational tips, they would be much appreciated. My goal for this next week is to organize who I follow so that I am getting the information that is most useful to me. My question for you all: as I weed through them, do I need to replace an account that I unfollow? Or is it okay to drop below 100? I really want to engage with others and learn, but I don’t know how successful I will be if I’m overstimulated with information every time I log on to Twitter…..let me know your thoughts!

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