Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flipping your PD

Out of the three sessions I presented at NATC, this one was my favorite topic. Flipping your PD and expanding your PLN is a topic I am passionate about. A little background on where I am with this topic. This time last year I was only beginning to understand what a PLN was and how to Flip my PD. When I say beginning to understand, my Twitter was set to private, I mean beginning to understand. My first EdCamp opened my eyes to a whole new world of connecting and I started to see the possibilities. Before I only used Twitter to follow people and read what they wrote. I can't remember doing any original tweets of my own other than re-tweeting what everyone else was posting. (I now realize that only showed up to a select few). As far as hash tag's go, I was still clueless. Fast forward a year, Twitter has become one of my favorite social media outlets. The value of a PLN is priceless. There were days last school year when I know I would not have made it without having a group to turn to. I've helped moderate a few of the spedchat's on Tuesday nights and participated in a few of ALedchat's. I was honored at ISTE last week to meet some of the people whom I have followed from a distance via Twitter. People who also train with Simple K-12 and who I have looked up to from afar for a couple of years now. I'm a better teacher because I learned how to expand my PLN. I'm a better teacher because I not only learned what to do, I did it. We can sit in session after session on the same topi, but if we never put anything into practice what have we learned?

Every educator has a PLN because you work with others. How you utilize that PLN is up to you(whether you collaborate, learn from etc.). When you expand your PLN outside of your school and even your system, you open yourself up to the opportunity of not only connecting with other educators but growing from their expertise. Your PLN can help you take the knowledge you have and apply it in the classroom.

So here are some practical steps in expanding your PLN:
1. First create the account and get started on Twitter! Make sure you set it as public so you can connect and reach out to others through hash tag's. If you are hesitant, just keep a watch on your account. If someone strange follows you, you can block them with a couple of clicks.

2. Find people to follow....For me when I first started I went to the list of trainers on Simple K-12 and followed some of them. That list includes some of the best in their fields, so I knew this was a place to start. I had also attended several of their webinars, so I wanted to continue learning from them. Then once you follow someone, find out who they follow. Eventually you start connecting with others and they are connecting with you!

3. Keep it short! You want someone to be able to re-tweet what you said. Learn the lingo...I was about six months in before I caught on that Ts meant teachers and Ss meant students. You have 140 characters, make them count and make them meaningful. Also make some original tweets. I was nervous about this at first, but I am slowly getting it right. Don't get discouraged, it will come.

4. When you see a post that you like or a link you want to revisit, favorite it. You can access your favorites in a certain spot later. Don't make the mistake of saying oh I'll find it again later. You won't. Favorite it by clicking on the star and look at it later.

5. Flipping your PD means nothing more than Rewindable Learning. It's learning that you pick to meet your need and where you want to grow. There are webinars out there now and a Twitter chat for every area. The link to the master schedule is on my handout (link below). One of my wonderful PLN members whom I have learned so much, used that phrase at an EdCamp and it has stuck. Flipped Learning is just that Rewindable. If you need to hear it again(or read it again), you can. We have all sat in sessions and thought to ourselves how does this apply to what I do. You hold the key to finding that learning avenue that is meant just for you. Sessions will still be there at various workshops(we all have to attend them at some point), but flipping your PD and expanding your PLN will help you to stay focused and learning at all times. It allows you to reach out to others that you may never think to ask a question or help from. We all are better when we are connected and stronger.

 Flipping your PD handout

Any questions let me know! Follow me on Twitter(@mnmann) or leave a comment here!
Keep growing through connecting,
Always remember #YouMatter

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. I want to listen to some webinars, but don't know how. I think you mentioned at NATC that you have to pay for them on Simple K12.