Monday, October 6, 2014

It's Better to Learn Together

Just recently I attended and presented at our state gifted conference. I wasn't sure I was going to make it this year, but was glad I did! This year I presented, Birds of a Feather Tweet Together: Building Your PLN through Twitter and other Social Media Tools. For years, I have connected, collaborated, and as a result grown professionally thanks to my PLN. I have noticed that members of my PLN have even made it to more personal aspects of my life. From my Facebook account to my RunKeeper App, I am surrounded by my PLN who inspire me to be the best I can be. I know that sounds corny, but it is true. For this reason, I chose to share my love for my PLN with colleagues from all over my state.

My Sharing in a Nutshell

In my presentation, I focused on my why. This is what not only drives our instruction, but is the reason we connect. I made sure to also differentiate between a connected educator versus a connected person. This idea was inspired by Amanda Dykes' (@amandacdykes) post, Are You a Connected or a Connected Person? I shared that in my case, I was both. This is why I don't have separate accounts on Twitter or Facebook.

To check out my presentation slides, click here
For my handout, click here

Sharing is Caring 

But perhaps the biggest moment during my session was not my sharing. Instead, it was when my colleagues gave their input and insights. This made my heart smile to know that my fellow teachers were comfortable enough to share their experiences, whys, and questions. And to know that they were engaged throughout and related to my message was absolutely priceless! Conversations were going before, during, and after the session. We even started a Google Spreadsheet on our state Facebook group page to continue the conversations. And that's what's it's all about for me. The connections.


So here are a few topics that emerged from our sharing during the session. I have also included more resources to explore. This section is dedicated to my state crew!

Tips for Building Your PLN

  • Find your people
  • Start small (with one tool) and get comfortable with it! 
  • Pick the tool that is right for you and stick to it 
  • It's amazing how far we've come thanks to technology! Now we can connect with gifted educators all over the nation and globe. 

The Maker Ed Movement: 


Professional Conferences/Groups:


  1. This was a very inspirational blog post Mrs. Deyamport. My EDM 310(Microcomputing Systems in Education) professor Dr. Strange had our class do an assignment on building our PLN network. The resources are infinite and the people I've connected to have been inspirational in my journey as a future educator. The insights I'm gaining are preparing me to be a successful teacher. I believe you made a valuable suggestion by mentioning that beginners should start small. This will ensure they don't get overwhelmed and provide a solid foundation to build upon in the future. I agree that we learn better when we learn together because we can grow by getting advice from other professionals in our line of work.

    1. Hi Justin,

      First of all I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. It's been a busy semester at school and I have been a bit neglectful on my blog. You are a step ahead by connecting now as a pre-service teacher! By starting now and planning effectively, you can have a solid PLN by the time you are in the classroom. I cannot tell you how much my PLN has helped me grow not only in my profession but as a person. I can truly say I have made connections that go far beyond an online profile. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!



  2. Hi, Mrs. Deyamport. My name is Kyle Parish and I'm a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM310. We are learning all about PLNs. I really enjoyed your post and the Tips for Building Your PLN are great. I think the start small advice is crucial. I became so overwhelmed when I started a few short weeks ago. Finally, I cut myself down to one network and was able to manage it better. Great post! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge about PLNs. As a future educator, I can't wait to explore even further.

    1. Hi Kyle,

      Good for you in starting small! Yes, I agree it does get overwhelming even with one tool. It's best to stick to what works for you and grow your PLN that way. Keep connecting and keep learning!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment and best wishes for the semester.



  3. Hi, Ms. Deyamport,
    I am taking EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your post. Also, I liked the tips for building a PLN were great. I thought the most important tip when building a PLN is to start off small. And when you surround yourself with other colleagues, it does not only benefit you, but it benefits everyone in your PLN because two or more minds work better than one.