My PLN began about two years ago. I arrived at NB Comp. with no idea what I was getting into. I noticed two other people that I knew previous to that day and sat next to one of them immediately. Now, I am not usually shy... or quiet, so I struck up conversations with people around me as well. Then it began ...
Donna Desroches, my mentor, stepped to the front of the room and began he delivery of what would be many incredibly interesting speeches. She showed us videos and discussed the "new Web 2.0". She went over some requirements to our group and handed out the true beginning to my PLN ... the LAPTOPS!!!
Once I had this device, I began to play and share what I was playing with with my staff immediately. A few months later I had another meeting with the committee and learned of twitter. Rob Wall described it as blah bleek geek words bleek blah. I had no idea what he was talking about. Then Donna showed us her twitter. Like many of my colleagues, I signed up right away.
I began my PLN via twitter by following Donna and as many people on her twitter as I could recognize from our discussions. People like; Rob Wall, Dean Shareski, Alec Couros, Kathy Cassidy, and anyone from my committee. (At this time, still not named) A number of these people began to follow me and I was hooked. In fact, I can remember the first time Dean Shareski replied to a tweet of mine. I thought it was so cool and that I had just been accepted into a new realm of importance. It did not take long for me to realize that it was not I that was in a new realm, but my learning and my ability to engage students.
I continued to follow people and get followed. This brought on random but scattered converstations. I lurked more than I spoke until that summer. I took more time to reply to people and therefore get replied to. I began to have meaningful, intelligent and worthwile conversations. These conversations sparked new ideas, brought up new people to follow and therefore, new people to network with.
While school year number two started, I was already having daily conversations that were intriguing. However, this had become very personal and I found myself not caring about the committee I was on, just on how I could continue my PLN.
Then, yammer came along. A microblog for my school division. It began as a place for the iSITS committee (finally named) to network without f2f. I began to see that my committee was another great source to network with. Great conversations, ideas and resources shared and again a new place to meet more people that can help and network.
My latest major addition to my PLN is a cluster of Ning's that I belong to. These social networks allow me to share and network with people of common interests and often common teaching assignments.
So to answer the question of how my PLN has got to be where it is at today. I have my current 10 steps to Eldon's PLN.
- Join iSITS and begin to network f2f.
- Join twitter.
- Follow people and continue to network.
- Be outgoing, open and respectful.
- Blog and Blog Reader ... a daily habit.
- Keep people close who intrigue you.
- Join Yammer.
- Share ... Share ... Share (It allows others to critique, share back and more)
- Join Nings
- Present at conferences to meet more!
I am sure I have missed many things that have helped me create the PLN I have today. So I have created this wordle to try to help show the many words that remind me of my PLN.
What has made your PLN what it is today?
How many paths does it take?
What are the most necessary steps for someone just starting out to create their PLN?
For those of you who know me, what am I missing?
Title Photo from saschaa Flickr