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Expert Offers Four Ways to Jumpstart Google+, Twitter PLN

Expert Offers Four Ways to Jumpstart Google+, Twitter PLN

Teachers across the nation continue to use social media outlets in the classroom to expand their outreach and change the way that they teach their students. 

So says Stephen Noonoo, editor of eschoolnews.com. In his article, Noonoo offers eight ways for teachers to "jumpstart" their Google+ and Twitter professional learning network. 

"The biggest benefit is that social media helps break down of traditional geography-based professional development and exposes educators to outside ideas, says Thomas Murray, a director at the Alliance For Excellent Education, co-founder of Twitter’s #edtechchat, and new author of Leading Professional Learning," Noonoo wrote. “'It helps you keep up with the latest trends and hot topics, and it keeps you on the cusp of what education is looking like.'”

"Recently, Murray and Steven Anderson, a former director of instructional technology in North Carolina and co-author of The Relevant Educator, shared their best tips for making the most of social sites like Google+ and Twitter to grow and learn in the age of the truly global PLN."

The first way Noonoo offers is "start with what [and who] you know."

"It’s fine to begin building your network with friends and colleagues, Andserson says, because it will naturally branch out as you get more comfortable," Noonoo wrote. "He also recommends starting to build a PLN based on your own passions. If you’re interested in project-based learning, try a #PBLchat; if you’re a tech director, look for others who share your job title. 'Don’t feel like you have to go into every community,' Anderson says. 'Find one place where you can learn and that will provide the most value to your learning in the shortest amount of time spent.'"

A second way offered by Noonoo is to "find chats that are right for you."

"These days there are Twitter chats on virtually every topic for every time zone—from #4thchat, a chat specific to fourth grade teachers to #makerED, a discussion group centered around the burgeoning maker movement—so finding an interesting one shouldn’t be a problem," he wrote. "To make the search even easier, Murray and his PLN connected with one of the brains behind Google Apps who helped them create a comprehensive, Google-fied spreadsheet, which lets you see the often 30+ chats a day at a glance and switch between time zones. 'It gives you perspective on how much is going on the education world, the dedication, and the conversations taking place,' Murray says."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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