Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Building a PLN with Pinterest and/or Twitter

Ever find yourself in a situation where you need classroom ideas, need help finding technology tools for the classroom, or interested in learning what other teachers in your content area are doing in their classrooms? Then maybe you should consider building a Personal Learning Network. Let's look at two great sites to use as a PLN.

Pinterest, a virtual corkboard, is a great place to collect ideas. With Pinterest, you create PINS. which are virtual bookmarks from various websites, on your board. One can create multiple boards that help organize the pins. Twitter is a social media site where users share short 140 character messages called "tweets". With Twitter users can follow educational hashtags, join in on chats, and follow others in their educational field. Let's look at the pros and cons of both and which one works best for you or is a combination of both the best choice.

PROS/CONS of Using Pinterest:
  • Pro - Pinterest is well organized, hence an easy way to find resources with the search feature.
  • Pro - Pinterest is great for curating content with boards and pins for specific topics.
  • Con - Pinterest lends itself to a female audience therefore losing the male perspective of classroom ideas/content.
  • Con - Pinterest does not promote personal connections to other colleagues. (Example: no chat feature so therefore there's no real connection to other educators.)

PROS/CONS of Using Twitter:
  • Pro - Twitter has (as of 2013) approximately 645 million active users.
  • Pro - Twitter chats are a great way to meet and learn for those in your same content area. 
  • Pro - With Twitter you develop a personal connection to people, possibly even meet them in real life.
  • Pro - Follow hashtags for current information.
  • Con - Twitter limits itself when searching for specific topics.
  • Con - Twitter can be overwhelming when trying to read the timeline of tweets.

How I use Both Twitter and Pinterest as My PLN:
  • I use Twitter to...
    • ask questions of my followers.
    • join in on weekly chats. (List of Educational Twitter Chats)
    • tweet out articles I find relevant to the classroom.
    • follow those who have the same professional/educational interests as myself.
  • I use Pinterest to...
    • store my ideas and resources for teachers/students via content boards.
    • follow other boards that have the same professional/educational interests as myself.
    • search for classroom ideas.
    • pin other ideas/resources for later use. 

Although I learn from both sources, Twitter has a bigger draw for me over Pinterest. Twitter offers me the opportunity to connect with other educators. With Pinterest one misses that connection. In the article, "The Profound Impact of Human Connection" it says "Human connection brings complex values to our lives: relationships give us a sense of belonging in the group, a sense of identity in contrast to others in that group, an almost therapeutic-support system, and reason not to feel lonely. We learn from others’ experiences and insight, and we learn together by pursuing new experiences alongside those we befriend." Why I use Twitter...a sense of belonging, a sense of support system, to learn from others' experiences, we learn together. What a better way to start the year, than building your Personal Learning Network. 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kristie, Great Blog Post! I find that great articles like this are an excellent encouragement for me to use PLN tools more frequently and effectively. I appreciate the challenging and encouraging article.