Throughout our #ConnectedEducator blog posts, we have taken a look what it means to be a connected educator; what a hashtag is and how to use them through Twitter chats; and most recently, how to build your social media profile and brand. Social media is a tool that all educators should leverage to connect, learn, and grow. Connecting to people and companies online is an easy way to grow your PLN (personal learning network). And, most likely, you’re already using social media for personal use. It’s very easy to utilize the same social media outlets to post, learn, and grow professionally, as well.
Most social media sites ask if you would like to connect with your contacts. Adding the people you already know into your PLN via social media is the fastest way to grow your followers. Most sites and apps will connect your phone, Google, or each other’s contact list. For example, Twitter and Instagram both notify me when a Facebook friend has joined as a new user.
Another easy way to follow and gain followers is to search by name. Be sure to check the person’s profile and scan their tweets to make sure you want to follow them. Think about your branding. Do you have a favorite author or illustrator? Search for their profile to follow! Many authors and illustrators often answer questions posted to them. Look for and follow companies and organizations you use or belong to. Educational and technology companies can provide great product information, post give-aways, and provide help and support. Not to mention, following educational and tech companies can also provide more peer connections.
Be sure to follow your favorite TV shows, artists, sports teams, and movies. Following your favorite people, including movie and TV starts, let’s your followers know you are a real person. It also provides a connection between you and your followers and even your students on a personal level. Not everything has to be professional. You are a human being. Remember, people online want to know that you aren’t a bot. Be human. It’s okay.
Many states and regions have monthly Twitter chats. Be sure to check back often for the current conversation. Google has a great calendar with hundreds of Educational Twitter Chats. If you’re looking for more general chats or hashtags to follow, check out this Pictochart for librarian and book-related chats and their descriptions. Searching often for chats and adding new followers keeps your PLN growing and current.
“By improving yourself, the world is made better. Be not afraid of growing too slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” -Benjamin Franklin
Author: Ashley Cooksey
Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.