So, this one was a toughie for me.
I am, on a personal level, scaling back on my social media activities. I have deleted Snapchat and Facebook from my phone and the only social media I consume with any regularity is Instagram. Imagine my consternation when I had to find ways to be more engaging in an effort to build my PLN. I do appreciate the why though, and so I tried to approach it with an open mind.
Enter Facebook. I began by joining a couple of different teacher groups here in Qatar. It quickly became clear that the groups were not necessarily about sharing ideas, but rather as a means for teachers to find jobs in Qatar. I remember thinking this is going to be harder than I thought.
I then remembered that I had a Twitter handle, and thought perhaps that would be a good way to engage with other teachers, and build my PLN. Twitter was also a casualty during my spate of cleaning up my phone. So re-download I did. I must admit to finding Twitter quite daunting. I quickly realized that many of my friends and former colleagues were quite active on Twitter, and maybe they would be a good place to start! So I began by liking and commenting on some of their tweets.
I was also fortunate enough to attend a weekend workshop with Kath Murdoch. Ms. Murdoch is active on Twitter and one of the things she suggested was to tweet out during the workshop anything we found interesting. So of course I didn’t waste that opportunity to build my PLN!
Another opportunity to engage my PLN came when I was trying to find ways to show my students how climate change is affecting different parts of the world. What better way than to put my PLN to good use! I created a Padlet and Tweeted about it. I had a few teachers respond and our Padlet managed to get some responses from Singapore and Tanzania! (Thank you Diana for the awesome idea!)
There exists on Twitter, a whole community of like minded teachers who are pushing themselves and their students to become more globally minded. I have even seen some of my friends participate in Twitter chats where they engage with other teachers in their region. I am glad that I have resumed using Twitter because it is has opened me up to more opportunities to engage with other like minded teachers beyond the four walls of my school!