If you've been thinking about that Personalized Learning Network (PLN), I hope you took my advice and used Twitter as a starting point. Maybe you didn't tweet, yet. Maybe you just "lurked" during past week and saw what others are tweeting. Were you able to find people to follow with whom you have things in common? Were you able to find experts in your field? Sometimes it's a little tricky in the beginning figuring out how to find people/organizations in your field to follow. Remember, if you do find someone you feel is a good for your PLN, see who those people/organizations are following....AND who's following them. You might just find a gold mind of tweets to follow!
Let's get basic.....
How do you find people/organizations and see who is following them or who they follow????
You can always use the magnifying glass at the top of the Twitter screen to search. You can search for names of individuals/organizations or for topics. But be aware there may be millions of people named Bob Smith, so you might not find your Bob Smith so easily. It helps to know, and search by, their Twitter name or their @name. I am @shadrak1, so looking for me as Sharon Drake wouldn't help much. As a matter of fact, when I search for Sharon Drake, I am offered 10 suggestions of other Sharon Drakes and none of them are me.
Side note: If you are trying to find THE REAL someone, Twitter does its best to help you out. It tries to verify Twitter accounts as belonging to the REAL someone (celebrity, athlete, government official). If Twitter feels an account does, indeed belong to the REAL person/group, it will be indicated with a blue cloud with a white check mark. The Tom Hanks below with the blue cloud and white check mark is legitimate. The one with the blue bar highlighting it is not, even though the account name is Tom Hanks. Use caution!
You can also search by # (hashtag). So, if you wanted to know who won the most recent NASCAR race you might try #nascar. If academia is more to your taste you might try #ccrs (for you non-educators that's College and Career Ready Standards). When you see # for a subject that interests you, then PERHAPS the person/organization tweeting that # might be someone you would be interested in following.
If you come across someone that you feel might be added to your PLN, check out who they are following and who follows them. To do this, click on the tweet that interests you. Then click on the name of the twitter account holder. This will take you to their profile page. You can then click on their followers and also on who they are following (found just under their profile pic). You may find interesting people/organizations in their lists that you want to add to yours. (You can also click on their tweets and see a chronological record of all of their tweets....often a good source of info!)
To give you a boost I will share with you some of the people/organizations I follow. You can check them out and see if they have anything to contribute to your PLN.
@Soc_of_Authors (Society of Authors)
@app4ed (Ed Tech)
@NikkiDRobertson (not of the Duck Dynasty Robertsons.....Hoover High Librarian)
@IRAToday (International Reading Association)
oh, and so as not to disappoint......@williebosshog (Willie Robertson OF Duck Dynasty). Yes, some on my twitter feed contribute very little to my PLN!
These are just suggestions. It gives you a starting point to begin investigating possible participants in your PLN.
See you next time!