Friday, August 23, 2013

Create Your Own Personal Learning Network

I think having a Personal Learning Network is critical for elementary counselors who frequently work in isolation most days. According to a wikispace about creating PLNs, “Personal Learning Networks are systems that help learners take control of and manage their own learning. This includes providing support for learners to:
1) set their own learning goals
2) manage their learning; managing both content and process
3) communicate with others in the process of learning and thereby achieve learning goals
The good news is technology has made creating PLNs much easier.  I love learning new things and communicating what I have learned with others.  That is one reason I am going through the Re-RAMP process and teach graduate classes at a local University in their counseling program. The backbone of my PLN is:
1) ASCA - the website including ASCA Scene, publications, and especially their free webinars
2) Blogs/websites - I follow many counseling and education blogs. Erin Mason has made this super easy by creating sconlineprofessionalexchange.Blogroll
3) Twitter - I use my account almost exclusively to follow counselors, educators, and organizations related to our field
4) Pinterest - I get so many great ideas to use in my program by following other counselors (and some other amazing educators)
5) Other counseling organization - I have always been a member of ACA.  I belong to ACES and ASGW. These memberships are costly but it gives me access to great resources and personal contact.  I am fortunate that our state SCA host a terrific annual conference attended by over 500 counselors and one of my favorite networking places each year. 
I also try to network with other elementary counselors in my district, but this is very limited usually to a few hours a month.  Professionally and personally I feel the need to keep learning and share what I learn with others.  What defines your PLN?

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