How To Use Social Media to Network Your PLN

 LandscapeI’m getting ready for the fall semester at University of Portland School of Education where I teach grad and undergrad social studies methods class. Our class blog EdMethods.

This year I’ve decided to become much more purposeful in training my students on how to use social media for their own professional growth. As a proof of concept, I thought I’d crowdsource for some ideas that I might incorporate into my social media course strand. If it’s such a useful tool, time for some “dogfooding.”

I posted the following tweet

Social media tweet

With more than 140 characters to work with, I posted the following to a number of my Google+ communities and LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn queryWithin hours the replies started to come in. In less than 48 hours I had received enough feedback to collect them in Storify. View directly here or embedded below.

(Storify won’t collect G+ discussion threads or anything from LinkedIn. So I did my best with text only.)

How would you teach aspiring teachers how to effectively use social media to network and for their own professional growth? Add your ideas in the comment below.

Image credit: Vocational training for S.A.T.C. in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Class in Pole-Climbing in the course for telephone electricians, with some of their instructors. University of Michigan., ca. 1918 U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier:165-WW-119A(1)

One Reply to “How To Use Social Media to Network Your PLN”

  1. I found your site through an ASCD publication. It is serendipitous because I’ve been sharing with as many math teachers as possible about how to build a PLN on Twitter.

    I’d like to introduce you to the MTBoS (math twitter blog-o-sphere). Check out the basics here ( This past week was the third annual Twitter Math Camp, organized by teachers for teachers – and it all started with their relationships online through Twitter. You can read about the Twitter Math Camp here (

    I am not an original member of this group – I found them just two years ago when I was returning to the classroom after having been in administration for several years. I was excited about returning to the classroom but also anxious. I began reading everything everywhere – and I stumbled on one blog after another. I eventually learned those bloggers were connected – mostly through their relationship on Twitter. I didn’t have a Twitter account, and didn’t think I wanted one. Last summer they (the MTBoS) challenged me to get an account and try it. Now I love it!

    There are a number of great math chats for your preservice teachers interested in math. My favorite is #EduRead. We read one article a week and talk about it on Wednesday nights. The articles are most often publications from ASCD or NCTM.

    We would welcome preservice teachers to participate with us – in blogging or tweeting. As an elementary principal I loved getting to know young teachers, working with them, and helping them grow in the profession.

    Currently I teach high school math, loving it, and blogging about it at

    I’m excited to know that you are working with preservice teachers in building their PLN through social media! Thank you for the work you do in preparing teachers of excellence!

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