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Why use social networks for professional development?
 
     

The social networks can be used to build a network of professional Friends that you can connect with. This group of people can guide your learning, point you to learning opportunities, answer your questions, and give you the benefit of their own knowledge and experience. It has been described for educators Personal Learning Network (PLN) a ‘Virtual staff room’.

The professional benefits of using a Personal Learning Network include:

Sharing
Sharing of information that will add to your professional knowledge and experience, these include:

  • Articles (academic, journalistic, background and focused)
  • Videos – example http://tinyurl.com/7swydn
  • Newsletters
  • Websites
  • New and old ICT tools and how to use them in education (link to resources page)

The sharing is generally by providing web-links to the relevant information.

Support
Asking questions to global groups of educators and learning how many different educators, who face the same problems as you, have overcome and answered problems you experience.

Activities
Conferences & workshops
Your PLN will often provide a format to online and offline conferences, workshops and discussions that take place. Many online conferences (often for free) will provide deep and useful guides and information to improve your work.
Examples:

Conversations & communications
Synchronous and asynchronous conversations about an aspect of education. On many social networks there are regular discussions about burning issues in education were educators can discuss and organize to better education.

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The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein