ETAD, Learning, Professional Development, Technology

Learning IS Better Together- The Power of Social Media


I learn best with others. I find that my thinking is stronger, my ideas are clearer and my best work happens when I have the opportunity to talk, listen to and learn with others. It took me a long time to realize that collaborative is my preferred style of learning but now that I know I am a better learner for it.

I think this is why I love learning using social media. Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest have become my lifelines for learning. They provides me with the connections, collaboration and ideas I need to move my learning forward everyday. The power in these tools is not the tools themselves…it is the amazing people behind the technology. Through social media I have been able to meet and connect with inspiring educators around the world who I am proud to call my Personal Learning Network (PLN). These friends (and yes I do call them friends) are some of the most generous people I have had the pleasure of meeting. They are always willing to share ideas, links, resources, support, laughter and tears. I have cheered when they have welcomed new lives into this world and cried for them when they have said goodbye to loved ones.

I have looked to them when I needed support and have never been disappointed. My PLN provides me with the help and ideas I seek every time I ask a question. In the past I waited for occasional face to face professional development opportunities to collaborate with others and to consolidate, extend and enhance my learning.  Today through social media and my fine group of friends my learning does not need to wait or stop.  I can continue learning when I want, and where I want. And when I need a break from learning and connecting I can stop as well. I have ownership for my learning in a way that I have never had in the past and that ownership is empowering.

So in the spirit of learning from and with my PLN I posed an inquiry question a few nights ago on Twitter…and as always the generosity of my friends was evident and inspiring.

Click on the image below to follow the learning. 🙂


1 thought on “Learning IS Better Together- The Power of Social Media”

  1. I love your positive, upbeat, and infectious enthusiasm for social learning and PLNs, Jenn. I’ve had the same experience, and over time I’ve come to really appreciate how powerful open, informal learning can be — especially when a spirit of sharing is at the heart of it.

    I’ve also had the experience of meeting up with friends from my PLN after knowing them for years online, and it is always surprising to me how well we already know each other…not in a superficial way at all, but in profoundly connected ways. It goes way beyond a “professional connection”. These are people I genuinely care about, and am thrilled to spend some f2f time with.

    Remind me to tell you the story of meeting Joyce Seitzinger @catspyjamasnz in Hawaii, long after failing to meet up with her in New Zealand. And Alan Levine @cogdog, who has become a good friend to just about everyone I know in Canada.

    But one thing I’ve noticed is that I still like to learn some things alone–in isolation. I’m a bit shy at heart (yeh, I know it doesn’t come across that way), and I really enjoy the comfort and security of making a lot of mistakes in private! 🙂 I think there are others like me out there, even when we are engaged most of the time in public learning, public teaching, and learning out loud in our social networks.

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