My Professional Learning Network

Until now, I’ve been rather hesitant to “get out there” on social media. I have felt strongly about maintaining social media for friends and family, but have barely scratched the surface of using these mediums professionally. While reflecting on my Professional Learning Network, I am forced to challenge some of my own beliefs about the purpose of using technology to engage professionally. Through the practice of creating the MindNode below, I am discovering promising opportunities that social media and blogging could provide for me and the communities to which I belong.

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These special tips, taken from the blog, “How to hack it on Twitter”, by Leigh Graves Wolf and Andrea Zellner will be a excellent guide as I choose to wisely transition myself into a more social professional:

  • Special focus hashtags and chats:

    • #scholarreads : for scholarly articles
    • #phdchat: discussing all things PhD
    • FYCchat: first-year composition chat
    • List of educational hashtags: http://www.cybraryman.com/edhashtags.html (h/t @rehabrajab)
    • Get to know the hash-tags that are used in your area, if there are none, don’t complain – create! There is a tremendous opportunity that can be filled by you.
  • When looking for academics in your field, try Google searching their NAME + Twitter: that often reveals their twitter name more quickly than an advanced twitter search.

I will continue to integrate technology and tools with my PLN in ways that will help me to maintain a critical stance while confronted with the wealth of information available. I’m excited to find scholars who are so engaged in contributing their ideas in such a public manner, but also must note that I am feeling the confirmation bias that John Paul Gee describes. “Research has long shown that humans display what is called a “confirmation bias” (sometimes called a “my-side bias”). This is a seemingly built-in mental bias that makes humans favor information that confirms their beliefs. Because of this bias, people seek out and remember information that supports their beliefs, and ignore information that does not.” (2013, p. 2) That said, I will continue to think critically about who I follow and why, using the feedback as a means of maintaining diversity in my feed.

References

Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital learning. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan

MindNode 5 (2008). https://mindnode.com/. Retrieved June 2, 2018.

Wolf, L.G., Zellner, A. How to hack it on Twitter. In http://www.leighgraveswolf.com/2011/04/19/how-to-hack-it-on-twitter/. WordPress blog retrieved June 2, 2018.

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