I can honestly say that my PLN is absolutely the best! With everyone’s help I was recently awarded a microgrant entitled “Pump up your Summer Learning!” from WeAreTeachers.com. I am so honored and thankful for all of the help, support, sharing, voting and encouragement I received from my PLN. I know without my PLN I would not have been in the top 10 and won the grant. The competition was fierce for this contest and I came in ninth place out of ten. Again, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who voted and recruited others to vote – without you this wouldn’t have been possible!
I truly am amazed at how wonderful my PLN is. Over time, I have interacted with a large number of people on Twitter and Plurk. Lately, my focus is more at Plurk as I consider myself to be very social and like that connection. Plurk allows me to engage in a multitude of conversations and learn about new tools, trends and issues in ed tech. We also talk about our pets, their children (my pets), family members, tech toys, upcoming conferences or the weather. It is truly amazing the wonderful support I have found from essentially virtual strangers as I only know their online persona. Using the private plurk, we share personal struggles or situations that we are dealing with in life, like the tragic loss of my mother and prayers requests for one another about a job situation, family member’s health, loss of a loved one and many more too numerous to name.
For the past five years, I have contemplated going to grad school. In the past, I wouldn’t even entertain the idea as I didn’t want to become one of ‘them’ and leave the classroom. As my teaching skills refined, I was put in leadership positions and now the career positions that I seek require a master’s degree. My main obstacle was cost, second to wanting an online degree program that is certified and recognized by the Texas Education Agency. I put out my request on Twitter and Plurk and received some awesome suggestions. My criteria was that it had to be economical, self paced online and fully accredited and recognized by the US Department of Education. I chose Western Governors University and am pursuing a Master of Education in Learning and Technology as part of the online university’s Teacher College and currently have been deeply entrenched in trying to complete a needs analysis paper while trying to fulfill my duties as a co-host of Classroom 2.0 LIVE!.
In addition, to school and Classroom 2.0 LIVE!, every Monday evening I babysit my nieces so my sister can go to school to become a teacher via an alternative certification program that I helped her enroll, give her job resources and help her find job leads with a compassionate principal at an elementary campus (please have mercy and help us if you are an elementary principal in San Antonio. I will help my sister so hiring her indirectly gets me (a national board certified teacher) at no charge to your campus! :)) Now is that a deal that you just can’t pass up or what?