Wow, it’s Friday already! It’s been a busy week on the sales front. It’s also been a busy week in the music tech front for me. I have several projects I’m bouncing between that are taking up a lot of my spare time but I am so lucky to be in a position now where I can stay up a few extra hours working and it doesn’t effect my day life. One thing has been on my mind lately (I swear I’m not hinting to anything I’m working on! 😉 ) is web quests!
I was talking to a teacher the other day about PLNs and came up with an idea. I have so many teachers who tell me how afraid they are of being online and building a PLN or they just don’t know where to start. So what I’ve done is created a simple web quest to get started with your online professional community!
1.) Let’s start with something easy. You have a Facebook account right? That’s the place you tend to go to take those Buzzfeed Quizzes and talk about your day to the rest of the world. I want you to do something a little different. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/musicpln/ and request access. This is a fantastic group of over 10,000 that are constantly talking. You can find a plethora of information in just one feed. When you are approved:
Challenge: Pick one post and respond to it, jump into the conversation!
2.) Here’s the scary part. When I get to this point with some teachers they start screaming and run for the hills. That’s right, it’s time for a Twitter account. If you do not already have one go here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/100990-signing-up-with-twitter to learn how to sign up for a Twitter account. This will soon be a powerful tool to get you connected with thousands of other educators just like you! Here is the direct link to sign up for a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/signup (Remember to dress up your profile! No one likes an egg head!)
3.) Here’s the next step, FOLLOWING PEOPLE. *Gasp!* I know you’re shy but making new friends on Twitter is as easy as going to their page and clicking “Follow”, You can try it out with me! www.twitter.com/musiccargirl14
You can find some of the top music educators in the world that are active on Twitter on this list that was created by the great and almighty Chuck Norris of Music Tech and Music Education Dr. Joe Pisano (I hope he reads this post): http://mustech.net/projects/musictwitter/
Challenge- Find 5 music educators on the list and follow them! Start off slow if you are new to Twitter, the more people you follow the more confusing it would be at first!
4.) You ready for the easiest part of this whole thing? Look to the left of your new Twitter account to find that box that reads “Compose New Tweet” that’s where you actually Tweet! Think of something positive that happened today in your classroom and Tweet it to the world.
Remember these rules about posting to social media:
- Never mention a student’s name! It’s safer to keep their identity a secret.
- Never post imagines of student’s faces without permission. I never posted faces. If I had a great picture of students that I want to share, I always sent it to my school district’s webmaster. She always had permission to share. I never wanted to risk it.
- NEVER POST ANGRY. Are you pissed about your day? Get away from the computer and go for a walk. Make sure you turn off your phone too. Don’t make a bad mistake.
- Always Tweet like your Administration is watching..because..well..they probably are!
- Make friends! If you are following someone else’s feed and see something cool. Always respond! You’ll never build a PLN with a one sided conversation unless you’re like One Direction or somebody like that..
5.) There are hundreds of Hashtags out there. These begin with a # symbol and when you send out a tweet with that tag all of the other people following the hashtag will be able to see it. This is a great way to ask questions on Twitter and get answers quickly, you can also make new friends.
Challenge- Tweet something using the hashtag #musedchat . Watch the conversations roll.
Bonus Challenge- On Mondays at 8pm eastern #musedchat turns into a giant conversation with music educators from all around the globe following the same tag at the same time for an hour! Use a website like www.tweetchat.com to follow the conversation and try to jump in!
This you’re ready to take on the challenge of connecting with your peers from around the globe? It’s time to get started!