Those of you at BHS that have recently gotten “connected” and are growing your PLN have probably found that at times, it’s impossible to manage the constant stream of information that comes your way when you’re plugged in with Twitter, Google Reader, etc.
I wanted to share a few thoughts/tricks with you this week.
One, I don’t look at the professional growth that comes from my interaction with my PLN as another thing that I must check off of my to-do list.
When I’m ready to learn and I have time, I interact with my PLN. I read a couple of blog posts; check the “Twitterverse” for professional material, etc. If I find something that I think may help educators, I share it through one of my blogs, on Diigo, and/or on Twitter.
At this point of the year, the time that I spend on this is usually 5-10 minutes in the early morning before I get ready for work and/or 10 minutes in the evening after the kids have gone to bed.
There is no way that I can check out every link or post in that amount of time.
To solve that dilemma, I use two very specific techniques. One, in Twitter, I utilize the “lists” feature.
Twitter lists allow you to group “top-notch” or content specific tweeters together. Then, when you check your stream, you can quickly catch-up on the things that matter without scrolling through everything you follow.
I have lists for Educational Leadership, Ed Tech, family, news and weather, etc.
Classroom Tip: As a teacher, you could create a list for your class and students could simply follow the list rather than having to individually follow each account. The lists could change for each unit of study.
The second strategy I use is similar and for Google Reader. I have a folder with the top RSS feeds that I follow. If I don’t have time to check everything, I just check that folder then mark everything else as read.
I hope these strategies can make you more productive and help you “manage the stream.”