Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals who can go it alone.
—Margaret Wheatley, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future
The rise of social media and its power to instantaneously connect people to others is a testament to just how interconnected the world has become. Social media has become an important way to form and maintain relationships. Many use social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Businesses search for new ways to connect with current and future customers. But, how many have recognized the potential of social media as a powerful learning tool?
Forward-thinking educators have begun purposefully building online social networks of colleagues and experts in the field, known as PLNs. Rather than see social networks as an annoyance or way of wasting time, they have made them an invaluable means of personal and professional growth. Business professionals can benefit from following their lead. PLNs allow professionals and committed lifelong learners to build relationships with others from all over the world. With careful work and commitment to building and maintaining a PLN, the possibilities for connection are endless.
To prepare: Consider new ways in which you might use technology to foster new connections and seek information and advice.
Use the APA Course Paper Template to complete this assignment. The link to the template can be found in this module’s Learning Resources.
By Day 3 of Week 7, submit a 5- to 8-page paper describing your PLN. Your paper should include the following:
- Text you might include in a professional profile, which you could use on a social media site (like Twitter, or LinkedIn) to identify yourself and your interests for those who might be interested in following you or joining your PLN
- Annotated list of five people or groups in which you might find people to add to your PLN (through their Twitter feed, blog, or LinkedIn page, etc.)
- For each person or group, give a brief (1–2 paragraphs) rationale for why you would include the person or group in your PLN.
- Then, give a 1- to 2-paragraph description of the process by which you found the person or group you added to your PLN. For example, you may find one person by browsing a group’s Twitter feed and then decide to add to your own PLN another person who it follows, or you may find a group on Facebook and decide to send a friend request to an individual within that group.