Friday, July 19, 2013

Put Your PLN In Your Pocket

There are plenty of other posts and articles out there that speak to the power and value of growing your Personal Learning Network (PLN), especially through the use of Twitter.  Let me just say ditto to all of them.  I have probably learned more through Twitter than most graduate courses I have participated in and easily with much less effort.  I mean, once you follow the right people, especially those Twitter first-responders that seem to find all the right resources to share before anyone else, they lead you right to the water and all you have to do is drink.

Photo by John Connell -

One concern I have heard, however, is becoming overwhelmed by all the great resources that come flooding in at all times of the day and night from multiple different sources.  Sometimes it's just impossible to stay on top of everything and the fear of missing something valuable can distract your focus from the task you are supposed to be working on.  I am truly in awe and quite jealous of those that have the time, dedication, and drive to be connected what seems like 24/7, especially those with families that they continue to always have time for.

Time to come clean.  I can honestly say that I have neglected to follow more people on Twitter and Google+ (my two primary PLN tools) because of this very infowhelm.  The thought of missing something, for me, was greater than not even having the opportunity to know about it at all.  I have finally decided that I can no longer use that excuse.  Instead, I have made it my goal to start following more people and to find a way to make it more efficient for myself.  My first step to becoming more efficient is to find a tool that allows me to quickly scroll through all of my social networking tools, blogs, web sites, and other resources and easily store the ones I think I might want to look into so that I can dive into them whenever I can carve out the time to do so.  Enter stage right... Pocket.  

There are a few good tools out there like Pocket, such as Instapaper and Readability, but I'm choosing Pocket because of its integration with over 300+ apps (most importantly the ones I use), the ability to access it from any one of the 7 different devices I use between home and work both on and offline, and the recent announcement that "Pocket" Is Now Chrome Native App That Works Offline on Your Chromebook!  Besides, sometimes you just have to choose one and run with it.

The next important step is to schedule time each day, even if it's just 15 minutes, to review a few of the resources I put in my Pocket and then clear them out once I'm done with them.

So, I'm giving it a go.  I think I can do this.  I think Pocket is going to help.  I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!  Actually, I'm going to start liking and following more people from now on.  I'm just going to put my PLN in my Pocket.

I'd love to hear from others about what they do and what tools they use to stay connected and manage all the "good stuff."