The Dark Side of the PLN

This post surprised me. It surprised me because it involves feelings and I am not the most sensitive person in the world. (just ask Pernille Ripp or Rafranz Davis) Let’s talk about the dark side of the PLN. We hear all the time how great they are. Well I am here to talk to you about the flip side. The side that people don’t discuss. The part of the PLN that makes you feel alone and inadequate.

Your PLN should be made up of the greatest people you can find. I know mine definitely is.  My PLN consists of people that create apps, create websites, create global projects, create backpacks with activities for students to do at home, know more about technology than so called “experts”, teachers of the year, authors, and the list goes on. I want the best and brightest at my fingertips to lead me to become the greatest teacher I can be. I found those people and continue to find more and learn every day.

There is a downside to this though. The part of you that lambasts yourself because you haven’t wrote that book yet, participated in that global project, achieved that award, or created that groundbreaking activity. Let me make this clear I am not hating on what other people have done. It is a feeling of jealousy and inadequacy of what I haven’t done yet. I do not want what those people have. I want to do what those people are doing.

One example of this is my physical education Voxer group. I have the best minds in the physical education world sharing what they are doing. Their ideas have helped pushed me to be a much better teacher than I ever would have alone. They also made me realize how much more I could and should be doing in my class. Another example of this are the multiple authors I have in my PLN. I want to write a book and it makes me feel like I am not doing enough because I am doing nothing to accomplish this goal. A third example is how some of my PLN uses solo taxonomy to take their teaching to the next level.   This seems to be an awesome way to let students control their learning. I want to be doing this.

After much reflection I have come to this conclusion.  I cannot look at what other people are doing (or have done) and compare myself to them. I need to use them as the springboard to get ahead. My time is precious. I have to prioritize and figure out what do I want and how can I accomplish it. My PLN is there to propel me forward. When I am ready to write my book I will have multiple people who can shine a light on the best way to accomplish this. When I am ready to tackle solo taxonomy there is a Voxer group that will help me figure it out.

If my PLN was not so wonderful than what would I aspire to? Do I want to be the top dog who knows everything and has done everything? No way who would assist me, push me, or inspire me? So if anyone else ever feels that they aren’t doing enough, don’t know enough, don’t have enough time or just plain feels inadequate remember that your PLN is there to show you what is out there not to make you feel like you haven’t done enough.

Q1 How do you keep from comparing yourself to others in your PLN? #slowchatpe

Q2 What has someone in your PLN done that you want to do? #slowchatpe

Q3 What specifically does your PLN do to make you better? #slowchatpe

Q4 Who is the greatest person in your PLN and why? #slowchatpe

Q5 What do you contribute to a PLN? #slowchatpe


1 thought on “The Dark Side of the PLN

  1. Pingback: Cyber Education - An Interview with Courtney Kofeldt (@Ms_Kof) - HoET029 - Christopher J. Nesi | House of #EdTech

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