In This Post:
- The benefits of having a wide Professional Learning Network, or PLN.
- Ways podcasts can help build your PLN as a listener, guest, or host!
In my work with teachers across the country, something that constantly comes up is how to effectively grow your “PLN” or “Professional Learning Network”. More than ever this has become a staple in the growth and development of educators and innovators everywhere.
PLNs allow you to expand your connections and network so that you’re not stuck in an echo-chamber of your own school, district, or region. As educators, we can now connect globally in an instant using so many platforms it’s hard to keep track. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Voxer, LinkedIN… all of these are great ways to connect and find other educators to build your network. In my opinion, one of the lesser utilized platforms is Podcasts.
I know at first it sounds a bit weird since I’m talking about connecting to a pre-recorded audio cast, but that is exactly what I’m saying. Here are a few ways to grow your PLN, regardless of your current podcasting regimen.The podcast is also a great way to get your message out there in a defined or clear way. Click To Tweet
Podcasts for Your PLN as a Listener:
The simplest way for you to start is simply listening via your favorite platform. Search using keywords or things that interest you, and you will more than likely find some inspiration in no time!
As a random example, let’s say you search for “Better Teaching”. You might find our podcast “Teach Better Talk”, which directly allows you to connect not only to the hosts of this podcast, (Rae and Jeff who are just awesome!) but also to every single guest that’s been on the show.
If you listen to this, or any podcast, and find a guest or host you like, you can easily find them and reach out via most social media platforms. In fact, most podcasts will mention or list specifically how you can connect to them or their guests.
Just like that…BOOM, new connection. I told you this wouldn’t be hard right? Your PLN is growing already!
Podcasts for Your PLN as a Guest:
Another great way to grow your PLN is AS A GUEST on a podcast.
Now…as you are reading this you might think to yourself, “I don’t think anyone wants to hear my thoughts on education…”
And I have two words for you: STOP IT!
I bet you have some awesome ideas or thoughts to share. Reaching out to a podcast directly is an easy way connect with the hosts and inquire about their procedures for becoming a guest on their show.
Many podcasts are always looking for people to connect with to curate more episodes. If you are really interested you can even click RIGHT HERE to request a guest spot on Teach Better Talk.
Once you’ve signed up or been a guest on a Podcast, two things happen. It directly connects you to the hosts, which you can continue to connect with further after the episode. It also connects you with their audience.
Once the episode is published, you can easily share it via your own social media platforms, and it can be a great way for new people to connect with you further. There may even be some people you’re connected to that you can find common insights with now that they’ve heard your thoughts or ideas.
The podcast is also a great way to get your message out there in a defined or clear way. This can also grow your PLN as others with similar thoughts or interests can now easily find you.[scroll down to keep reading]
Podcasts for Your PLN as a Creator:
The first thing you might be thinking is, “WHOA…I can’t make a podcast!”
If it was 8 years ago, you might have been right. But honestly, it’s never been easier to create your own podcast or platform to share your thoughts.
Sites like Anchor also make it easy enough to do right from your phone! If you decide to do this, you will easily be able to reach out and connect to all types of educators, guests, or people you want to have on your podcast.
Believe it or not, a lot of those people might want to continue connecting after you record! This can be an amazing way to foster new relationships in your PLN, strengthen existing ones, or give you the opportunity to grow the PLN of others.
So if you’re interested in growing your PLN in a meaningful way, consider Podcasts as a great way to do it, no matter what degree you choose to use them!
About Chad Ostrowski
Chad Ostrowski is the co-founder of the Teach Better Team and the creator of The Grid Method, but he is a middle school science teacher at heart. He now travels the country sharing his story, working with teachers, schools, and districts to help them to reach more students.