As my first semester in the IDS program comes to a close, I have grown more academically and personally than I have in the past five years as a college student. IDS has given me an opportunity to be as creative and articu
late as I want to be, while still providing guidance on certain things I thought I could
never achieve. As of now I can say the best part of this course started out as my worst nightmare….Twitter. As a high school student I loved tweeting, my graduating class even voted me “Best Tweeter of the Class of 2012.” As I grew older the novelty of just another social media platform faded. Dr. Robin DeRosa changed the way I looked at Twitter from just another social media thing to the idea of a personal learning network (PLN). A personal learning network can be whatever you decide to make it! For me, my idea of a PLN is a space where you can connect with the front runners of the field you happen to be interested in. Not only that, you can share, comment, read and engage in great conversations about the newest happenings around the world.
Twitter can be a more professional and educational platform, if you choose to make it that way. Building my PLN was (and still is!) a challenge: finding credible accounts that don’t post garbage or spam, and even just finding accounts that are associated with athletic training was hard. Most of the accounts I follow are sports medicine based, considering that is my area of interest. Some of the best accounts I follow include: The National Athletic Trainers Association, The Korey Stringer Institute, The Concussion Blog, Athletic Training and Sports Health Care Journal, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine Online, Injury Pic Page (because as a future AT I LOVE GORY INJURY PICS), and The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, just to name a few! Building a PLN involves google searches, twitter searches, following credible and interesting accounts then sifting through the accounts they follow, reading through tweets that have been published to decide if an account is worth following, etc. Long story short, it’s a lot of work but it is most certainly worth it.
Having a PLN for the rest of my education career is going to be more beneficial than I had originally had planned. The articles, stories, pictures and advice posted by various accounts will aid in my learnings as a future graduate student in a competitive, fast-paced athletic training graduate program.
There is more ‘need to know’ information hidden in some of these articles than I could find in a text book. Being able to see situations that current athletic trainers, sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, and certified strength and conditioning specialists is proving to be a vital part of my education. In my future career the ability to connect so easily with experts and national organizations in my field will be a great experience. There are so many accounts that are so active and willing to offer help to those who ask. My PLN has changed the way I look at this social media platform and is starting to change the way I learn.
Check out some great tweets from various accounts on my Storify: