A PLN is a personal learning network – a tool that we can use to acquire knowledge, make connections, and meet new people.  This can be very helpful and beneficial when taken advantage of and used correctly.  My major is Physical Activity and Lifelong Health.  For my personal learning network, I used LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is great for displaying your work experience and connecting with others in your field.  I began using LinkedIn last year but did not use it very frequently or understand it as well as I would have liked.  Over the course of this past semester, I have been dedicated to understanding LinkedIn more, and interacting with others.  

I made a personal goal to interact on LinkedIn 5 days per week, each day: follow 1-10 new accounts, 1 repost a day, 1 reply a day, and 1-10 likes a day.  I was fairly successful with my goal.  I did make an effort to ensure that I followed new accounts each day.  I am very glad I made this goal as it encouraged me to expand my horizons and learn about new things.  Some of the new accounts that I followed are: American Red Cross, World Health Organization, and the FDA.  Following these pages taught me many things as well as helped me to connect with similar pages.  I also followed some hashtags so my feed would display more posts that I am interested in.  Some hashtags I followed are: #jobsearch, #inspiration, and #mindfullness.  I enjoy following hashtags as it gives me the opportunity to discover new pages and people through the hashtagged posts.  The part of my goal that I struggled with was reposting and replying each day.  There are always many things to discover on LinkedIn, but somedays I didn’t come across (or forgot to look) anything that I was interested in reposting.  I also did not reply to others each day, as sometimes I felt as though no reply was necessary.  I was successful in liking at least one post per day.

LinkedIn gives me the opportunity to share news and ideas that are important and interesting to me.
I am able to connect with people who share similar interests and who also attended Plymouth State University.

There are many things that makes LinkedIn essential for my education and my future career.  LinkedIn has given me the opportunity to learn about and discover things outside of my major that are interesting and valuable to me.  It has also given me the opportunity to meet new people and hopefully find a job soon.  One thing I love about LinkedIn is the “Discover More” feature.  This makes it easy to find new pages, hashtags, and groups to follow.  I also love how easy it is to job search.  Each page you click on you are given the option to view jobs associated with the page.  I have also found it very helpful to search the hashtag #jobsearch, to see the many options out there.  LinkedIn has made me excited and enthusiastic about finding a job after graduation and connecting with a variety of people in my field.  I will continue to use LinkedIn as a personal learning network, and I look forward to the new connections I will continue to make.

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