Saturday, January 13, 2018

PLN in Real Life!

Before I got on Twitter, I could never understand how PLN connections could grow so strong. We're only interacting over the computer, right? In the past year and a half, I have had my mind blown and world expanded as I have truly made friends from all over the world.

Lunch with friends - PLN IRL :-)
This past week, I was able to take a vacation to visit some of my PLN friends in real life!

The short story: It was amazing!

The longer story: Over the past year or so, @msventurnio@meagan_e_kelly, and I have built a friendship on Twitter. It began with holding each other accountable to having a better work-life balance, and has blossomed into so much more! They have been an amazing support system for me as we all navigate both life and a career in education.

When Mari mentioned that she had an extra ticket to Hamilton, I half-jokingly asked if I could fly out and see it with her. The joke quickly became reality, and we planed a trip for me to come visit for a few days! Along with the show, we enjoyed going to the zoo, the beach (well, sort of, as it was rainy), and just hanging out together.

Hamilton - if you get the chance,
DEFINITELY go see this show!
Zoo! Animals!

Here's the thing: I get that it's a little weird to fly to a different state to hang out with someone you've never actually met before. And I know it's important to teach our kids to be safe and cautious online. But I never want us to be so fearful of the bad that we miss out on the powerful good that can come through connecting! The conversations I have had through my PLN have completely enriched my life as an educator and as a person. I wouldn't trade it for the world! Every time I go to a conference, I enjoy meeting people who I have interacted with online, and deepening our relationship.

PLN friendships are real. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. I came back from this trip feeling so refreshed - partially because I was on vacation, but also because I was able to relax and hang out with friends (thank you so much for hosting me, Mari!). I'm grateful for all of my PLN friends and look forward to meeting many more of you over the years - but, at the same time, I know that our friendships are already strong because of what we do every day!


  1. I loved having you come visit! Thanks for all the adventures, letting me cook for you, and tagging along to work with me :) come back again soon!

    1. Thank YOU for being an amazing host, taking me on adventures, cooking for me, and encouraging me to get my Apple Teacher certification while you were working - CHECK! You are always welcome in Colorado too!

  2. Love that you got to meet up (and JEALOUS that you got to see Hamilton!)

  3. I am so so so happy for you. I have had several of these PLN in real life experiences and each have been just as wonderful as yours. I’m so happy they have become such wonderful friends for you. It really is the best!!

  4. This is just neat! I've had some cool experiences getting to meet online friends face to face, but never across state lines. I'm glad you took the leap and got to have this experience!