NZEXT102 Building your PLN

Share strategies that you have found useful to cultivate and expand your PLN.

Have a look at what others are sharing, and see if you can support them and build on their ideas. Sharing here could also add to your PLN!

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It is very early days for me in cultivating my PLN. Due to ‘unpleasant’ experiences I had years ago, I left Twitter vowing never to return! I am not sure how long this stand-point will remain as I notice from the things I have learned from this Module so far that Twitter is a great source of information with a multitude of opportunities to connect with interesting people.
I have joined Mastodon instead. I like the idea that it is Open Source, too. Currently, I cannot find any ‘instances’ that specialize in Ed Chat or Ed Tech. I would be interested to hear from anyone who would like to get something going, maybe just in NZ, maybe just in Otago Polytechnic! Of course, I may have missed something due to my unfamiliarity with Mastodon. If you are an experienced user with knowledge of education-themed ‘instances’ that I can connect to, please let me know!
I like the look of the Educator’s PLN. I have applied to join and I am awaiting a response.
I have found in my searches to date that many sites and connection media specializing in education focus mainly on compulsory education. I have found relatively few that deal with post-compulsory education and it feels like I might have connected with, or at least reviewed, most of those!
I suppose, for me, it is about being brave and just jumping in to test the temperature of the water - 'not something I usually do but, hey, what’s the worst that can happen? If you are reading this and find yourself feeling the same way, please get in touch and I’ll let you know how it went (if I haven’t been drowned, frozen or boiled by then… :slight_smile: )


Hi Graham,

Speaking personally - I’m not a great fan of Twitter (or any of the walled garden social media sites.)

I like your suggestion of seeding a NZ vocational education instance of Mastodon. As an open source tool - it wouldn’t be hard to set up. The trick will be to generate a critical mass of posters from the sector. As a federated technology it would be possible for every Poly to host their own instance with the ability for users to interact with each other or alternatively we could establish one national instance.

I’d be happy for the OER Foundation to donate hosting services for a Kiwi Mastodon instance for Educators.


Hi Wayne,
Many thanks for your response, and so fast too!
I had no idea that setting something up would be so tricky; that’s my inexperience I suppose. However, I am still keen to do something; I will need to be guided though!
What might be the next steps be and could you, or someone you know, help me please?

@GrahamP - Apology for delayed response. I missed the notification.

We need a small group of champions who can seed a platform and help with promotion and recruitment. Perhaps we can start with a small group at OP and grow from there?

Setting up the site is easy - I’m sure @lightweight can get one hosted on a subdomain. Perhaps something like Happy to arrange a conference call to brainstorm ideas.

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It’d certainly be easy enough for me to set up an NZ-education-focused Mastodon instance on a subdomain of

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That is amazing! I am so happy that you knew who to talk to, Wayne, and for you to say ‘No sweat’, Dave. :smiley:

I think starting the Group at OP is a great idea. I can reach out to my colleagues at Capable NZ and ask them to use their networks too. Of course, I’m not naive enough to expect everyone to suddenly jump on board but I can think of a few ‘activist / anarchist’ types who would welcome the opportunity to connect on a platform that was open source.

I am happy to take on an Admin role if one is needed (only fair for me to do some work too!). So, can we really do this?

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Sorry Wayne, 'got excited and used your name rather than your Forum tag! Please see below…

I’ll have a chat with @mackiwg later today, and we’ll see what we can do.

@lightweight and @mackiwg are amazing! Thanks, guys. :smiley:


Hi Graham (@GrahamP)

Yes, we can really do this :smiley: - That’s the power of free and open source software.

Will be chatting with Dave later today and we can figure out the technical detail.

As Mastodon is a federated system, having volunteers to assist with Admin and Moderation would be a great help.

I reckon having an initial group of OP champions will help seed the space so it doesn’t look like a ghost town when we start recruiting nationally.

Lets do this!

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Lol - that happens with me a lot. When you forget to “@” mention - you should be able to edit your own posts and do the necessary fixes after the fact.

Thanks for the advice,@mackiwg; I didn’t know that but will remember it for next time (as I am sure there will be another stuff-up at some time! :slight_smile: )

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