How A PLN Can Make You Filthy Rich

Origami dollar t-shirt

I'm starting a new association for music educators. We are going to meet monthly. The dues are one dollar per month, per member. However, each member will also receive one dollar for every member in attendance. So, if there are 100 people at the meeting, each member will give one dollar, but leave with 99 dollars. No strings attached. Pretty amazing model, wouldn't you say?

If that idea was guaranteed not to be a scam, would you do it? Of course you would! A one dollar investment that returns 99 dollars, every month? You would have to be crazy not to participate. So what is my point? It's this: although money doesn't work that way, ideas do. If, in a group of 100 teachers, each teacher shares one idea, everyone gets 99 new ideas.

Unlike money, educational ideas can be shared without losing their value.

And this is exactly what Professional Learning Networks are all about. The problem is, not enough teachers are sharing. They may think their ideas are not good enough. They may think they are too busy. They may be worried about being judged. All I can say is... if that describes you... get over it, and quick. You are cheating yourself, your students, and many other teachers (and their students). Teaching music is not a competition. All of our students deserve the best instruction.

My PLN lives in three main areas at the moment: A Facebook group of about 1,500; A Facebook page of about 600; and about 400 people I interact with on Twitter. It boggles my mind to imagine what we could do for students if each one of those people shared one idea per month. The number of participants in a PLN doesn't mean much if only a small percentage are sharing what they know.

You don't have to start a blog (but congrats to those of you who are trying it), you can simply start by posting a thought, idea, or link. Put it into the comments below this post, or post it on Twitter, or in your Facebook status. I can promise you that if we all share, we'll all get far more in return than we give.

So... do you want to be filty rich or not? Get your dollar on the table!

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at
7 responses
This is a great point. I love sharing and discussing ideas with other people. I've been doing this for almost a year on my blog with a couple of other music teachers. Take a look, I'd love to have more feedback on our site.


Well said! I have been on Twitter just 8 short months, and the ability to share and network is astounding. So many new opportunities and ideas have come my way via Twitter. Teachers who don't make the time for it, thinking it's just "brain droppings", are really missing out. Thanks for sharing.
Love this post man! I've read it 3-4 times. Keep up the great work.
This is SUCH a great post!!!
Thanks! Thought it was worth revisiting. 

Great analogy, Brian!
This is so true. I've just hitting the tip, but I can tell the whole ice berg is under there. Working in small, isolated schools for the past decade has limited my PLN. This new paradigm is exciting!