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Networking and Learning in a Virtual World

by Stacy Benge
January/February 2020
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Article Link: http://childcareexchange.com/article/networking-and-learning-in-a-virtual-world/5025192/

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About five years ago, in an effort to grow my early childhood business and network with others, I created profiles and accounts on various social media outlets. Although there were many platforms to choose from, I decided to concentrate on Facebook, Twitter, and then Instagram a few years later. My goal was to find opportunities to share and gather information in the early years community, as well as market myself as a presenter. Fortunately, social media opened many professional doors, which cultivated relationships and knowledge that greatly exceeded my expectations.

Beginning the Journey

Stepping into social media overwhelmed me at first. On all of the outlets, I started out by following professional organizations including NAEYC and its state and local chapters. I also connected with other trainers and consultants I knew professionally. When reading articles, journals, or publications, I searched for the authors and followed them if they had profiles. I then took notice of who those people were interacting with, and I started to follow those accounts as well. I learned quickly not to follow everybody, as part of your online persona is to ...

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