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Four keys to leverage the internet to make you better

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This article is for those who find themselves "wasting" time online. In this article, Dr. De'Andrea Wiggins shares how to leverage the internet to make you better.

Have you ever found yourself spending too much time browsing social media? Did you start the year by saying you wanted to learn more in your field? Do you want to be more valuable in the workplace? Today, I want to share with you four keys that you can use to leverage your time on the internet and reach your personal goals.

The four keys that I'm going to share with you make up your personal learning network (PLN). Each of these four areas can help you to grow, flourish, and find balance while using your time on the internet wisely.

  1. Your educational network - What sites offer you an opportunity to learn new skills, develop current skills, or earn a degree or certification? Many people use podcasts, internet radio shows, and even YouTube to gain valuable skills. There are even sites like edx.org which allow you to take free online classes.
  2. Your professional network - There are many sites which utilize hashtags (the # symbol) which allow its users to find information and professionals in their field. Twitter and Google+ can be used in this manner and has created networking opportunities and even professional development.
  3. Your social network - This area doesn't need much help. The most common social network is undoubtedly Facebook, which allows you to connect with former classmates, family, and friends. There are also special interest groups to join and follow to build your other networks.
  4. Leisure and Entertainment - While it is good to physically go out and have a good time, when the weather is bad, staying at home isn't such a bad idea. Netflix, Flipbook, Hulu, Pandora and other sites offer a plethora of entertainment options.

As you find other sites or applications to use on your smart phone, tablet, or computer, continue to build your PLN. If nothing else, you can show mom that the internet is not just a waste of time.

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