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Growing Your Professional Learning Network
For many of you, the frantic pace of the school year may soon be winding down. This blog series has offered a number of ideas to help you find time during your busy schedule to improve practice through self-reflection: capturing and reviewing video, engaging in lesson study, and closely examining student work. With summer approaching, I’d like to offer yet another idea for taking time to reflect and renew: develop or grow your Professional Learning Network (PLNs).
For those of you who may be new to PLNs, Lisa Nielsen, The Innovative Educator, describes them as connections “created by an individual learner, specific to the learner’s needs, extending relevant learning connections to like-interested people around the globe.” Will Richardson, an early advocate of Web 2.0 and the power of technology, describes the possibilities that open up when learners—adults or children--are empowered to connect to those who share common interests, as popular or esoteric as they may be.
For me, the summer months present a particularly attractive opportunity to connect with educators beyond your usual boundaries and I encourage you to do the same and join a network of educators! A few ideas might be: Curriculum21 - creating the global classroom of the future; TweenTeacher - nurturing your passion for teaching (especially adolescents!); or Dangerously Irrelevant - leading schools forward in a technology-rich world; and continue to stay plugged in to The SPARK Community – NWEA’s community of educators sharing best practices for unlocking the power of data.
Start by reading and listening, engage in the conversations by posting comments once you’re comfortable, and enjoy the energy and passion that grows from your budding network!
Share your ideas for how you rest and recharge over the summer months!