Below is a list of the PLN’s that I have joined. I hope to add to this list as I find more PLN’s that may help me in growing in education, science and technology!
- edWeb – (https://www.edWeb.net) – I joined three groups on this site. They are: Athletes as Readers and Leaders, Digital Learning & Leadership, and Secondary Science Teachers. I hope to learn some valuable knowledge in each of these Professional Learning Networks so that I can implement them into my classroom as well as any other future position I obtain. I have not yet posted any questions or contributed to any discussions as of yet, but I will continue to review the group chats to look for opportunities to build my knowledge as well as pass on the current knowledge I have to others.
- the Educators PLN (http://edupln.ning.com/) – I joined three groups on this site as well. They are 21st Century Science Educators, Online Teaching and Learning, & Web 2.0 / Emerging Technology. I recently posted a question about science labs in an online environment. I hope to find some good insight regarding this issue as it pertains to my position! This is a FREE website.
- Canvas Community PLN (https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome) – After reading some of my other classmates posts, I realized that I hadn’t checked our district learning management software (LMS). I have since checked and joined several communities within Canvas that will allow me to collaborate with other educators and course designers that used the same LMS program. This is a great community that will allow me to get specific help with the software that I am using for my campus and district. I have joined the ISTE group, Instructional Designers group and K-12 group so far on Canvas. I look forward to building a network of professionals that will help me grow into a better leader for my campus.
- EdChat ( https://www.participate.com/chats) – This is another free site that uses Twitter. This website allows us to follow hashtags and join daily or weekly conversations with other people in our profession from all over the world.
- Twitter (https://www.twitter.com) – This is by far my favorite go to platform for staying up to date with the latest education and ed tech trends going on around the country and the world. I created a Twitter handle specifically for this site and I follow only education professionals and organizations that will help me grow as a ed tech professional. This is the one place that I do share my blog posts on as well as my projects for the world to view.
I haven’t been a part of any official online professional learning community prior to this course, but I have talked and chatted with several other professionals over the years about growing as an educator and coach. I began following twitter chats that were focused on educational technology and found that many of the people in the #edchats have valuable feedback and ideas that may help me in the future. As a coach, I tried to attend as many conferences in the off-season so that I could listen to the top professionals in the field that I was coaching. It also allowed me to meet with other coaches from around the state and country that were in similar positions as me. We would have conversations about coaching philosophies and how they may be different. The great thing is that I learned so much more about my “Why” because I often had to explain why I chose to do things a different way than someone else. It was a very enlightening time because several times I made changes to my personal philosophy because of an explanation from someone else made more sense to me. I was always wanting to grow into a better coach and new that if I didn’t listen and learn from others, I wouldn’t develop new techniques that would help me in the future. I actually found out about the Mindset book from Shaka Smart, the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Texas. I had the opportunity to hear him talk twice over the last couple of years and both times, it was one of the books he recommended to other coaches. This book is impacting every profession! I look forward to learning from these networks and growing in the digital learning profession!
Again, as a coach, I don’t feel I began contributing to anyone else until the last couple of years that I was still coaching. Our coaching staff did not change for the first 5 years that I was there, and I was the young guy on the block. About 3 years ago, we finally got a “new” guy that I was able to invest some time in and give some ideas on how to grow as a coach. I seem to always be a consumer in the aspect of learning, but I know that I need to contribute more in what I am able to give from my experience. As a teacher, it has always been fun and self-rewarding to see when my students and new teachers hear something for the first time from me! I want to be able to do that more with adults as I move forward in my career, but it will take some confidence on my part.
Online professional learning networks will be very beneficial in allowing me to see what is working around the state, nation and world. I will have the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to my specific situations without having to take a day off and pay for a conference. It’s right at our fingertips and we don’t have to go anywhere!
My collaboration within educational technology needs to improve so that I can contribute more to the field, but I have been engaged in the field for quite some time. I am always reading articles that from Edutopia and other educational sites that give good insight into what is going on around the digital learning world. As I have said before, I also follow several twitter accounts that share really good articles on the most current Ed Tech issues and I’ll re-tweet them out if I think that they’re worth reading for others.
Bernard, Sarah (2011, May 19). 5 Personal Learning Networks (PLNs for Educators. KQED News. Retrieved from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/05/19/5-personal-learning-networks-plns-for-educators/