Personal Learning Networks
I like to consider myself a lifelong learner and consistently pursue professional and personal knowledge. And I think it’s important to model that behavior for children so they understand that learning doesn’t just occur in school. When I became a teacher, one of my first objectives was to locate and add professional connections to my Personal Learning Network (PLN). I have found these connections to be invaluable and recommend a robust PLN to both new, and more-seasoned, professionals.
- Subscribe to a website aggregator like Zite. Instead of searching individual websites, Zite will retrieve articles and online information specifically tailored to your interests. The more articles you open and “thumbs-up”, the more focused Zite’s searches for you become.
- Find a blog that provides you with valuable information and subscribe to its RSS feed (like WPE’s Teacher Tools blog!).
- Take advantage of all the great webinars on org.
- Join a social learning network like the Knowledge Building Commons (KBC) of INFOhio.org.
- Join an educational listserv specifically geared towards your interests.
- Read! Or better yet, start a workplace book study. (I recommend the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck)
- Set up a group in a Course Management System (CMS) like Schoology and invite like-minded professionals to collaborate and join online chats.
- Become involved in community organizations that support the schools like Westerville Partners for Education (WPE), Westerville Education Foundation (WEF), your school’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), or Westerville Parent Council (WPC).
- In addition to attending district waiver days and individual building meetings, try out an educational conference like one listed in the following article: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/09/26-great-conferences-for-teachers-to.html
Whether you decide to try out one new thing or several, the important thing is to keep learning! Not only will you benefit from the others’ knowledge, but others will also appreciate your contributions.
Westerville Partners for Education