Friday, May 8, 2015

Professional Development to Professional Learning Network

Fairly recently I became involved in the twitter community of educators.  Hashtag chats and networking with others has been fun and I have learned quite a bit from 140 character blurbs.  Beyond Twitter, I have read blogs and watched video.  In each of these, I feel a lack of connection to those I work with.  Being a teacher who consistently works with others, the pseudo-interaction with others is not necessarily enough to make the interaction personal.

I have taught PD, worked with others to create learning walks, continued discussions with teachers about best practice and applications in their class.  I have built connections that allow me to see the transformation in another class and also to learn how teachers evolve in their learning journey.  Where twitter and blog reading lacks the personal connection, this time of deep professional development lacks the number of teachers.

What is the missing link?  How can professional development remain personal, but also impact a larger number of teachers?  How can it incorporate the fun of gamification, the focus of content groups, and innovative best practice?

I am currently working on a professional development network.  One in which teachers traverse a series of levels.  From learning technology skills, to observing teachers at their school, discussing practice with teachers at other sites, and then inviting others into their class and discussing practice and sharing techniques.

The idea is to start by first learning, then slowly expanding the professional learning network (PLN) to the school site and beyond.  Discussing with teachers using video conferencing.  Sometimes a PLN withing your department or school is large enough.  Other times, you need to move beyond that network to find those who are willing to push the boundaries too.  That is what I am hoping to create.  If you are a teacher who wishes to to know more about this or are interested in hearing more about this, leave a comment on the blog or pm me on twitter, @thedrmorgan and I will let you know how to get involved and will probably ask you what you think.

I have a lot built out now, but as I work through this, I would enjoy feedback from others.  Thanks.

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