For all teachers, administrators, and educators everywhere … (this post was updated from a previous post I had written a few years back)
We all know that professional development and professional growth is important; however, the truth is that many times we get a one-size-fits-all approach to PD that just doesn’t work for everyone. A few years ago I had a group of teachers meet to discuss Personal Learning Networks and the importance of building their individual PLN – Personal Learning Network. This way, teachers can be in charge of what they get so it works for them. And they can also be in charge of what they give so they can help others as well.
Here’s what some of them had to say about PLNs …
“PLNs are a “must have” for teachers … sharing ideas for class projects with lessons accessible through technology. Technology is our future, now.”
“PLNs – The opportunity to set my own agenda for what is relevant, useful, and important to me. Also, to steal every good idea I come across and to share the few I periodically have.”
“I’m always looking for new ideas or a better way. Personally, I’m not very creative, but I can mix and match from other teacher’s ideas and create something that suits my needs. There is so much out there as far as technology, and I do not have the time to sample everything but PLNs will be the time saver. We can all be of benefit to others.”
“My PLN will be beneficial to me. We are living in a time where “time” matters. Kids want things to be automatic – and so do I. The more information I can have in one click, the better off I am. This can help me learn new ways to learn as well as teach what I learn.”
Taking charge of our individual professional development is the way to go. In this day and age, we have access 24/7 (Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) to all sorts of information and things we can learn and share. No matter where you are in the world, there’s always someone available to answer questions and share ideas about what works (and sometimes what doesn’t work) in schools and classrooms. It used to be that we had to rely on just a few people within our districts to do the “Staff Development” for everyone in the district. Now it’s not that way anymore.
You can start your own PLN today with just getting together with one other person who is like you and wants to share, collaborate, and grow to become a better person. And then you can find another person, then another, then another …. Now that’s taking charge of your own learning !!!
And when we learn, it benefits the students. That’s what it’s all about.