It was serendipity theI came across these three quotes [one a scripture] all at once that made me reflect on the value of PLNs:
The only one who is wiser than anyone is everyone.
Rarely does one person have 100% of the solution. It more likely that 100 people can bring 1% of the solution.
Steven Anderson, @web20classroom
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
We read and learn about new dimensions of learning and responsibilities for students, such as digital literacy, digital citizenship regularly. We plan for these changes in our learning environments. These are all significant to the direction of where our schools have to go – but I think teachers who have these connected experiences can plan for better, more meaningful connected experiences for their students.
I am a firm believer in building up PLNs – I blog/Tweet about it, participate in chats, research and share, present on it and co-moderate two impactful groups. My PLNs are a fundamental part of my practice, how I help my school and build the philosophy of where I am leading my school. But my experiences are hardly unique. We can’t count the number of educators out there who are dramatically changing their practice because of their connected experiences in their PLNs. My thought is the more we participate and share, the more dynamic growth we will see and the more educators will share these successes. With this growing new understanding, I think we will soon see very specific criteria for educators requiring them to not only engage in continued learning by connecting to opportunities outside of their school but to also grow and develop personalized learning networks or language that is very similar.
This is coming and it raises questions:
- What will it look like?
- By the time it happens, how many of our educators will already have this forward momentum and how many will need significant support?
- How do I support my teachers in building up their PLN?
- What can I do to change teacher mindsets to accept PLNs as part of their norms?
- How well will our teacher preparers be able to communicate this?
- How different will PLNs be when they are mandated/expected of all educators?