A colleague emailed me today:
"My PLN is my new favorite coffee! I am just as addicted to it as I am my morning cup of joe. It has led me to reflect greatly on what I am doing in the classroom. Honestly, previous inservice time has rarely given me anything that makes me "think" about my teaching practices. I don't always agree with what I read, but what I am reading through my PLN has made me question the way I teach, the way I assess, the way I use technology...from A to Z, I have been reflecting and questioning why I do what I do. I have regained a sense of passion for learning...and learning about topics that I had never given any thought to. Assessing students' learning, for example. I believe a lot of what I do in that area is from the way I was assessed, both in secondary and post-secondary school, and the way I know others in my curriculum area assess. My PLN is changing the way I think. I am so happy that summer break is almost here. There are quite a few changes I want to make to my classes and to my teaching.The email's energy and enthusiasm is the fuel keeping this project alive and well. Once month ago yesterday, I described a vision of rolling out personal learning networks as a differentiated professional development pilot in my building. Several educators from across the globe chimed in with their thoughts, experiences and related plans. I had hoped to elevate our building's awareness of PLNs at our scheduled half day in-service time tomorrow, but unfortunately other items were already on the agenda. Here is a proposal that I presented to the leadership staff for their consideration:
It's amazing how quickly my "network" has grown. I started with just a couple of feeds you had recommended and it has ballooned from there. I am still a "lurker." I have not made any comments...yet!
I cannot praise the PLN idea enough! The only downside, and this is just me personally, is learning how to manage all this information. I have so many interests and sometimes feel like I need to know it all. My reader often sits at 1000+ items because I have subscribed to so many different feeds. I need to learn that I don't have to subscribe to everyone's feeds that are related to my areas of interest, but find those that really hit home with me, really make me think, question, and reflect."
While I had hoped to be farther along with the first action plan step beginning tomorrow, I am still optimistic about the future. My building principal asked me to help him setup his own PLN tomorrow, so that is a step forward in itself. Other staff members have responded positively about their PLN experience so far. With permission, here are her thoughts so far:
"I have really enjoyed Reader and the information I get daily. It ranges from Chef Jamie Oliver's blogs in London, recipes, dance and education. I have taken articles and shared them with my students and it has enriched my lessons. The down side is remembering to check my google account. I get so busy during the day that I may not think about it until after school....I can't wait until summer when I have time to really search for new sites to subscribe to."When thinking back over the past month's progress, I am nothing short of ecstatic. How are personal learning networks making a positive impact on the people in your area of influence?