With our ETMOOC focus on connected learning this past week I have been reflecting on the journey I have undertaken in building my own PLN, one that I’ve come to lean heavily on for ongoing professional growth. A few short years (or months) ago I kept pretty much to myself, having a fairly direct line between me and any new information I wanted to bring into my practice. It was the move toward a culture of PLCs in my school division that helped me understand the importance of collaborating with colleagues to improve as a teacher and administrator. Now, I honestly don’t know how I could operate without my PLN.
If you are participating in this ETMOOC you have probably already come to realize the importance of being connected, and all the benefits it holds. We are the “rich” when it comes to connected learning. And you know that old saying, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Many in our schools are the “poor” and have yet to embark on the connected learning journey. Some of our most important work will be in encouraging them to take that first step.
So, before they join Twitter. Before they start a blog. Before they open a G+ account. Before they dive into a Massive Online Open Course. Encourage them to open the door of their classroom and connect with the colleague next door. It’s the first step in the connected learning journey.
The following clip illustrates a first step for teachers at my school a couple years ago.