Saturday, July 18, 2015

Professional and Personal Learning Networks - My Experience!

As the school year wrapped up and I looked forward to Summer with countless hours of being lazy it began to set in that I have a Summer course for my MA in Educational Technology.  The second course for the summer would be that of Creating on the Web.  In this course I would become a Connected Educator.  I learned that through a process of connecting and communicating with other educators and tech gurus, I can advance my craft as well as share anything that may be of value to others.  One of the texts for the course is "What connected educators do differently" by Whitaker, Casas and Zoul.  The key principles they suggest to become a connected educator are the following:
  • Invest in a Personal and Professional Learning Network
  • Learn What They Want, When They Want, How They Want
  • Embrace the Three C's: Communication, Collaboration, and Community
  • Give and Take...Give Some More
  • Strive to Be Tomorrow...Today
  • Know That It Is Still About the 3 Rs: Relationships, Relationships, Relationships
  • Model the Way
  • Know When to Unplug
In my journey through this course, I became more active on my Twitter account to reach out to other connected individuals.  I had previously created an account when I took a course taught by Alice Keeler at Fresno State where I only tweeted several times.  I see the importance of being connected and out there.  I believe being connected can and will flatten the walls of the classroom.  Educators should share what they are doing in their classroom to benefit themselves, their students and other teachers regardless of their content area.  

I believe I began the journey as a skeptic but will continue to connect and build relationships as time progresses and my role in education changes because I can see the impact that it has. My suggestions to individuals that are on the fences about building a PLN or P2LN would be just to do it!  Jump in, learn as you grow!  Fear is definitely a killer.  It is a killer of the person who you could become.  Don't be afraid of what others may say or think about your content.  You may reach and touch more individuals that you can see!  So in leaving you, I say build and nurture relationships - communicate - collaborate - be part of the community! 

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