Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘PLN’

Teaching: My Passion is Not a Reflection on You!

My teenage son said to me, “Mom, do you realize that you are lucky to have your dream job? Most people hate their job”.

He’s right. I am extremely blessed to be able to do this job for 29 years, and still love it. This is the job I have wanted to do since I was that little girl. That girl, in her friend’s basement, attempting to teach the few kids we could scrounge up. READ MORE

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My PLN Is My Education BFF!

My PLN (Professional Learning Network) is my Education BFF (Best Friend Forever)! That’s how I feel about my PLN!  It is not easy to teach in isolation, but I did,  for many years.  No more! I have surrounded myself with educators from all over the world and I, and my students,  have profited educationally, from my actions.

I have learned more in the last year since I discovered, and joined a number of  Professional Learning Networks and/or Communities,  then I have in my 27 years of teaching. No exaggeration!!

What should a PLN provide?  Here are what, I believe, are   important aspects of a good PLN:

  1. Your opinion matters!  Sometimes people get caught up in listening to ‘experts” and we forget that we are all experts in this field. We all have something to add.
  2. You get feedback, whether you ask a question, state an opinion, or provide information. (Not all the time, but at some point)
  3. Collaborate with people who share a common interest.
  4. It provides a forum for active, current, relevant,  discussions. (My favorite part)
  5. They are willing to share. (Otherwise, what’s the point of being in a PLN?)
  6. You gain relevant information that is useful.

I am a part of many, many,  PLNs, but I have my favorites!

Edmodo communities – You have to join Edmodo in order to join the communities. A plethora of information in every subject! Just a bunch of teachers, online, talking and sharing information. Have a question?  It will be answered.  It is very rare that I see a question or comment posted where a teacher does not get at least one response.  You can share links, blogs, files, projects, etc…, and then place them in your Edmdodo library so that you don’t lose it.

Linkedin– It’s not just for networking, even though that’s a great aspect of it. I am a part of a number of groups on Linkedin. Edubloggers, Elementary School Teachers of America, Teacher’s Lounge, and last, but not least, Technology Integration in Education. Not only do we share information, but the discussions generated in these groups are lively and informative! This is another PLN where if you need  advice, guidance, or  ideas,  plenty of teachers will jump in to help!

what a great teaching idea!  This group is pretty new and it is on FB. They are now at 1,000 members in a few weeks! The name says it all, teachers who have great teaching ideas that they are willing to share. It’s on FB, so you can add links, posts, videos,etc…, which makes it very easy to share those great teaching ideas!

And of course, Twitter, where I have made many, many, connections. I use Twitter more as a “get information” and “meet other teachers”  source.  I know there are teachers  who participate in “edchats”, which provides a venue on any and all topics in education. And just like the other PLNs, it is a huge source of information, ideas, and discussion.

I also subscribe to Education sites, like Education Week, so that I can stay current with what’s going on in our field.

And let’s not forget your school and district PLN/PLC!

You don’t need all the PLNs I mentioned above, especially if you are new to teaching, but just like a best friend, it’s nice to have at least  one to turn to when you need help!

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, No It’s Cybraryman!

One thing I have learned to do is to lean on others, and not try to do everything myself.  I love technology, and I could sit, literally, for hours in front of my computer, looking for techy things to do with my class.  However,  having  a husband and a child who would like some of my time, it is not possible. (Well, at least not until I’m off the school year.)     

Anyway, I have fallen in love with Cybraryman, educationally in love, of course.   I find what he does  absolutely amazing!  I know people probably wonder where he finds the time to do what he does. Personally, I don’t care, as long as he keeps doing it. 🙂  He chooses a subject, most tech related, but not just limited to tech stuff.  He then proceeds to develop a list, a very long list, of links that correlate with that subject.  I mean, can you ask for anything more? It’s a one-stop shopping list!

I conducted a workshop on wonderful websites. Unfortunately,  because I teach 5th grade,  I didn’t have too many Primary education sites.  I made sure I included the Cybraryman Primary Education site  on the  Jog the Web I shared with the staff.  The K -2 teachers did not visit any of the other sites I had listed, they stayed on his site  during the entire workshop. He’s that good!

At this point, you might be thinking, did he pay her to say all these things? Nah! I follow him on Twitter, and every time he posts a link, I am on it ! ( http://twitter.com/#!/cybraryman1). He has so many sites, I decided to create a Cybraryman Livebinder of his sites. All Cybraryman, in one place. As he creates them, I will add them.  With all that we have to do, it’s wonderful to know there is someone out there willing to make our job easier.   Thanks Cybraryman!

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