Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Professional Learning Networks

My Professional Learning Network (PLN) allows me to gather information and learning from a broad group of resources. Like many educators, I didn't realize that I had one until I took a look at what I was already doing and discovered it was true!

Graham Attwell discusses Professional Learning Environments (PLE) in his slidecast on Pontydysgu. He sums up by stating that we need to start thinking about "what a personal learning environment is and what we can do with that personal learning environment." Defining it is more difficult that designing it, imho.

One of the greatest assets to my PLN is twitter as it is truly "Just In Time" learning for me and I believe my peers would agree. Tools brought to me by Web 2.0 programmers and developers have helped the world grow smaller as I converse and collaborate online, in webinars and videocasts and meetings, with educators from all over the world.

This morning I saw a 'tweet' about joining a Lee Kolbert a teacher from Florida (and a fellow STAR DEN member) in a show she was recording for the Palm Breeze Cafe. The Palm Breeze Cafe is part of her district's professional development offerings for teachers and staff. Lee was reporting on and its use as a collaborative tool for education. It was amazing how many teachers saw her tweet and joined in the fun of discovery and learning! None of us, including the teacher, had seen it before and yet we all jumped in and posted.

I recognize that my own attitude toward technology has changed dramatically. I embrace the changes technology brings to every part of my life but most especially in education. Where once I wondered how can I I now think when and where can I include this tool in my students learning?