Learning communities are a great way for educators, therapists, specialists, and administrators to explore, share, and collaborate. I explore plenty. I spend hours looking through resources, watching videos, and combing through new websites. I have not done much of the other two, sharing and collaborating. I guess I feel like I don’t have much to share. But when I start digging around, I find that a lot of the “new” technologies and classroom management techniques that educators are sharing are things I’ve been using for months or even years. I know that I teach my students to the best of my ability; I’m just not sure that everyone else in the educational world will see it that way too. I’m a little insecure in sharing my ideas with my professional colleagues. Maybe it’s time to start.
So, what do I get from being a member of a PLN?
In a nutshell, a plethora of ideas, resources, and means to communicate with other educators. I have at least one email daily with webinars or posts from teachers on an online discussion form or chat room. I am able to share the majority of these resources with other teachers at my school.
These are the three PLNs that I am a member of.
Texas Computer Education Association
TCEA is a member-based organization founding in 1980 that has played a vital role in technology funding and access to schools servicing Pre-K through higher education (2015). They are most commonly known for their yearly conventions, various certification programs, and weekly webinars called “Lunch and Learn.”
TCEA. 2015. Who We Are. Retrieved from http://www.tcea.org/about/
Microsoft Educator Network
The Microsoft Educator Network is used to provide “professional development to government policymakers, school leaders, and educators around the world to take new approaches to teaching and learning, using technology to help students develop 21st century skills” (2015). Through the MEN, you are able to take virtual courses and watch webinars on “Teach with Tech.”
Microsoft Educator Network. 2015. What is Microsoft in Education. Retrieved from https://www.educatornetwork.com/about/overview
edWeb.net is an online, professional social and learning network that I recently joined. edWeb.net is free to members who want “to collaborate, share ideas, and move forward faster with new ideas and initiatives…” (2015). I have not had a ton of time to explore this PLN, but from what I’ve received in emails, I like the information that I’ve been receiving almost daily from other member’s web postings.
edWeb.net. (2015). Why edWeb. Retrieved from http://home.edweb.net/why-edweb/