Creating Your Professional Learning Network

It’s the idea [the PLN] of deliberately cultivating a network of both people and resources that help a teacher grow professionally.
- John Spencer


Reactions to Lesson Planning Process

  • What did you find natural about the process?
  • What did you find challenging?
  • Review Step 5

Conversation with David Carpenter, Instructional Technologist at Alexandria Country Day School (10:15)

Points from David's Presentation

  • NingImportant to build community for support as you begin teaching
  • PLN - allows you avenue to consume, curate and use information to ultimately improve your teaching
  • Important also to contribute out as well - comment on blogs
  • Don't rely just on online connections, materials - the human connection is really important
  • Social networking tools
    • Be sure to follow school policies; also think about how a parent might read/interpret something
    • Blogs are a great resource
      • Both very focused (.e.g, HS biology), but also big picture thinkers as well - David Warlick, Scott McLeod, Jeff Utecht
      • Set up reader (i.e., Google Reader)
      • connect with other bloggers - comment, connect via email
      • Try to move beyond the "echo chamber" to get additional perspectives - look for veterans, find practical advice
    • Twitter - great for resource sharing
      • Be sure to understand and use hashtags -
      • virtual meet-ups can be a great way to connect with other like-minded
      • be careful not to late it take up too much of your time
    • Podcasts -find educational podcasts, also check iTunes
    • Virtual Conferences - e.g., VSTE, Learning 2.0, Ning, Classroom 2.0, etc.
    • How do you sift through it all?
      • Need to keep balance between work and school
      • You can stay measured about it - set time limits for yourself
      • Do a regular check-up to make sure that everything you're looking at is nurturing for you and adds value to your life
    • Connectivism -

Group Jigsaw

  • Divide into groups around key strategies
    • Social media
    • Communities
    • Blogging
    • Multimedia
    • In-Person Relationships
    • Traditional Print
    • Professional Development
  • Each group discusses in greater detail and shares out tips and strategies in the whole group
  • Whole class sharing/recommendations

Additional Resources

From David:

Posts about PLNs:

Possible Online Communities to Join:


  • Learning by Doing. Richard Dufour and others - a practical guide to collaboration within one's school.

Dr. Hofer's Productivity Challenges

  • Notes, notes and more notes -> Evernote (also try the Web clipping)
  • File organization, access, and sharing -> Dropbox
  • Keeping up with my reading -> Google Reader and Instapaper or Pocket
  • Closed collaboration spaces -> Edmodo
  • Sharing resources -> Twitter, Diigo

Good Stuff

  • OneNote (from Microsoft) similar to Evernote
  • Sub Reddits - for science, other areas, as well
  • Spundge - organically growing collection of resources around a topic
  • Good YouTube videos, etc. in Google reader

For Next Time: