Professional development and networking are vital in any field, and that’s especially true for educators.
Whether it’s coming up with fresh ideas for lesson plans and classroom activities, seeking mentorship and support from veteran educators, or cultivating resources for technology integration or for meeting state standards, teachers need one another’s expertise.
That’s why working with other educators in personal learning networks (PLNs) has become as important in an educator’s day as the time he or she spends teaching in class.
Below is a short list of PLNs that already exist, followed by some resources to help teachers build their own
- The Educator’s PLN is a Ning site (or online platform for creating your own social network) that facilitates connections between educators. It features a slew of resources such as downloadable podcasts with education leaders as guest speakers, discussion groups with specific purposes like exploring the iPad’s use in the classroom, and links to relevant blogs, videos, resource lists, and events.
- Powerful Learning Practice is a professional development program for progressive-minded educators. Its year-long curriculum provides cohorts of teachers with new ideas and hands-on practice in order to bolster their tech knowledge and aptitudes, rethink classroom activities to make them relevant for today’s students, find other teachers with similar goals, and build their own tech-rich learning tools. It isn’t free ($1,500 per person for a year of professional development in a school or district team or $1,000 as an individual), but teachers can usually earn education credits for their participation.