What if your professional learning community was available 24 hours a day, every day of the year? Would you like to have a place to share lesson plans, student work, a new curriculum, and to provide a discussion forum for all stakeholders? You can, even with only a basic understanding of technology. The authors explain how they created an online professional learning network to share a new core curriculum, providing a framework for constructing such a network to fit your school's needs. The many benefits include:
Enhanced communication among teachers, administrators, and the community
Easy access to professional development for many more participants
Implementation of best practices and instructional strategies for improved teacher performance
Increased understanding of and commitment to educational goals
Included are checklists, flowcharts, screenshots of an actual learning network, case studies, and a glossary of terms. This book provides all the tools you need to build a successful and motivating professional community online.
approach offered in the book, the reader can determine at what level to begin and can devise a timeline that will help them eventually reach their targeted goals and objectives. A reader will walk away with the know-how and the resources they need to get started. In addition, the book acts as a support as the readers goes through the experience of creating a personal learning network. Even the reluctant user of technology will feel comfortable embracing the ideas presented, and will in turn encourage other educators to take the leap.
Robin Thompson is curriculum coordinator for Manatee High School. Prior to this position, she served as reading coach and an intensive reading teacher at the high school, and taught various elementary and middle school grades. Thompson enjoys the process of designing, building, and launching professional learning networks. Her degree is in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in literacy, and she is especially interested struggling adolescent readers. A graduate of the University of Florida in educational technology, I lean towards the concept of connectivism when it comes to educating adolescent and adult learners alike. In today's digital environment it is more important than ever to explore the biology of the human mind as well as the tools that exist outside the human mind that aid in learning. I have experience teaching both English and reading in grades 6-12. At the present time I am an assistant principal at Manatee High School in Bradenton, FL. Working with Bob and Robin has provided an exciting and rare experience of taking an idea and bringing it to fruition. We have truly synthesized our various levels of expertise to develop a personal learning network that has already reached beyond our initial expectations and that has the possibilities to steadily grow with the rapidly transforming learning environment. Currently the Principal of Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida, I have had the honor of bringing a D-rated high school on the Florida Department of Education school-rating scale to an A-rating. I have worked diligently to demonstrate leadership and believe firmly that through teacher empowerment and the modeling of effective guidance any school climate can be transformed and improved. Working closely with Robin and Laurie, we have truly achieved a monumental task that we will continue to build and revise to meet the vast needs of both our teachers and our students.
List of Figures Preface: Getting the Big Picture How the Concept of a Professional Learning Network Came into Focus What to Expect in this Book Why We Wrote this Book Acknowledgments About the Authors 1. Focusing on a Professional Learning Network What Is a Professional Learning Network? Why PLN Focus? Snapshot of Our PLN A Bird's-Eye View of How to Build Your PLN Review Resources 2. Zooming in on Leadership Why a Leadership Focus for a PLN Snapshot of Leadership in Our PLN A Bird's-Eye View of Leadership for Your PLN Review Resource 3. Going Digital: Infusing Technology Into a PLN Why a Technology Focus for a PLN? Snapshot of Technology on Our PLN A Bird's-Eye View of Technology for Your PLN Review Resource 4. Landscape for Communication of Information Why a Communication Focus for a PLN? Snapshot of Communication on Our PLN A Bird's-Eye View of Communication on Your PLN Review 5. Framing Curriculum and Instruction Why a Curriculum Focus for a PLN? Snapshot of Curriculum on Our PLN A Bird's-Eye View of Curriculum on Your PLN Review Resources 6. Exposures to Learning Why a Professional Development Focus for a PLN? Snapshot of Professional Development on Our PLN A Bird's-Eye View of Professional Development on Your PLN Review 7. Begin Your Focus With Eight Steps What are the Steps You Need to Begin? Snapshot of the Eight Steps to Build Your PLN Review Resource 8. Adding Perspective: Viewing a PLN With a New Lens A Review of Why a PLN A Snapshot of Our Experience The Future of PLNs The Future of Your PLN References Index