I just finished reading The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age. This book resonated for me for many reasons. I have been working to build my own Personal Learning Network (PLN) over the past few years. The book helped solidify my understanding of PLNs and how they relate to professional learning communities. I feel better prepared to reach out and take the risks necessary to establish my digital footprint, build trust, and ultimately build community.
For the reader, this book is structured in a meaningful way. There are chapters that help differentiate between Personal Learning Networks, Communities of Practice and Professional Learning Communities. There are chapters that describe useful tools in building your PLN and connecting with others, along with examples of where to start and with whom. There are chapters that illustrate WHY this is important for educators in today’s world. Most importantly, it’s shared in a format that makes sense. The chapters begin with short scenarios illustrating the ideas and end with activities for the reader. These short activities (Get Connected!) are suggestions for how to create accounts, collaborate, and connect with others. Do these- they’re worth it! It’s hard to imagine that someone reading this book won’t be a connected educator when they’re finished. The book guides the reader through every step of the process smoothly.
I highly recommend this book. Educators world-wide are connecting, enriching their work with knowledge and experiences from one another, and building collaborative cultures. Don’t miss out on this journey.