Posts Tagged ‘Personal Learning Networks’

I just got back from Philadelphia where I attended and was a part of PLPLive. I met many of the amazing people who supported me and our team last year during our year with Powerful Learning Practice. Meeting them face to face felt like re-connecting with old friends! We picked up where we had left off and continued the conversation as though there had been no break. The timing of this event was perfect for me as it brought PLP right back to the forefront of my thinking. The keynote speakers solidified that with their astute and important messages. It was an amazing experience and caused me to reflect back often on the last year. Many asked how I was connected to PLP. Here’s my story:
Last year we had a team of teachers, plus myself and one administrator, participate in the year-long PLP journey. Our action research project focused on building our PLNs and getting connected. As a result of this work, those 5 teachers and I are all feeling more connected and seeing the impact on our teaching and on our work with students.

Over the summer, another PLPeep from my school and I each taught courses to our colleagues. The content of those courses was directly related to what we gained from our PLP experience. Now there are 20 additional teachers on the road to getting connected, blogging with students, sharing with a larger audience, and more.

This year, it our administrators decided that in our district that each grade span (K-2, 3-4, 5-8) would have a larger technology focus for the year. Two of the three groups have met and have decided that publishing and sharing work with a larger audience will be their goals. I meet with one more group tomorrow. BUT, our administrators have also dedicated themselves to pursuing a tech goal for this year. Their goal: “Develop our PLN (Personnel Learning Network) to improve our ability to collaborate and connect with other educators in order to grow professionally and improve education for our students. ”

I believe that our work with PLP was a catalyst for much of this work and the change that has already taken place, let alone the change ahead.

My next steps? Support these endeavors. Explore the idea of the Connected Coaching course offered by PLP. Work to see how we can bring PLP back to Vermont for other schools and districts. Be powerful.

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I just wanted to take a moment to share some positives that have happened recently.

First… in brainstorming some ideas with K-2 teachers about the upcoming 100th Day of School (who came up with this ‘holiday’?!), I thought we could use Google Maps. I created a map and shared it out via Twitter. The hope was to get 100 schools on the map by February 8th, our 100th Day of school. We met that goal and have surpassed it, with almost a week to go! Thanks to my Twitter PLN for helping to make that happen.

I think this demonstrated the power of Twitter and showed how truly connected we are. Many teachers in our schools were able to use the ever-changing map with students, showing them how it changed day to day, how many new schools had added themselves, and where they were.

The second thing celebration took place on Digital Learning Day. This was the first ever Digital Learning Day and in our schools we used it as an reason to take a snapshot of many of the things that happen involving technology on a given day. Teachers contributed to a shared Google Doc and described what they did and what technologies were involved. It was an amazing display! It’s impossible for me to grasp, day to day, just how much is happening around the buildings and this gave me and everyone insight in to that amazing phenomenon.

There are awesome things happening in our schools.

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I just got back from three days at the VermontFest conference in Killington, Vermont. This is an annual Ed-tech conference sponsored by Vita-Learn.

I presented at three different sessions. One was a 3-hour pre-conference session which I co-presented with another Vermont technology integration specialist. We worked with the attendees on using the Vermont Tech Grade Expectations (our state standards) as well as the Transformation and Technology Scenarios. It was an engaging discussion with fabulous educators.

The next morning I shared a presentation of how Google apps are being used at the elementary level in Vermont. Many others contributed to this presentation, both in person and virtually. I can’t thank them enough for that. It was a clear illustration of how our work CAN be done with our younger students. This session was a truly collaborative effort.

And on the last day, I shared information about how I have built my PLN (Personal Learning Network). It was fun to share how my network on Twitter has helped me grow and learn, as well as amazing other networks like the Educator’s PLN and Diigo, to name a few. I think perhaps a few educators in the room may have been encouraged to build upon their own PLNs.

It was also extremely special to have 6 of the educators from my school also present. Their topics ranged greatly, from technology in kindergarten, to podcasting, powerful searches, and reflective middle school reporting and assessment. They are all very talented and innovative teachers.

Overall, the conference was terrific. Some of my peers with whom I’ve worked were recognized for their amazing contributions to our field. I met, face to face, Twitter friends from within Vermont. I collaborated, felt connected and inspired, I learned from others and hopefully helped others learn.

Thank you Vita-Learn, for the opportunity to be a part of this community.

Photo taken by me, upon arrival. Killington had just opened for skiing for the season.

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