Welcome to the Teacher Challenge!
- Are you a new teacher, feeling isolated and alone?
- Are you an experienced teacher looking for new ideas and inspiration?
- Are you interested in sharing ideas and collaborating with other teachers?
- Are you tired of falling asleep in boring professional learning seminars?
- Have you heard about Personal Learning Networks or PLNs? Feeling lost, confused, wondering where to start?
If you’ve answered YES to any of these questions, then read on!
The “30 Days to a Whole New PLN” challenge is for YOU!
Over the next month or so, we’ll be publishing a new post about setting up, enhancing, and participating in your very own personal learning network.
We’ll have 2 or 3 posts each week – and we encourage as much collaboration, participation, and fun as you can possibly have!
Want to contribute a guest post to the series, contact us and let us know! You don’t need to be an edublogs user to participate!
This guest post was written by Michael Graffin, a second year relief/substitute teacher and blogger from Western Australia. This is post #1 in the “30 Days to a Whole New PLN” challenge!
So, what is a PLN?
Let’s take this a little further…
Having a PLN is about making connections and building personal relationships with teachers, school administrators, university professors, and experts around the world. No matter where you are in the world, there’s always someone online available to answer questions, share their expertise, and simply chat about what’s happening in their lives and classrooms.
Having a PLN is about sharing ideas and resources, collaboration, and learning. We may share our learning, ideas and expertise in different ways; using different media and tools, but the essence is the same: the PLN is simply the best professional development you will ever participate in – and it’s available 24/7.
The defining feature of the PLN is that it is a global learning network, enabling people to tap into and share diverse, global perspectives on teaching strategies, educational issues, and technologies. If takes time and effort to build these connections, but it’s well worth the effort.
Why a PLN? – “From little things, big things grow”
I’m a second year teacher, and a relative newcomer to the online education community. When I become an active social-media (Twitter™) user late last year, one of the first questions I asked myself was “What the heck is a PLN?”
Now, a mere six months later, I have come to realise that developing a Personal Learning Network is an empowering, transformational process, which fundamentally transforms your professional learning and teaching approach. And my experience is hardly unique…
Real People, Real Teachers – Why we have a PLN
How can I get started?
Well, this is what the Teacher Challenge is all about. Over the next four weeks, the Teacher Challenge team, and a wide variety of guest bloggers will be exploring the various tools and media which you can use to build, expand, and improve your very own PLN.
For now, here’s an introduction to some of the topics we’ll be covering:
You can also check out my original “What the heck is a PLN” post here.
Your Task Challenge – Join the Conversation!
Personal Learning Networks are all about sharing, collaborating, and learning from each-other. So here’s your chance to ask a question, comment, and get involved!
We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about PLNs by undertaking one or more of these challenges:
- Leave a comment on the “Real People, Real Teachers” Voicethread (You might like to watch the embedded “We Connect Video” by Shelly Terrell first).
- Write a blog post sharing your experiences with building and engaging with your Personal Learning Network (don’t forget to leave a link in the comments below).
- Leave a comment on this post! Ask us a question. Join the conversation!
- If you know of a good website, blog post, or wiki about PLNs, please add a link to the “Building a PLN – Essential Reading” Google Doc.
About the Author
Michael Graffin is a second year relief / substitute teacher working in Perth, Western Australia.
Michael is a reflective edublogger, and an active member of the online teacher community on Twitter. He is passionately interested in literacy teaching, ICT integration, and forging authentic global connections through the use of Web 2.0 tools in education.
He is consistently amazed and inspired by the people in his Personal Learning Network, and enjoys connecting with new and experienced educators around the world.