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Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #1 

Do you participate in a Professional Learning Network (PLN)? If yes, describe what you do and how it benefits you.
If not, describe how you would like to implement a PLN to benefit you as an educator.

Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator

Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #2 
Do you participate in a Professional Learning Network (PLN)? If yes, describe what you do and how it benefits you.
If not, describe how you would like to implement a PLN to benefit you as an educator.

I participate in several google groups in my school district.  They have been super beneficial to me because at the behavioral center I teach 6 different subjects (more if you count the honors level courses too.)  Not to mention these students come from several different campuses - for example my high school students come from 5 different high schools.  I'm more of a "visitor" to these groups since I only have each student 30 - 45 days, but the groups have helped me contact certain teachers and get exactly what each of my students need from their home campuses.  I also realize my input is welcome in these groups and my questions get answered.

Jennifer Goedken

Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #3 
I think PLNs in the elementary level would be hard. A lot of the ideas the author had sounds great for middle or high school kids who know what they want to do. Some activities we do in elementary is have class buddies. We pair up an older group with a younger group and meet once a week and generally they kids read together. Sometime we have projects they work on together. Once a year we have career day for kids to visit and ask questions. With the idea of Genuis Hour we may start having some community member come into help with projects. This would be a way to have kids start about thinking of their education and real world relevancy coming together.

Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #4 
As I understand it, and I may be wrong, PLNs could be department meetings. I participate in those. I also see this book "club" as an online type of PLN. Am I understanding it correctly?

Teresa Tuggle

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 
The only PLNs I participate in are Facebook, Pinterest, and I follow some library blogs.  Facebook, however, I use primarily use personally and not for educational reasons.  On Pinterest, I do have a board for library ideas that I have found very useful while being new to the library field.  I have found ideas for everything from bulletin boards, centers, makerspaces, book displays, and lessons.  Pinterest and blogging have definitely saved me time from "reinventing the wheel" and helped me in ways where my creativity was lacking.

At the school district where I am librarian they have PLCs (Professional Learning Committees).  I was not a part of any last year but plan to be active this year.  From what I understand, PLCs are where grade level teachers meet and learn about new ideas, talk about what is occurring in their classes, and more.  In a way, the PLCs sound very similar to PLNs, just not as an online forum.   

Posts: 148
Reply with quote  #6 
I participate in several PLN groups on Facebook.  I find them very helpful.  I gather information from other teachers about how they teach content objectives (what has worked what hasn't), ask questions about if they have ever used a programs that I am new to implementing and what was the best way to implement or what was issues they have had with the program.  The teachers in the groups I belong have been very helpful in giving advice and support.  I also feel very happy to share my experiences.  PLNs allow me to feel like it is not just my district or students that may be struggling, which helps me keep a positive outlook on myself as a teacher.

Posts: 63
Reply with quote  #7 

I agree with Stephanie that PLN would be a hard at an elementary level. I’ve subbed at schools that had reading buddies (older kids paired with Kindergarteners) and where adults have come in to talk to the older kids (5th grade) about possible future careers (a career day type of thing). Also teachers and administrators from middle schools come  to talk to 5th graders about what some of their options might be once they graduate from 5th grade (basically the types of electives and sports they could choose).

To get ideas to help brighten up a lesson when I’m doing long term jobs I’ve turned to teacher blogs for help. I have also gone to pinterest to help generate ideas. 


Posts: 83
Reply with quote  #8 
I use Facebook groups and Pinterest to gather ideas from professionals outside my district.  Within my district, we have used some Google groups to facilitate learning. My region provides opportunities for head start teachers to meet for trainings throughout the year, which allows us to network with others who do similar jobs.  I also agree with tugglets' comment above, that this book circle is a type of PLN, and I genuinely enjoy participating in it every summer.  

Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #9 
I consider this a PLN. Since I am not in the field, I don't have access to many other PLNs. I have participated in a few other book studies informally with other moms who homeschool their preschoolers. We have chosen books that speak to the areas in which we have a particular interest or weakness. The discussions just as much as the actual books are very meaningful in helping us brainstorm solutions, spark creativity, and regain enthusiasm. Also, they help us feel connected, and like we are not the only one at times struggling.
At my children's school, the teachers at each grade level get a substitute for one half day each month. They meet to plan, and work on whatever challenge they are facing as a grade level. I think this is a wonderful idea, especially with the number of young teachers at our school.
I have tried to participate in some online forums. They are kind of like conferences that you can attend via internet where everyone is live. I will admit, with a house full of little ones, it is hard for me to sit at the computer at a set time. I inevitably missed the start of the discussion, or was completely distracted by little ones. At this time in my life, that doesn't work so well. I need the flexibility of being able to log on at nap time or bedtime.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #10 

I do not participate in a professional learning network (PLN). Sheninger lists a number of tools that can be used to start building a PLN. I'd start with Pinterest. I could create an individual board for each subject in which I'm certified and collect ideas for teaching different parts of the curriculum. Since the amount of information on Pinterest could be overwhelming, I think I'd need to approach Pinterest each day with a specific focus like identifying websites for use in an ESL classroom or finding resources to improve my writing instruction. In addition, since it's possible to follow people and boards, I could connect with other teachers in this way, and eventually, I could share some of my own ideas. I also think Pinterest could serve as a jumping off point for adding other tools to my PLN -- for example, just a quick click-through of an interesting pin led me to an educator's blog that I might want to revisit. Pinterest would be a way for me to keep a focus on the classroom even though I am not teaching at this time.


Posts: 65
Reply with quote  #11 
I am currently a stay at home mom, but I used to be a member of a PLN at my school. Each teacher was required to be in a cross-grade level PLN. I found it to be very helpful. It was nice to stay connected to what the grade levels below and ahead were doing. We would read articles or books about education and discuss them. I found the bouncing around of ideas, new teaching strategies, etc. to be very helpful and inspiring. We met every couple of weeks after school for 30 mins. It was nice to have a built in time to meet. While I love the idea of the online PLNs & appreciate the flexibility/resources that come along with that, sometimes if I'm not "made to" do something, it gets lost amongst the other million to-dos. I was fortunate to work for an innovative principal who embraced the idea of PLNs and supported us in having them. He even attended most of the PLNs to offer additional ideas/insight and to be able to help meet any resource needs that would arise or answer questions!

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #12 
I participate in several pln's to include some on Facebook and Pinterest. I also participate in pln's through my school district as we use a common platform this allows me to get ideas from other teachers, to share ideas I have, and to communicate with others as well. I find it very useful especially when hunting for ideas for making my classroom more student-centered.

Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #13 
I have never participated in any PLN's but since I read the book I have researched a few different PLN's that could benefit me and my class. I always enjoy getting ideas from other teachers so I do believe participating in this would be good. I would like to be involved in different groups based on different subject to really get the most benefit. I think that being involved in a PLN could also be done at grade level meetings so that the other teachers could also have a discussion about the PLN and decide how it could be best incorporated into our school.

Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #14 
I have participated in a PLN.  Twitter offers some. Our district encourages participating in a PLN.  I think they have lots of benefits.  However, I think you must be careful about creating boundaries so that you take some time away from education.  With an online PLN you can get on 24/7.  You may not hear live from someone, but you can always see their replies and posts.  It is good in most ways, you just have to plan when to take time away.  The advantage is that you can get information and see how others have handled situations or done things anytime. 

Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #15 
I use forums and pinterest when looking for information on things. I'm more of a lurker on stuff like that, I don't generally post on forums.
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