You should already have a PLC (Professional Learning Community). These are the people that you can lean on frequently. If you have a PLC why would you need or want a PLN? A PLN is a wider group of people who you can get a much more extensive set of resources and ideas. You can find out what your counterparts are doing to help their students in another county, another state, or in another nation. Your information is only limited by the size of your network. The question is how does someone acquire such a network? I will teach you to do just that by following the four C’s which are the focus of 21st Century Learning Skills: curiosity, cooperation, communication, and critical thinking. Find out more about 21st Century Learning at http://www.p21.org.
For this post, we’ll stick with Curiosity!
Before you do anything you should think about what it is you are hoping to gain from your network. Do you want to increase your technology knowledge? Do you want to find someone to collaborate with? Do you want to find funding for particular projects? Are you looking for feedback or do you just want to see what is out there?
To start getting a broad idea of what is trending in education now; here are just a few great places you might want to check out:
- Edudemic- Great articles about the cutting edge of education
- Education Week- A print and web-based weekly newspaper which focuses on current news and policy in education (I happen to subscribe to Ed Week and I think it is great!)
- Edutopia- Resource for innovation in education
- Teacher Cast- Podcast on education with a focus on technology (Great to listen to during your commute or during a spare minute, wonderful range of guests and topics.)
- Teach Thought- Website and blog with a focus on technology in the classroom
Remember, before you get into the game, you need to know what the game is about. If you’re not up on the latest jargon then reading up on educational trends is a great place to start.
What are your go to sources for Education information? Let me know in the commentTune in next time for Cooperation!
A variation of this post can be found in my original article “What is a PLN and Why Do You Need One” found here.