Teacher leader uses professional learning networks (PLNs) to connect with other educators, share work, seek feedback, and stay abreast of best practices.
Many teachers have extended their learning by developing online professional learning networks (PLNs). PLNs connect teachers to other individuals worldwide who can offer support, advice, feedback, and collaboration opportunities. PLNs also allow teachers to collect information from various websites and access it in one organized area so they can efficiently stay up to date on the latest teaching techniques, pedagogies, and changes in the field of education.
Educational reform networks are particularly well suited to making use of new technology and institutional arrangements. By their very nature, they are flexible, borderless, and innovative; they are able to create collaborative environments, focus their efforts, and develop agendas that grow and change with their participants. Teacher educators who collaborate with, learn from, and make use of the knowledge created by these networks are helping to recreate the meaning of scholarship itself, not only for teachers, but for themselves as well.
Microblogging as a form of expression has gained momentum recently: a widely popular version is Twitter, which began by asking ‘What are you doing?’ This paper reports on a case study with eight participants during a teaching practicum, posting to Twitter from their phones or computers, examining the question ‘Does microblogging help teacher education students develop selfäóreflective practices?’ An identified benefit was a sense of community. Participants appreciated reading others’ tweets and receiving messages of support when they faced challenging situations. And while 140 characters were initially difficult and limiting for explaining ideas, it honed participants’ reflective thinking. This was highly valued in the very individual experience of teaching practicum.
Implementing studentäócentered, inquiryäóbased science pedagogy in secondary classrooms, though identified as the goal by all science education professional organizations, is rarely a reality in today’s classrooms. Therefore, teachers committed to reform often lack a “local” network with whom they can interact around this new professional discourse of reformäóminded teaching. Emerging social networking technologies such as blogging offer potential to support professional learning through the development of likeäóminded communities not geographically or temporally constrained. This article reports on how 15 secondary science teachers committed to reform used blogs to support their efforts to develop reformäóbased practices. Findings illuminate varied ways in which participants did so and what they gained as a result.
To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Yes” for Part 2.
Please submit several artifacts that demonstrate your activity in your PLN, including such items as:
Provide a reflection on your experience, using the following questions as guidance:
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