Friday, March 7, 2014

Preaching to the Choir: The PLN Version

I fully recognize that by virtue of you reading this very blog post, I'm likely to be in the process of preaching to the choir.

That said, it's still worth it to me to say how appreciative I am of my PLN, and how much I encourage all educators to form a network of people with whom they can continuously learn.

For those who may be new to the terminology, a PLN is a "Professional Learning Network." Quite often that network is built and facilitated digitally, though it's not necessarily a requirement. A good chunk of my PLN affiliations occur wholly face to face, or some include a combination of face to face and digital interaction.

Let's be honest: Sometimes it's nice to talk to you, and see what your face looks like when it's not a tiny box on Twitter. Turns out, you're actually a full sized human being.

Anyhow, I just completed a great conversation with a colleague whose questions and insights consistently assist me in constructing meaning, challenging my thinking, and clarifying my next steps. I'm so thankful for those face to face conversations, and worry what I'd be doing if I didn't have access to them.

Similarly, I recently followed along with the #SXSWEdu chatter on Twitter, and was able to learn from those who attended in person from way up here in frigid Minnesota.

When I've got a question or thought unique to the type of work that I do, my first instinct is almost always to pose it to my Twitter PLN or my Google+ Community, and the results and depth of learning that can occur in these forums is game-changing.

I'm a continuous learner because of the incredible colleagues I see face to face, and the insightful professionals I learn with from afar. I sincerely thank you. I owe you so much.

I know most teachers believe that we accomplish more when we don't go it alone. I encourage all to acknowledge that our interactions can stretch globally, and the expertise and perspectives we come across can grow exponentially. Seriously you guys...the whole world cares about our kids. How lucky are we?

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