In a time when inquiry-based approaches to learning are being implemented across boards and schools, there is often an integral yet overlooked component of this process. The piece that is missing to the comprehensive list of skills is the ability to teach and model Self-Directed Learning or (SLR). The following Powerpoint presentation brings the theory of the practice to life so that teachers can effectively integrate it into their teaching and learning. Agency is of utmost importance and that comes from learners learning from their experiences and self-evaluations and learning goals.
Click here for the the presentation
What Do I Want?
I want a feed for educational technology to deliver best practice, new tools, and updates on launches and how-to for my consumption PLN. This feed is best aggregated by popular contributors and experts in their field. The problem is that I am just starting out in the educational technology specialization and need a good foundational network of top quality content producers. I figured I would branch out to Flipboard to do this job of collecting the best of the web for me. This is my consumption PLN. I state this because it is my interest and what I enjoy reading about. It is also what I enjoy sharing with others. This function is in my opinion best suited to Flipboard. Even though I am new to this program, it is helping me understand and make connections between pedagogy and implementation. It is saving me time and allows me to browse at my own leisure. I could use Google to provide notifications, but I feel like this app will provide me with a different avenue for interacting.
Problems with PLNs
I was using Facebook to read news and posts from experts but they are becoming less and less professional and more of a place for people to build up their profiles for PD. I was using Facebook to read news and posts from experts but they are becoming less and less professional and more of a place for people to build up their profiles to make money from PD sessions. I love reading about education and technology. This is what I am good at, but the truth is that I need to work on developing my other skills such as reading in the classroom. I do not find it interesting enough to join a reading PLN, but I can rely on my colleagues to provide me with tools, and suggestions along with feedback in my class. This brings me to the next point.
How Can I Share What I Know?
Having a local Professional Learning Network would help the individual school target their special needs and provide resources and solutions to immediate problems/deficits within the school. SharePoint would be a fantastic tool for this. It is integrated with Office 365 which my school network has and enables teachers to interact and post at their leisure. We could create groups for preschool, kindergarten, primary, middle and high school. This would allow coordinators to assign specialists in the school to target vulnerabilities and address specific needs within relevant groups as blog posts or links. This would be an excellent tool for specific consumption and collaboration in the school and enable a culture of teamwork and problem-solving. Every teacher has their specialty and this could be used to help benefit the school environment. In return, I can learn from colleagues and communicate in a private setting specific to our students’ needs. This also has me now thinking I will use it for student collaboration.