Since the beginning of my teaching career, I have had my own Professional Learning Network (PLN), but it has evolved throughout the years. In the past, my PLN simply consisted of other educators in my grade level. As a first year teacher, I was thirsty for new ideas and looked forward to our weekly grade level planning sessions where my team and I would meet to share strategies and plan for upcoming lessons and units. Eventually, my PLN expanded to other teachers at my school. I eagerly shared ideas and sought advice from other teachers as I strived to attain high levels of effectiveness. After attending district-wide professional development sessions, this network grew to include teachers within the district. Today, my PLN has greatly expanded to include teachers and administrators throughout the district, the state, and our country. Social media and technology have transformed not only the way I teach, but the way I collaborate with others. Through social media sites like Edmodo, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Yammer, educators can now connect with others beyond the walls of their own school. I have utilized these tools to “follow” and learn from other educators, while also contributing my own ideas and successes. The result is a dynamic and active Professional Learning Network where learning is ongoing and the exchange of ideas is fast-paced and lively!
To me, one of the best aspects of being an educator is that you continue to grow and refine your craft; each year you become more skilled at what you do. I am just as thirsty for new ideas and strategies as I was during my first year teaching and seek like-minded teachers who are constantly pushing themselves to improve. Social media plays an integral role in my Professional Learning Network. With a world that is ever-changing, it is important to remain up-to-date on current best teaching practices. To stay current, I regularly utilize social media to read different teacher-authored blogs, “pin” ideas and links to articles on Pinterest, read and respond to Twitter tweets composed by well-known and respected educators and administrators, and contribute to conversations via
Facebook, Edmodo, and Yammer. If we want our students to be effective communicators and collaborators, we need to model and embody that, as well.
I am certain that my PLN will continue to evolve and expand in the future and I am excited about the possibilities and implications for teacher leaders across the district and throughout the nation. I look forward to continuing to harness the power of social media to connect with other educators and, ultimately, have a positive impact on student learning experiences. You can follow me on Twitter @edu_ms_pagano.
I am excited about the launch of our district-wide PLN and hope you will connect with us! You can connect with us by "liking" our Facebook page CMSlearns, following us on Twitter @cmstothecore, and keeping up with our blog!
Want to know more about PLNs? Visit our site at CMS Learns!