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Professional Learning Networks
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  1. Professional Learning Networks Bianca Johnson EDUC 7101 Diffusion and Integration of Educational Technology Instructor: Dr. Timothy Green

  2. What are Professional Learning Networks? • Professional learning networks, or PLNs, ARE: • Collaborative online communities that professionally and globally connect educators with others • Places where information can be collected, accessed and organized to keep educators professionally current • Offered through social-networking platforms (Trust, 2012)

  3. Why PLNs? (Need) • Professional learning networks are a “grassroots approach to professional development” • PLNs create professional growth opportunities to teachers in districts where budget cuts limit district-level training opportunities • PLNs reduce teacher isolation by allowing teachers to move beyond their “comfort zones” in their departments, or grade-levels (Flanigan, 2011)

  4. How are PLNs created? (Research) • Professional learning networks are created, or built, by teachers when they join an online community, subscribe to an educational blog, podcast, and/or RSS news feed • Social-networking platforms house online communities that also organize and provide access to information and videos (Trust, 2012)

  5. Recommended PLN Social-networking websites • Edmodo - https://www.edmodo.com/ • Classroom 2.0 - http://www.classroom20.com/ • The Educator’s PLN - http://edupln.ning.com/ • Twitter - https://twitter.com/ (Trust, 2012)

  6. Who are PLNs for? • All educators are able to access professional learning network opportunities with 24/7 access

  7. What are potential problems of development? • Potential problems of development include: • Navigation of the various websites • Overwhelming amounts of information accessed, some not of interest • Privacy concerns (Flanigan, 2011)

  8. Commercialization of PLNs • Production of professional learning networks are facilitated by teachers who are self-motivated, or have in-district incentive to begin one

  9. S-Curve Diffusion Chart for PLNs

  10. Innovation Implementation • Key target for initial pilot (change agents) • Volunteer teachers at every grade level • Administrators • Incentives for volunteering • Professional Development requirement fulfilled under “PLC Option” • Target group requirements • Meet at least once a quarter to discuss goals, professional growth, and problem-solve any technical difficulties • Each member will complete a personal reflection on their PLN experience • Create a list of recommendations on how PLNs might be further implemented to maximize efficiency and use for all teachers

  11. Full diffusion • Target group members will serve as group leaders for implementation among the faculty • Potential laggards: Veteran faculty members unfamiliar with social media use in education • Laggard Strategy: Social media professional development help at our “Tech Time” sessions after school • PLNs will become a professional development option after pilot year

  12. Strategies for Reaching the Critical Mass • Report out our findings and PLN growth yearly on the school’s Professional Development Webpage • Increase our teacher participation target by 5 at within in every school

  13. PLN Impacts on Organizational Structure • Allowances for shared decision-making among faculty critical to PLN success • Teachers guide where they want to see areas of growth and seek professional learning material for growth through PLN use • Time for PLN monthly meetings need to added to school calendar and schedule • Opportunities for faculty members to share their learning will further build in-house capacity for sustained PLN and professional development growth

  14. Desirable PLN Outcomes • Increased social media presence and literacy among faculty • Increased growth among faculty within desired areas of professional growth within each school year, as reported in their annual report • Lowered professional development costs due to free or low subscription costs associated with website use for professional development • Increased student acheievment

  15. References Flanigan, R. L. (2012). Professional Learning Networks Taking Off. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed For Quick Review, 77(7), 42-45. Trust, T. (2012). Professional learning networks designed for teacher learning. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education in Teacher Education, 28(4). Retrieved from http://acce.edu.au/sites/acce.edu.au/files/pj/journal/27_1ProfLearning_Networks_ p34-38.pdf

  16. THANK YOU!