Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Meaning of a Professional Learning Network

When I went back to school to join the Masters in Educational Technology, my family and I had several concerns regarding the time that needed to be invested in homework and class time.  My husband reluctantly agreed to let me go back to enroll in the Master’s Degree program. He was sincerely worried about the stress, doing homework, and me not being able to enjoy family time together while on vacation. For us, family time is precious. I have now discovered that a Personal Learning Network  works very well with my desire to keep being a mother and wife above all things. How does my Professional Learning Network fit with all of this?

Connections 24/7
I can keep learning and contributing to a network of well-informed educators while on the go. I don’t have to physically be present in a conference, classroom, or meeting place to continue connecting through Twitter. I can learn what I want, when I want and where I want it. I have joined Twitter and I have learned so much about different subject areas and topics of interest. 

Avoiding the Summer Slide
If it is true for kids it is true for me as well. After taking a long summer vacation without any brain work, when I go back to work I feel it. My brain is still baking under the sun, savoring the breeze of the beach. I feel sluggish the first weeks of school and I have to force myself to get back into the routine. Being connected throughout the summer and forcing my brain to intellectually contribute good ideas to my PLN keeps my brain in shape. My brain is already planning for the new school year and incorporating my summer learning into the new school year is exciting.

The Value of Family Time While Pursuing My Passion

As an educator of 20 plus years, I strive for excellence and I can get caught up in my professional aspirations. I often neglect family time. I wanted to spend time on vacation but I was sad I had to miss the interaction with my colleagues during class on Thursdays. Today I had a great connected educators’ experience through my PLN. While still enjoying vacation time with my family, my colleagues shared a Google Doc with me and we LIVE tweeted during the entire class. I was in Southern California and my colleagues in Fresno California. I felt included, I felt like I did not miss out much. That would not have been possible without my PLN. 

Who are you reaching out this summer for professional learning and networking? 

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