Blogs on Professional Learning Network (PLN)

Blogs on Professional Learning Network (PLN)RSS
Ira SocolAugust 1, 2011

Ira Socol is a graduate research and teaching assistant at Michigan State University. He also blogs at SpeEd Change.

Social networking sites like Google+ present powerful classroom opportunities, but they are also designed to create hierarchies.

"Let's face it, [The Social Network] presented [Mark Zuckerberg] as a relentless bully with a computer instead of muscles. It also made Facebook's creation seem like a ploy to get back at a girl, rather than the simple desire to create." -- Mike Eisenberg, ScreenRant

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Ron PeckJuly 27, 2011

Do you remember the first staff meeting you ever attended? Did you look around the room and wonder who you might be able to work with in the coming weeks, months or years? I remember and can still feel that same sense of apprehension I had about whether or not I would have an opportunity to collaborate. As my first year progressed I found it easy to collaborate with a couple of teachers in subject areas other than mine but for the most part I was alone -- on my own when it came to learning, growing, and developing into the social studies teacher I wanted to be.

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Brian SimsJuly 22, 2011

Brian Sims is managing director of training academies at AUSL in Chicago. Betsy Haley Doyle co-authored this blog. She is a manager in The Bridgespan Group's education practice.

Last June, as principals and teachers from 14 Chicago public school "turnarounds," run by the nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), gathered at the Academy's leadership summit, there was a moment when the room turned silent. A slide went up comparing the percentage of students achieving annual expected growth at each school to the average score for each school's teachers. The figures were based on a sophisticated teacher evaluation tool, the nationally recognized Danielson framework.

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Andrew MarcinekJuly 15, 2011

There is a growing buzz in the education community about the possibility of moving away from traditional textbooks. While the objective seems clear as to why we should be making this move, the question of how to transition this great shift remains. Educators creating their own digital resource for the classroom possesses great value, but at this point there are still more questions than answers. A group of Massachusetts educators got together and tried to answer some of the lingering questions.

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Katy FarberJune 15, 2011

Editor's Note: Katy Farber teaches fifth and sixth graders in the Burlington, VT area. She's also a mother, blogger, and author. The ideas in this post are based on Katy's recent book, Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus

You know the feeling. It happens when you see other people out for walks during their lunch hour (and you just spent 10 minutes "eating" while emailing a passive aggressive parent). Or when you hear how you need to try this new teaching technique, even though you have been doing it for years. Or when you are up all night, sick, and have to crawl to the computer to write your sub plans. You think, "How much longer can I do this?"

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Eric BrunsellJune 2, 2011

"Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time."
-- Tagore, Bengali poet

About 20 years ago, I received my first email account. It was awesome -- not many college students had one. Of course, I quickly realized that I only knew five friends with email and I lived with four of them.

Today, almost every teenager in our schools has the opportunity to access email, but many choose not to. It is much easier to send a message via texting or through Facebook. In fact, a growing number of my college students only use email to correspond with "old people."

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Dan JonesJune 1, 2011

Something about movie magic intrigues me. It was fascinating, for instance, to find out that actors in my favorite movies often filmed entire scenes without ever leaving the studio. And when I watch the special effects in a movie, I wish I could use that technology.

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Betty RayJanuary 26, 2011

Do it Yourself -- or DIY -- culture has been around since the 90s. (Remember 'zines, and indie record labels?) Now that technology is a gazillion times cheaper, more pervasive and powerful, the DIY movement is spreading into almost every aspect of society.

This has powerful implications for teachers; many of whom are participating in some innovative (and low-cost, or free) professional development opportunities. To that end, I would argue that we are amid a learning renaissance, and that the DIY movement is one of its most powerful catalysts.

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Mary Beth HertzNovember 15, 2010

This is the final post in a four-part series on running an edcamp unconference. You can find links to the previous posts at the end of this post.

Once you've taken care of all of the important things like securing a venue, finding sponsorship and assembling a team, there are plenty of smaller details to take care of. Some of these can be accomplished earlier in the game and some can be left to the last minute.

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Mary Beth HertzOctober 28, 2010

This is the third post of a four-part series about planning and running an edcamp unconference. You can read the first post, Introduction to edcamp and Taking Care of the "Big Stuff" first if you missed them.

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