Tuesday, May 8, 2012

National Teacher Day: Grateful for my PLN

It’s day two of National Teacher Appreciation Week and is declared as National Teacher Day.  With that in mind, today’s blog focuses on the virtual personal learning network (PLN) that helps me learn, grow and thrive as a teacher.  So much of my professional development takes place beyond the confines of the traditional in-service workshops slated on the school calendar. For that learning, I have the good fortune of using several social media outlets to connect with other educators not only across the United States, but across the globe as well.

My most frequent “go to” PLN for my content area as an agricultural science educator is the National Association of AgriculturalEducators Communities of Practice where I can share teaching ideas and challenges of my own, as well as gain resources provided by colleagues across the US.

Then of course, there is Twitter. You can find me @RCMcLean.  There are probably people in my PLN who don’t even realize they are part of it. I scroll feeds for ideas on technology integration, strategies for using the Ipad effectively in the classroom, educational issues, student development and trends in the field.

Facebook is another venue where I have created a PLN. I’m involved in groups ranging from my local teachers association to New Jersey AgTeachers and “like” pages including AgEduChat and the Association for Career and Technical Education. Educators who I am “friends” with there provide useful resources and articles that help grow my knowledge as well.

When I first started the teaching profession, virtual PLNs certainly did not exist to the extent they do today. I am grateful for all the educators who contribute to my PLN.  They grow my knowledge, challenge my thinking and help me improve as an educator.

What PLN has helped you lately?

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