Tom Barrett asked for comments on his blog, in preparation for the SLICT meeting being held at his school, so I responded. Tom is a good friend and has shown that there is more to PLN (Personal Learning Networks) than networking.
#1 Having recently accepted an edtech post just 12 days ago, I am hardly in a position to provide a comprehensive answer. However, this is a summary of what I have learnt so far (in no particular order);
- get the infrastructure in place before you initialise change, it is vital that all school stake holders log on through a single system and be able to access the information they need when they need it,
- ICT will fail you as some point, have your answers prepared,
- every small success counts,
- I agree with James Walker – edtech in a moving target, hence I propose a 3 year rolling strategic plan (3, 5, 10 yrs not sure),
- the use of ICT is not a prerequisite for ‘great teaching,’
- personalise the learning experience for the students, ICT has the scope to permit this, be creative,
- it is dangerous to presume that just because the students have grown up with technology that they use it,
- eureka moments are special for all learners, both students and teachers,
- be bold, risk more than you consider safe.
#2 Why is a personal learning network of professionals important to classroom teaching?
- 10,000 heads are better than mine,
- eureka moments are important for me too,
- learning is not the preserve of the students,
- I get more than professional support from my network, its why I am responding to Tom’s blog,
- I have many unanswered questions.
After re-reading this post, I was conscious that text without tonality is subject to greater reader mis-interpretation. So I added this post script.
I am not an ICT evangelists, I am a former PE teacher that enjoys using ICT to challenge and inspire the students I teach and coach. I am only 12 days into my new post, a newbie middle leader. I am only 13 months old in the edublogsphere but I feel more confident, supported and resourceful than in my previous 7 years of teaching. If that helps you, then that is just one perspective as to why PLN are of professional importance.