Have you ever heard of one? Of course I have I hear you say, it’s that thing that “other” people always talk about at conferences or its that old boys / old girls connection thing that you get from going to a good private school.
Wrong, wrong and wrong.
No I’m talking about your job, your profession, how well are you networked in your profession. Who do you learn from, where do you learn from, who is your mentor(s), where would you like to be in 3 years? 5 years?
What’s that? You’ve never thought about it? Well perhaps you should start. In the technological world that we live in it is becoming increasingly easier to be connected to experts in our field, global thinkers, futurists and others just like us. It is absolutely amazing what you can learn in 10 minutes by simple logging on to your twitter account and catching up with tweets from ground breaking technologists, other teachers who are experimenting and researching in the classroom. It pays to be connected.
Literally…. it can pay.
- Have you ever considered starting a blog? Aside from the great professional and Edtech skills you would learn by creating and managing it you could even make money from referrals or advertising.
- Are you a new scheme teacher in NSW, Australia? Or perhaps another country around the world where your professional development standards are tied to your pay scale? In NSW if you want to move on from Professional Competence to Professional Accomplishment you need to show that you can meet the standards and a PLN is a component.
It is also a great reflective tool to map with your PDP or professional development plan. This may not be something many teachers have but I can tell you outside of the teaching world most other professionals rely on them.
By documenting my PLN below using bubbl.us I was able to identify areas that I need to focus on, blogs and a professional FB account being two of them. I could now attach timelines to each of these proposed areas and then they would become part of my PDP.
Not your cup of tea? You’re happy doing things the same old way day in day out. Fearful of change or learning something new because it might mean you’ll have to change. I shouldn’t worry, you probably haven’t got this far anyway.