My first introduction to the notion of developing a Personal Learning Network was on the Microsoft Campus in 2012 during a panel presentation featuring Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) and Steve Anderson (@web20classroom). These trailblazers set the tone for me as a classroom teacher to have a voice and encouraged me to speak up and talk education. Since that day, I have developed my own PLN that I want to share. My PLN’s are divided into Regional, National, International sectors and lastly my favorite educators to follow. I believe that this organizational structure for your PLN can help you determine who to collaborate with, bounce ideas off of, and lean on throughout the school year.
Regional: I teach in Upstate New York and am fortunate to have a Project Based Learning team within reach for help locally. I presented at their PBLNY (Project Based Learning New York State) conference this summer and the experience was rich and rewarding. Any questions on PBL, ask @JKeim11 (Joanne Keim), she is an expert at your finger tips!
National: I have been teaching business for almost 18 years now and have had a front row seat to the CTE (Career and Technical Education) movement. I consult @CTEworks for motivation and support that directly helps me prepare my students to be hired and promoted in that dream career.
International: Microsoft in Education, @Microsoft_EDU is hands down the best professional learning network on the planet including the finest application of 21st century learning design. As a Microsoft MIE Expert (Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert) , I have access to beta versions of educational technology and a network of educators that are here to support and inspire daily. The friends I have made from this network are lifelong friends and educational partners.
Who to follow?
The following are just a few of my favorite educators not mentioned above that I consistently go to for instant gratification for inspiration …
Todd LaVogue (@ToddLaVogue): Todd is the most energetic, enthusiastic, and overall fun teacher I have met. We are like minded with education and he is consistently raising the bar in education in a positive and authentic way. I just love this guy…follow him and you will see why!
Julie Hembree (@mrs_hembree): Julie is a librarian on a mission! Julie has developed and implemented a program that sends books to schools in need in Africa. She is absolutely amazing and I love her enthusiasm for the Library Media Center, the heartbeat of many schools.
Doug Bergman (@dougbergmanUSA): This educator has taken the question of how we assess students to new heights and simultaneously shed a strong light on the importance of computer science in k-12 education. I met Doug my first year as an MIE in 2012 and gravitated to his educational energy immediately. Again, follow and you will see why to keep up with this icon.
Don Wettrick (@DonWettrick): Pure Genius. I met Don at my first Microsoft (then called Partners in Learning) forum as we had booths across from each other. I continue to be blown away by Don and his success as he inspires and motivates educators to be innovators. For innovation, look no further.
Robert Stokes (@bobADK42): This innovative special education educator is revolutionizing how we view special education and resource. He also happens to be my husband and his ideas inspire me daily.
Keep innovating and opening your own PLN and leverage your contacts to help you reach your educational goals….have an inspired day!