The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.
Often we are bombarded with information and suggestions from a single source or group. Even though there may be differing viewpoints, if we rely on the same stream of information, from the same audience, we run the risk of missing valuable insights that may just appear to be the same white noise after a period of time. No fear there is a solution to this dilemma. The website Powerful Learning Practice: Professional Learning for Connected Educators (plpnetwork.com) contains a vast array of information and links to assist educators and administrators on their path towards connected 21st century learning. The website is a conglomeration of articles, links and blogs that come from many contributors from all stakeholder groups in education today.
As you explore the website you will come across a blog entitled Voices From the Learning Revolution (http://plpnetwork.com/voices/). This blog space is a collaboration between teachers, administrators, students and parents making their voices heard regarding the importance of connected, 21st century learning. Their voices add a much needed perspective, substance and a degree of urgency that speaks to the changes that are required to support everyone’s learning in this new digital education paradigm. This week take some time to read the submissions in the blog and listen to the voices of the people we support daily, as their voices speak the loudest.
Professional Development for Teachers | Powerful Learning Practice. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://plpnetwork.com
Voices | Powerful Learning Practice [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://plpnetwork.com/voices/
In the last blog we looked at three digital leaders that should be added to your PLN and three Twitter chats to consider. This week we are exploring a website that provides a one stop digital education anthology with Canadian content. The Canadian Education Association (CEA) website provides a one stop resource for articles, videos, Canadian programs and initiatives all with the support of an e-newsletter and a blog written by educators from across Canada. I encourage you to take some time to review the site and I am sure you will find a few resources that you will add to your PLN.
Of particular interest to me as I was exploring the development of my own PLN was the blog post by Max Cooke, CEA Director of Communications. In his post, Twitter and Canadian Educators, he explores the use of Twitter through a few lenses, one being that of a critical practitioner. He explores how Twitter is often perceived as he unveils the inherent value in connected leading and learning. It is a great read that would undoubtedly answer some of the questions that surface as we begin to walk the digital leadership path. The added bonus is the perspective and resources that Mr. Cooke provides on Canadian educational leaders who utilize Twitter and why you should consider following them. This week we suggest you set aside some time to check out the CEA website and Mr. Cooke’s post.
Twitter and Canadian Educators | Canadian Education Association (CEA) [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/twitter-and-canadian-educators
This post will focus on the work of Whitaker, Zoul and Casas (2015), in their book, What Connected Educators do Differently. A synopsis of the book and a link to Jimmy Casas’ website are available under the communication tab on this website. For today I want to highlight a great feature of the book that offers readers an opportunity to connect with education leaders in specific focus areas. This is all part of the overarching message of building relationships. In each chapter the authors provide a list of educator websites or resources that support the information related to the topic of the chapter. Their phrase Follow 5, Find 5 and Take 5 refers to the five people resources and next steps the reader should take as they travel the path to connected learning and leadership.
For the purpose of this blog, I will honour their platform by suggesting three digital education leaders and three chat groups that you should follow on Twitter. Finally I offer one next step for our path to connected digital leadership. Now lets look at three individuals that you should add to you PLN and follow on Twitter.
1.The Couros Brothers @courosa and @gcouros
First we have the brothers Couros, Alec and George. They are leaders at the forefront of the connected education frontier and they are big supporters of using Twitter for education. Both offer the following blogs educationaltechnology.ca (Alec) and georgecouros.ca (The Principal of Change (George) Also both offer access to their PLN and both can be found participating in many education chats on Twitter.
2.Dr. Justin Tarte @justintarte
Next take some time to look at Dr. Justin Tarte’s blog Life of and Educator at jsutintarte.com. Dr. Tarte is the Director of Teaching and Learning in Union Missouri. He is a prolific blogger and Twitter user and from my experience his thoughts on education and leadership are amongst the most re-tweeted information bites. He is a strong supporter of ubiquity and equity in education, which makes his message universal.
3. Tom D’Amico @TDOttawa
Finally I add Tom D’Amico to this list of education leaders. Tom is an associate director of the Ottawa Catholic District School Board and he is a great example of a district leader that is focused on supporting students and staff with digital leadership and connectivity.
Next let us look at three Twitter chat groups that are worth reviewing and following.
1. #edchat- This chat group covers many aspects of education. I find it is one of the largest subscribed chats focused on connected learning.
2. #cpchat – This is the connected principal chat and it is a great place to connect and seek support and suggestions from fellow school leaders. Participants understand the challenges that we face in becoming connected and they certainly endorse connectivity for leaders.
3. #PrincipalPLN – Principal professional learning Network – The name says it all. This site supports the development of social networks for school leaders.
There you have it , my top three and three to help you build a solid network. This week make a point of adding this group of educators and chat groups to your PLN if you do not already have them and if you do who are the go to people on your list ? Share three leaders with us to keep everyone connected.
The starting point for any passage is to take that first step. For our digital leadership path our first step is to create a community of co-learners and supports to help us along our journey. This digital support group is also known as your PLN - Personal Learning Network and it will form a solid foundation upon which to build and layer your digital skills.
Will Richardson provides a great synopsis of what a PLN is and how it can transform your learning and your practice. The video posted below is taken from the Brainwave series of videos on educational technology and 21st century digital learning. Will is one of many proponents of utilizing Twitter to establish a PLN and connect with the latest information and practices to support personal and professional learning. If you already have a Twitter account you can follow all of the updates to this site and blog by following us @leadingloudly located on the sidebar to the right. So jump in and take your first step - you are not alone.
Will Richardson - Personal Learning Networks [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/OMIG0xOySCc
I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been