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Table of Contents  


Blogging in the Classroom

Wiki Wiki


Become a Campus Role Model

RSS - Bringing the Web to You

Digital Storytelling

Technology and Your PLC

Growing Up Online


Using Technology in Your Professional Learning Community



"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."

  – Margaret Mead



There is a lot of talk nowadays about Professional Learning Communities, especially in education circles.  My objective for this workshop is not to lecture participants about the essential elements of any PLC, but, rather to  lead a discussion highlighting what is working in our campus' PLCs and realize potential solutions to the obstacles many of our PLCs are facing.  I have outlined eight practices campuses can immediately put in place that will benefit and extend their current PLC.  If you are interested in reading more about PLCs in general, you can follow the links to sites I have bookmarked through my del.icio.us account. 






Eight Practices to Build/Extend Your PLC


  • Leadership Through PLCs

    Promoting teacher leadership through PLCs

  • Drupal versus Ning for Learning Community Websites

    I hear Wesley mention that he feels Drupal has some advantages over Ning. I’m curious as to what people feel some of the advatages are of using Drupal over Ning?

  • Schools as Learning Communities: Introduction

    This paper focuses on what Astuto and colleagues (1993) label the professional community of learners, in which the teachers in a school and its administrators continuously seek and share learning and then act on what they learn.

  • All Things PLC

    This site was created to serve as a collaborative, objective resource for educators and administrators who are committed to enhancing student achievement.

Add me to your Delicious network

My PLC Bookmarks


1.  Set Up an RSS Reader

       Save the time and effort of having to surf the web for information of value to you.  By setting up a RSS feed aggregator account at a site like Bloglines or Google Reader, you will be able to "subscribe" to and track new content coming from a number of sites all from one web page.  You also have the added ability to publish "shared" items to a public web page.


2.  Develop Personal Connections

       Develop and enhance your personal connections through video conferencing.  While your campus may have expensive video conferencing eqipment that can be used to plan and collaborate with other professionals at remote sites, this requires that sites you are connecting with have similar equipment at their disposal.  One simple...and cheap...alternative is to set up yourself, or your campus with a free Skype account.  Skype allows you to video conference, share files, collaborate on documents, and enhance the personal relationships with members of your Personal Learning Community by allowing for face-to-face (albeit digitally) conversations.

  • Skype
  • If your district has blocked the Skype download site you can download the client here.  (coming soon!)


3.  Broadcast Yourself

       How many times have you heard the excuse that members of your PLC just don't have the time to attend meetings or other professional learning opportunities.  Using free live-streaming sites like Ustream.tv all your PLC meetings, professional development opportunities, and general trainings can not only be streamed live over the internet, but also archived for future viewing when time does permit.  All you need to get going on the wonderful tool is a computer, webcam, and microphone.


4.  Celebrate and Publicize Your Successes

       How do you share the successes you experience every day on your campus with the general public and the world?  While announcements made on your school's marquee or information sent home in your monthly newsletter may reach a handful, have you considered setting your campus up with a free image sharing site like Flickr?  The free version of Flickr will allow you to display up to 200 images and give people a place to comment on your images and send personal messages to you.  For less than $30 per year you can upgrade your account to allow for unlimited image uploading.  Try extending your message visually and celebrate your successes.


5.  Share Resources

       How many times have you or one of the members of your PLC stumbled across a wonderful online resource that could be of benefit to all the members.  These resources may be an obscure video found on sites like YouTube, a poinant article written in the newspaper, a timely journal piece speaking about bleeding edge pedagogy, or any other number of digital artifacts.  Often what happens is an email is sent to all the members of the PLC directing them to the particular URL, or it ends up not being worth the effort and it is set aside.  Consider establishing a social bookmarking account for your PLC.  Using a site like del.icio.us your PLC can have a place to bookmark, categorize, and share online resoureces with all the members of your PLC.  In addition, you gain the benefit of searching the bookmarks of thousands of other members.


6.  Attend Online (and Free) Conferences

        Save yourself time and money by participating in an online, and completely free, educational technology conference.  The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2008 conference theme is “Amplifying Possibilities”.  Not only can your PLC benefit from the 2008 K12 Conference, but members can also "attend" sessions that have been archived from years past.  Encourage members of your PLC to participate, reflect and share, and perhaps even submit a session proposal in the future.


7.  Encourage and Practice Transparency

       How transparent is your campus?  How easy do you make it for the community to understand and realize the successes and obstacles your PLC is facing?  Consider publishing a blog and/or podcast that highlights the happenings on your campus.  Seek out other blogs/podcasts published by PLCs similar to yours.  Comment on them...start a conversation....build your network...encourage community feedback and input.


8.  Join/Create a Social/Professional Network

       Now that you have a number of practices under your belt and (mastered?), why not take the big leap and set up your very own online Learning Network.  Consider establishing a Ning site for your campus/PLC.  A Ning community of learners has many benefits.  Each user has their own space to contribute thoughts, images, link, videos, etc....  Users have the opportunity to comment on posts and communicate with one and other.  Forums can be created to explore and discuss topics more in depth, upcoming events can be posted.  All these benefits and more can be highlghted on one main "entry" page.  Explore Ning and consider establishing an online presence for your PLC




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