I’m proud to be an alumna of the Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design Program at Teachers College, Columbia University where I earned my MA (2001) and EdM (2016) in Instructional Technology and New Media. (The next step would be a Doctorate, but unless I get an honorary one like Bono, I’m not sure I have the willpower to do so…)
Professor Chang, my patient and helpful thesis advisor, invited me to speak with her core seminar students tonight about my “experience and expertise in implementing and learning with technology in the classroom.” I prepared the slides above to lightly outline and illustrate why I think curating a Personalized (or Professional) Learning Network is super valuable. I also included suggestions for how to locate and connect with people synchronously and asynchronously, online and offline, personally and professionally. For inspiration about what to talk about, I turned to the abstract for my EdM paper which is pasted below:
This paper considers that investing time in growing a Personalized Learning Network (PLN) by interacting with other professionals in the field synchronously and asynchronously, online and offline, socially and professionally will lead to the ultimate reward of being a more engaged, informed, and connected educator in the 21st Century. This inevitably will enable access to people and information that will further enrich the educator and their community. There are distinct advantages to building and leveraging a PLN to learn, share, network, and collaborate as a career teacher both online and offline. Additionally, maintaining a personal portfolio is a valuable resource towards professional growth and building your network as it helps educators engage in a metacognitive study of their own teaching and learning, legitimize their online presence, and expand their PLN. Much research points towards the value of growing a PLN and digital portfolio curation and the role these play in a 21st Century educator’s practice.