Professional Learning Networks

Felix Davila III
CO
Moreillon, J. (2016). Building your PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK (PLN): 21st-century school librarians seek self-regulated professional development online. Knowledge Quest, 44(3), 64-69. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lih&AN=112090464&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Moreillon’s work here is a strong reminder of the necessity of developing a personal learning network. A PLN is essentially a core of resources that allows professionals to communicate or collaborate with others of the same field to expose themselves to new resources, tactics and more. The article provides a listing of ideas that librarians should bookmark for future reference. Moreillon includes discussion boards, Twitter groups or hastags, Facebook groups, webinars and blogs as common resources that can provide endless engagement, workshopping and brainstorming.

What is important to realize is that professional development is not simply located at work through employee meetings or training sessions. With technology, professional development is an every day, every hour phenomenon that can allow professionals a chance to grow and develop. Essentially, librarians should not rule out any outlet where they can connect with fellow librarians. This article motivated me to join a Facebook group of students that have taken INFO 254, which allowed me to not only share and receive ideas, but keep in touch with colleagues without compromising my personal social media (an important factor for those that may be really concerned with privacy).
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Crafting Professional Development for Maker Educators

Alicia Morales

CO

Graves, C. (2016). Crafting Professional Development for Maker Educators from Edutopia retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/crafting-professional-development-maker-educators-colleen-graves on September 2016. 
Summary: Maker spaces are a growing trend in many libraries, public or school, they usually involve hands on learning, crafts, and student collaboration, they are great ways to learn. This article’s focus was taking this same concept, maker spaces for student learning, but instead of student learning, it’s moved to teacher learning. Maker Spaces for Teacher PD’s. Creating successful professional development should focus on getting teacher/learners involved in thinking about the process and creativity of learning. It an be messy yes, but in the end teachers experience what students experience when making content. 

Why Edcamp?

Hoff, Jane

CO – Collaboration Strategies in Professional Development


Swanson, K. (2013, April 23). Why Edcamp?. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from Edcamps, http://www.edutopia.org/blog/why-edcamp-kristen-swanson

Summary:  First started in 2010, Edcamp has gained a tremendous amount of support from educators interested in professional development that accommodates their desire for collaborative learning environments designed by teachers, for teachers.  The author lists the primary reasons why Edcamp has been, and continues to be, so successful.  First, Edcamp is free, in more ways than one: 1) There is no cost to attend, 2) attendees are free to choose and move through sessions based on their interests, and 3) Edcamps are held on Saturdays, accommodating teachers’ work schedules and not costing them a personal day to attend.  Second, Edcamp is structured as a participant driven professional development conference where everyone has authority and are free to participate as they wish.  Thus Edcamps promote productive conversation and effective collaboration as the platform for learning.  Edcamp sessions are scheduled on the day of the event, ensuring a more organic collaborative learning environment, rather than planned and canned presentations.  Similarly, Edcamps are hosted by individuals and organizations that are not affiliated with vendors or commercial entities, and as a result are not designed to sell anything or any way of thinking.  In essence, the success of Edcamps is owing to the collaborative platform is promotes.  Professional development through the sharing of ideas with other professionals in the field generates a +1 effect (two heads are greater than one) in learning and generating of ideas.

Review:  This article was written by an Edcamp “veteran,” and is clearly designed to inform educators of the collaborative method and resource for professional development.  Swanson does an excellent job of describing the Edcamp method, despite obvious areas that cannot be defined due to its largely organic platform.  This article inspired the idea that collaboration between education professionals might not be so bleak as observed on campuses – perhaps the key is giving educators a feeling of authority, self-determination, freedom, and voice in their professional development.  For more information on Edcamp and Edcamps that might be scheduled in your area check out their website, edcamp.org.