The Value of Social Learning Networks for Educators

The Value of Social Learning Networks for Educators

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EdCamp Leadership 2017 in Baker County Florida

The Value of Social Learning Networks for Educators
by William Jackson
Educator in elementary and higher education

The infusion of technology in education requires
that educators rely on each other to create opportunities
of instant and relevant professional development.
Creating PLN’s – Professional Learning Networks that
share information from tech, to classroom management,
to how to deal with hovering parents, to addressing
school budgets and other issues that are unique to
the classroom and school culture.

Diversity has always been an action word in education,
but when that diversity extends from the family structure
to addressing the challenges of learning diversity,
cognitive agility, behavioral awareness and the changes
in the family structure. Educators have a myriad of
situations and circumstances the can influence the
classroom stability and culture.

Students have access to online sites that encourage
connections  of interactivity and engagement,
this begs to insist that teachers also need instant
access to information. Teachers cannot run
away from technology and cannot ignore its invasion,
integration and even intrusion because it is right in
the face of educators.

Digital PLC’s – Professional Learning Communities
have grown so that every conceivable subject that
references the field of education is discussed,
diagnosed, dissected, and even how differentiated
instruction can be applied. Looking at Pintrest
alone you can see the magnitude of information
that can be shared for classrooms of any
instructional discipline.

The culture of the school is influenced by digital
access because instead of seeing a particular
culture sitting together in the cafeteria, digitally
they are interacting online, through Apps
and in digital areas where learning may not be
going on. The truth maybe there is an effort to
disrupt the educational
environment through bullying, harassment or
other forms.

Educators are building communities that are pract-
ically throwing learning tools, guides, ideas and
lesson plans across the Internet.
The only thing educator have to do is adapt them
to their classroom culture and learning structure.
Students are accessing content that allows and
encourages them to learn on levels unheard of just
5 years ago, that learning may not collaborate with
classroom instruction so teachers must
consistently share the relevancy of why students
need to learn what is being presented to them.

Teachers can no longer tell student they have to
learn the concepts because it is in the curriculum,
they must be creative in justifying how the curri-
culum will help them in life. Participation in online
programs allows for engagement in project based
learning that can be modified to meet the learning
modalities of diverse students. Combining and
integrating cross curricular learning may at first be
challening, but look at the video games youth,
teens and young adults are playing. How can
teachers engage the students minds that challenge
them to think and apply that thinking?

The challenge is to achieve a goal, educators
need to reinforce the goal of subject area instr-
uction. Taking learning to relevancy may seem
alien, but look at it from the students
perspective, “how am I going to use this stuff in life?”

Looking at the model of museums, libraries and even
after school programs, there are sounds, music,
engagement on multiple levels and even the
openness to fail so that failure is a conduit to
challenging multidisciplinary thinking. Applying
past learning to new learning to achieve a goal.
How do teachers harness this power and integrate
it into their classrooms?

Assisting teachers are PLN’s and PLC’s that
encourage teachers to talk to each other, share
information and resources. To provide digital
hands that guide teachers to digital sources
that make integration easier and relevant. The
brain fires its synapses that contains energy that
is a thought, teachers collectively sharing their
synaptic thought to bring about
real change in their classrooms.

Joining a digital network only requires having
a Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or other social
networking account. Doing some research and
connecting. The article “Teaching with Technology,”
Should Teachers Have a Social
Learning Network? Jakub Piwnik shows that value
of participating in digital communities for
educators.
Can be found at:
http://diversityined.uberflip.com/i/397327-diversity-in-ed-magazine-fall-2014-issue/40

Professional development has changed because learning
by teachers has changed. The days of just large scale
and district PD is still necessary, but the value is
shifting to more personal, connected and transformative
PD in the form of  EdCamps held at local schools
nation-wide and online learning  communities like
#FlEdTech found on Twitter lead by
Tammy G. Neil @TG_Neil and supported by a host
of dedicated educators from multiple fields and
years of experience. There is also #EduMatch also
on Twitter lead by Sarah Thomas #EduMatch
@edu_match also supported by national and
even international educators.

Digital events that are global can create changes
in the classroom instantly. Events like the EdChange
Global @EdChangeGlobal is a 24 Hour Online Global
Learning Events.
#ECG2017 EdChange Global for educators!
July 28 http://tiny.cc/ecg2017

Teachers have options in learning, connecting,
collaboration, cooperation and integration.
I just need connecting with other educators and
not being afraid to integrate technology to develop
a teachers PLC and PLN that builds
PLF – Professonal Learning Families.

Resources
Sarah Thomas @sarahdateechur
#EduMatch @edu_match
Connecting educators with similar interests.
Goal: to foster collaboration. Learning together.
Education for educators, by educators.
@edumatchbooks #edumatch
Sundays weekly http://edumatch.org

Tammy Neil @FLedChat
http://fledchat.wordpress.com
#FLedchat is a virtual meeting place using Twitter.
Educators across the state of Florida come
together on Wednesdays at 8pm est to discuss
the topics of the week.
https://fledchat.org/

EdChange Global @EdChangeGlobal
The 24 Hour Online Global Learning Events.
#ECG2017 EdChange Global for educators!
July 28
http://tiny.cc/ecg2017
Worldwide Events
http://tiny.cc/edchangeglobal

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William graduated from #SouthCarolinaStateUniversity earning a Bachelor’s in #Education, he furthered his education, earning a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Webster University with a focus on Educational Technology, #SocialMedia and #STEM. William’s career involves teaching with #NASA throughout the 90’s, technology consultant with the Florida Department of Education early 2000’s and currently Professor with #EdwardWatersCollege (2004 to present) teaching Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM. Over 25 yrs in public education teaching Physical Education and #Technology, on the elementary level. William is a 4th generation educator. An instructor in the Call Me Mister Program at Edward Waters College. William is not only an educator, but he is a Social Media consultant, presenter on STEM/#STEAM, Bullying and Cyberbullying, Internet Safety and his passion #Blogging and #Writing. William keeps active in the Jacksonville community involved in Mentoring Programs for youth, teens and young adults. Mentoring and guiding teens and young adults. The focus of the writings: Technology in Education, The engagement of STEM and STEAM, Bullying, Internet Safety, Social Media, Suicide Prevention, empowering fathers and parenting issues are just a few of his blogs.