Summer Assignment: Build that PLN!

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Professional Learning
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Are you counting down the days until summer vacation?  I mean, did I really need to ask that question?! I remember one of the hardest parts of transitioning from a teacher to an administrator was not getting to have that feeling of pure exhilaration and excitement going into summer break.  It’s a time to recharge, reset, and perhaps sneak in a trip or two to the beach. I’m sure professional development and building your PLN is far from the front of your mind right now, but with the ease and accessibility of technology it’s easier than ever to do so over the summer.

Here are 3 easy tips on how to both enjoy your VERY well-deserved summer break while at the same time continuing to build your PLN:

  1. Get on Twitter. June 30th is Social Media Day after all!
    Twitter (See this TeachersFirst review) is a quick and easy way to build your professional learning network. The beauty is that you can post or not, engage or not, follow or not, you get my drift. What I love about Twitter is that it is a quick way to gather a fair amount of information.  Additionally, it helps to keep me connected to issues and people that inspire me and make me a better professional. If you’re feeling really daring, join a Twitter chat—summer is the perfect time to do this! Insert shameless plug for our very own OK2Ask Twitter Chats here! 😊
  2. Attend a free webinar.
    Webinars are one of my favorite ways to further my education about a certain topic of interest.  Usually around one hour in duration, webinars are a quick and easy way to expand your professional learning and networking.  If you regularly check out offerings at a couple of sites, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs and interests.  Make sure to check out the vast offerings of OK2Ask (of course!)… there is something for everyone!
  3. Join a professional group.
    The possibilities are endless. What are your professional passions? Ed tech? Your content area? Middle-level education? Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS)? Finding like-minded professionals and connecting with them can foster growth and open new possibilities. Sign up for their newsletters, engage in message boards, read blogs, find a new book. By joining a professional group, you will find that you will undoubtedly begin to refine your skills and instruction for the better.

I hope you found these tips both helpful and do-able as you begin to expand your professional learning network. Have a wonderful summer and take a little time to complete your “summer assignment” and let me know how it’s going!

About the author: Katy Garvey

Katy Garvey is the Social Learning Manager for Source for Learning, the non-profit parent company of TeachersFirst. She began her education career teaching Spanish before entering into administration. A former middle school principal, Katy spends her free time exercising and with her family.

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