So, I’m taking a class too.
To my students: I am currently enrolled in a class that requires me to do homework too. (GASP!) They asked me to post to my blog so that my class members can get ideas and that I can prove to my teacher that I learned the material covered within the class.
So, feel free to read through this post and comment to it if you would like to. What do you all think of starting a Facebook group or Edmodo?
To my facilitator and class memebers: Here is the content of our final session. It has been a great experience reading through all of our discussions and seeing what all of you have to offer to my professional learning community. I hope to use your ideas in the future of my career. Also, I didn’t read the assignment correctly and ended up answering all three prompts. I am NOT an over-achiever…I just didn’t read directions. Now, I’m starting to sound like my students.
In the beginning of this course my Professional Learning Community consisted of the people I came in contact with face-to-face and the few workshops that I would be able to attend through the year. Since this class I have been able to expand my professional community with ease. I have found new mentors on Twitter to follow, which usually leads to great blogs that include resources. I have also enjoyed the RSS feed where I can find and read things that interest me without having to dig and dig on the internet. I already have a blog where I post things to a craft blog. It has some educational “crafts” and forms on it too. You can check it out at sineover.cosineofthetimes.com if you would like to. Then there is this blog where I post to my students. It is mostly class notes and study guides. Sometimes I have them comment to things but I am not currently using it in that manner. I am thinking of expanding a public component of this blog for me to write educational related blog posts.
Our system has a relatively liberal policy regarding social networking. Our superintendent, principals, other administrators and school leaders, and teachers already engage stakeholders in various different forms of social media. Our biggest problem is monitoring the usage of social media during the school day. Since our school uses the BYOD philosophy and we provide the Wi-Fi this leads to off task behaviors in the classroom. Another issue is that problems that begin virtually very easily bubble over into the physical realm. Students get into internet altercations and then continue that altercation at school. Thankfully the students are willing to work with school staff to prevent this, most of the time.
In order to have a successful learning community parents and students must be included into this network. This must be done with many safeguards in place. I believe the first step to a positive environment is to introduce the idea to students and parents in the form of classroom discussions, letters to the parents, and parent conferences. Parents must trust their child and their child’s school in order to feel safe with new and growing technologies. I would then start with something familiar to the parents, probably Facebook, since it is the most common social media for that particular generation. I would start a Facebook group for my classroom or my school to share upcoming events, photos, and even homework and tutorials. From that platform, other types of social media can be linked and introduced at a comfortable and appropriate time.
- Name of Organization: Saraland High School
- Project Title: Creating a Professional Learning Network
- Project Location: Saraland High School
- Contact Person: Lyndsey Spradlin
- Contact Information: 1115 Industrial Parkway 251.298.7666
- Project Timeline: 3 months
- Amount Required: FREE
Teachers and staff will be given professional development during their planning periods or after school to help set up basic social networks, blogs, and/or podcasts that will help them meet their classroom goals and objectives while maintaining a healthy communication with stakeholders outside of the class.
At times there are communication deficits involving administrators, staff, teachers, students, and parents.
The objective of this project is to equip school administrators and teachers with knowledge and resources to help streamline communication. Staff members will be able to use different platforms, that suit their personal and professional strengths to better communicate and distribute information
PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN:
The project will be presented to teachers at already established faculty meetings and professional development days. The information will be given to staff and support will be made available through after school sessions that the teachers can schedule with the implementation team.
PROJECT MONITORING AND EVALUATION:
Monitoring and evaluation will be done by administrators and the management team but implementation will not be a requirement for teachers this year.
DOCUMENTATION AND SHARING RESULTS:
Documentation and sharing will be done through the different technologies including Google Documents, Google Sheets, blogs, emails, and social media. End of the year surveys will be used to determine if teachers find the project reasonable, helpful, and valuable.
I look forward to hearing from you.