Two years ago, I asked y'all to help me create a crowd-sourced tool to help other educators start building a PLN. This request grew out of conversations I'd had at the time (and continue to have) with teacher-librarians, classroom teachers, administrators, etc., who know they *should* be participating in the global conversation about what it takes to prepare today's learners for the world of tomorrow.
Together, we created a livebinder full of links to blogs/twitter handles of educators whose work NEEDED to be shared. This wasn't a "Top 10/50/100 list" created by a reporter or editorial board, it was a lovingly curated gift chock-full-o PLN goodness and brimming with YOUR go to resources. Since then, this resource has been pointed to and shared over and over again by many of you as you work to help your colleagues grow their personal learning and I could not be happier with how it continues to grow.
That said, while people still contribute to it from time to time AND occasionally someone will send me a note to correct something, I think it's time to give the PLN Starter kit a purposeful update. Technically, it may be a little late to be doing spring cleaning, but I think it's time we clean up the stuff that is longer active and add some new names to our crowdsourced whose who of educational awesomeness.
One person I will definitely be adding to the list is my friend, and brand new principal, Todd Nesloney. In fact, if I'm honest, it's Todd's work that got me thinking that it was time to update the Starter Kit. This summer, Todd is challenging all of the teachers at his school to be "professional learners" by taking part in a Summer Learning Series. Each week he'll issue a challenge to his teachers that will, ultimately, extend their learning and help evolve their practice. I love, love, LOVE this idea! We often talk about students and the "summer slide" but if such a phenomenon is real, then it stands to reason that teachers experience it too. And yes, it is important to take time to rest, relax and rejuvenate during the summer break, it's also a time for to reflect and reboot. I just love that Todd is taking his role as the instructional leader at his school seriously and starting off by challenging and then HELPING his teachers make this summer one in which they grow and evolve, so that when the new school rolls around in just a few short weeks, they'll not feel rested, but they'll also feel better prepared to make some instructional magic with their students. What's more, Todd is opening up his Summer Learning Shallenge to ANYONE who wants to participate. Simply fill out the google form on his blog and you're in.
Speaking of google forms, now's the time for you to tell me who you'd like to see added to our crowdsourced PLN mega pick! Like I said last time, there are no rules for how to do this, but I recommend not thinking about it too long. Go with your gut. And then, if your gut tells you to recommend others, go back and fill out the form again. Fill it out as many times as you like. I just ask one thing: once you've filled it out, share it. Click here, yo!
Blog about it.
Tweet about it.
Talk about it over a cup of coffee.
Make some nice graffiti art (just don't get caught and be sure to send me a photo!)
But let's spread the word and help all those newbies out there begin the journey of learning that has helped us grow so much as teachers and learners.