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Constructing an Online Professional Learning Network for School Unity and Student Achievement

Constructing an Online Professional Learning Network for School Unity and Student Achievement

A Joint Publication With Learning Forward

March 2013 | 136 pages | Corwin
What if your professional learning community was available 24 hours a day, every day of the year? Would you like to have a place to share lesson plans, student work, a new curriculum, and to provide a discussion forum for all stakeholders? You can, even with only a basic understanding of technology. The authors explain how they created an online professional learning network to share a new core curriculum, providing a framework for constructing such a network to fit your school's needs. The many benefits include:

Enhanced communication among teachers, administrators, and the community

Easy access to professional development for many more participants

Implementation of best practices and instructional strategies for improved teacher performance

Increased understanding of and commitment to educational goals

Included are checklists, flowcharts, screenshots of an actual learning network, case studies, and a glossary of terms. This book provides all the tools you need to build a successful and motivating professional community online.

approach offered in the book, the reader can determine at what level to begin and can devise a timeline that will help them eventually reach their targeted goals and objectives. A reader will walk away with the know-how and the resources they need to get started. In addition, the book acts as a support as the readers goes through the experience of creating a personal learning network. Even the reluctant user of technology will feel comfortable embracing the ideas presented, and will in turn encourage other educators to take the leap.

List of Figures
Preface: Getting the Big Picture
How the Concept of a Professional Learning Network Came into Focus

What to Expect in this Book

Why We Wrote this Book

About the Authors
1. Focusing on a Professional Learning Network
What Is a Professional Learning Network?

Why PLN Focus?

Snapshot of Our PLN

A Bird's-Eye View of How to Build Your PLN



2. Zooming in on Leadership
Why a Leadership Focus for a PLN

Snapshot of Leadership in Our PLN

A Bird's-Eye View of Leadership for Your PLN



3. Going Digital: Infusing Technology Into a PLN
Why a Technology Focus for a PLN?

Snapshot of Technology on Our PLN

A Bird's-Eye View of Technology for Your PLN



4. Landscape for Communication of Information
Why a Communication Focus for a PLN?

Snapshot of Communication on Our PLN

A Bird's-Eye View of Communication on Your PLN


5. Framing Curriculum and Instruction
Why a Curriculum Focus for a PLN?

Snapshot of Curriculum on Our PLN

A Bird's-Eye View of Curriculum on Your PLN



6. Exposures to Learning
Why a Professional Development Focus for a PLN?

Snapshot of Professional Development on Our PLN

A Bird's-Eye View of Professional Development on Your PLN


7. Begin Your Focus With Eight Steps
What are the Steps You Need to Begin?

Snapshot of the Eight Steps to Build Your PLN



8. Adding Perspective: Viewing a PLN With a New Lens
A Review of Why a PLN

A Snapshot of Our Experience

The Future of PLNs

The Future of Your PLN


“This book is a testimony to true transformative practice. The whole school community pursued a single vision, with multiple year checkpoints, while providing incremental support to the staff.”

Cheryl Steele Oakes, Teacher
Wells High School, ME

“Every school that is ready to catch up with today’s students and truly use today’s technology can increase the success of students! This book is a practical, systematic handbook that any school can follow.”

Renee Peoples, Teacher
West Elementary School, Bryson City, NC

“Take your PLC to the next level and set up your own learning network with this helpful step-by-step guide.”

Linda Sarver, Teacher
Westview Elementary School, Excelsior Springs, MO

“Fantasy has a magical bullet. This book is for those in the field that believe positive change stems from a concerted effort and best practices."

Lyndon Oswald, Principal
Sandcreek Middle School, Ammon, ID

“This book will help schools build a professional network to improve and enhance the work of teachers, specialists, and administrators, improving student achievement in the process.”

Tania Dymkowski, Instructional Strategist
HAYSCISD Science Hall Elementary, Kyle, TX

Robin C. Thompson

Robin Thompson is curriculum coordinator for Manatee High School. Prior to this position, she served as reading coach and an intensive reading teacher at the high school, and taught various elementary and middle school grades. Thompson enjoys the process of designing, building, and launching professional learning networks. Her degree is in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in literacy, and she is especially interested struggling adolescent readers. More About Author

Laurie C. Kitchie

A graduate of the University of Florida in educational technology, I lean towards the concept of connectivism when it comes to educating adolescent and adult learners alike. In today’s digital environment it is more important than ever to explore the biology of the human mind as well as the tools that exist outside the human mind that aid in learning. I have experience teaching both English and reading in grades 6-12. At the present time I am an assistant principal at Manatee High School in Bradenton, FL. Working with Bob and Robin has provided an exciting and rare experience of taking an idea and bringing it to fruition. We have truly... More About Author

Robert J. Gagnon

Currently the Principal of Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida, I have had the honor of bringing a D-rated high school on the Florida Department of Education school-rating scale to an A-rating. I have worked diligently to demonstrate leadership and believe firmly that through teacher empowerment and the modeling of effective guidance any school climate can be transformed and improved. Working closely with Robin and Laurie, we have truly achieved a monumental task that we will continue to build and revise to meet the vast needs of both our teachers and our students. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412994927