Exploring the Benefits of PLNs with the EdTech PD Cadre

September 29, 2011

Professional learning network

This is now my 3rd year attending the EdTech PD Oregon Cadre with OETC (Organization for Educational Technology and Curriculum). The cadre of about 200 educators and tech leaders (and growing) from Oregon schools meet three times a year to collaborate and learn about emerging technologies and how to use them in the classroom or take it back for professional development with their staff in the district. 

Each activity is infused with actively modeling and practicing effective staff development strategies accommodating all learning styles including group activities, reflection, processing, creating, laughing. It’s an empowering group of people. 

I attend on behalf of Clarity Innovations as their Technical Producer on projects to keep an eye on the latest trends in the trenches, but more importantly to better understand the education territory and the planning and processes involved incorporating these tools into the classroom and into their instruction. Engaging on this level is so refreshing and invigorating.  Having an extended network of educators thriving and hungry to creatively deliver to their students or staff is PRICELESS! 

Having a background working with learning systems and content management, I’m primarily focused on applications, tools, and processes to get the job done.  I’m the one in the office that has the constant quiet hum coming from my computer processor due to my multi-tab browsers and add-ons that I’m addicted to using, trying out the tools that grab my ever changing attention…more, more, more! I’ve worked in environments with teachers and educators on varieties of training and instruction with new tools and technology, but to be on the other side and to be able to participate in a PLN (professional learning network) is quite another experience. 

The fruits of a professional learning network is beyond rewarding to collaborate on activities that examine teaching and learning styles, standards, strategies, and best practices with tech leaders, teachers and innovators is an opportunity not to be missed.  I encourage you to check out your local community and get involved ASAP, this collaboration is the way of the future and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!