4.2b | Professional Learning Networks

As a connected learner, the coach is expected to actively participate in professional learning networks to enhance coaching practice and keep current with emerging technology and innovations in pedagogy and the learning sciences.

Professional Learning Networks

Since joining the Digital Education Leadership Program, I have been introduced to the concept of Professional Learning Networks (PLN). Seeing the many benefits of such a network, I have quickly formed internal PLNs within my own school’s academic faculty so that teachers have a platform to share best practices in teaching and learn from one another.

In my post titled, “No Child Left Offline: A Case for Coaching for Digital Equity“, I also advocated how easy it is to start a Professional Learning Network as a way to promote digital equity. I also shared how educators can look to leveraging social media to build their Professional Learning Networks.

Technology & Innovation in Teaching

In my post on “Workshop Planning: Building Digital Literacy for 21st-Century Success“, I had the chance to research deeper into emerging technology and innovations in pedagogy and the learning sciences. I also recorded a captioned screencast tutorial on a tool called Thinglink. This recording was then shared with my Professional Learning Network to demonstrate how easy it is to turn a static image into an interactive piece of content and encourage higher class engagement through wider usage of such tools.

In my school, our students are mainly aged between 3 to 6 years old. With such young learners, our teachers have to employ innovative methods to engage students more especially in an online environment. We have found that the use of a tool like Snap Camera which allows teachers to manipulate their appearance and turn themselves into cartoon characters works wonders in entertaining students and developing lesson “stickiness”. For instance, in a Phonics lesson where the teacher was teaching the “o_a” sound, the teachers used Snap Camera to turn himself into a boat to illustrate the “o_a” sound in the word “boat”.

This became such a hit that the teacher shared this trick with other teachers in his PLN and this practice caught on to much success in the other teachers’ classes as is evidenced by the very positive parent feedback we received.

 

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