Today we were asked to make a mind map of our Professional Learning Network. This is common language at ASFM, and something we discuss quite often- therefore the topic was nothing new to me. However, as I worked on creating my PLN visual, I became aware of how much I gain professionally, solely from ASFM.
At ASFM, we are up to date with research based lesson design and instructional strategies, leaders in the field of education visit and revisit our school quite frequently offering multiple professional development opportunities. Personally, I utilize principals, instructional coaches, and digital teachers. And my teammates and I are sharing ideas constantly. Last year, I attended the Principal’s Training Center for a course, at the recommendation of a few colleagues. Yet, creating this visual made me realize how “unconnected” I really am to other professional organizations, outside of the ASFM realm.
Of course, I added MSU, MAET. And while looking for other learning networks is a possibility, I also realized that I am part of another organization already. One that a fellow educator and I are in the midst of creating, the SIG1to1DC: A Special Interest Group for 1:1 Digital Citizenship. Together we are working to create an online location for professionals looking for (and looking to share) ideas on how to promote digital citizenship in a 1:1 program. Increasing my confidence and leadership in educational technology is one goal I have for myself throughout my time in MSU, MAET. The creation of this SIG, is something that will help me achieve that goal. I am sure that while conducting the research and list of resources for this special interest group, my senses will be heightened in search for organizations that may be added to my PLN.
At the beginning of this quickfire challenge, I had no idea how much I would come to realize after just 30 minutes. In addition to the appreciation of this activity for bringing me this new state of mind, I also experienced using a new (for me) tech tool.
The tools we explored were to act as a platform to host our PLN mind map. I have seen younger students, and even some of my own students use different mind mapping tools, including Popplet, which is what I ended up giving a try (there is also an app for this tool). I did not feel rushed at all during this 30 minute challenge, as Popplet is very simple to use. Pictures, video, and changing font colors are all easy to add and edit. Best of all, you can present your content in a clean, student friendly format. Again, overall a great learning experience- both with technology and reflecting on my PLN.