April 27, 2012 by Brad Currie
Over the past few days Readington Middle School Teachers have been participating in a series of workshops aimed at expanding their Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). The concept behind 21st century PLNs is for educators to connect with others from around the world and have access to free 24/7 online professional development. The workshops primarily focused on Twitter and Blogs as a way to share, consume, communicate and collaborate with other like-minded educators across the globe. By the end of the sessions staff members were able to find information on the web and then tweet it out to others. Mrs. Singer, our wonderful media specialist, created a hashtag #rmsprofdev that will serve as a way for our staff members to archive on Twitter exciting and engaging educational resources they find on the web that they can always go back to as a reference.
During the workshop insight was provided by Vice Principal Brad Currie (@bcurrie5) and Stephanie Singer (@rmslmc) on the many positive impacts social media sites can have on educator’s PLNs. Heavy Twitter Hitters in the educational world such as New Milford High School Principal Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) and educator Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) were highlighted as a way to show Readington Middle School staff members the many ways in which being part of a PLN can develop them professionally, promote the work they do and communicate with others. The excitement and curiosity during the workshop was very obvious and once again showed the commitment our wonderful teachers have to staying on top of cutting edge best practice teaching techniques that will in turn promote the success of all children.
The final piece presented at the workshop had participants examine the usefulness of the weekly Singer Spotlight and Mr. Currie’s daily Bundlenut. Both staff communications provide an abundance of resources aimed at impacting instruction and enable staff members to keep on the cutting edge of what is happening in the world of education. Extra “playtime” was provided to staff so that they could delve into the world of Twitter and Blogging and make sense of it in their own terms. The goal moving forward is make good use of the many wonderful social media and web 2.0 tools that are offered. This in turn will enable students to experience meaningful and relevant learning so that they can be well equipped for the world they enter as adults. The PLN workshops have been engaging, relevant and should make the entire school community proud of the efforts put forth by the @RMS_VIKINGS faculty.
By: Brad Currie @bcurrie5 (Vice Princpal @RMS_VIKINGS)