Reflect on how your personal learning network has changed and grown during the course of this workshop. Discuss your plans for how you plan to continue to grow your learning network and how you hope to contribute to the professional learning of your administrative colleagues.
During this workshop, I improved my use of Twitter, reconnected with class members that I knew through other online networks such as SETDA, Plurk, Facebook, and Twitter. However, I was disappointed that there was little information and resources about Professional Learning Networks.
The contents of this workshop are very similar to the course on Web 2.0 for school administrators. I already know how to use the tools in both course, but expected to see more of a focus on articles, examples, and best practices for PLN/PLCs. I would recommend updating this course to have more of that focus and to make it a follow up course to the Web 2.0 Administrator's course.Reflect on the current policies in place regarding social networking in your school or district. How has this workshop shaped your opinions about the potential of these tools to facilitate learning and collaboration? What are the challenges you face regarding incorporating these tools and allowing teachers and students to network virtually? Describe how you plan to address these challenges in the coming school year.
Working at the State Education Agency means that we provide service and support to district level personnel and on a limited basis, school-level administrators. Since we do not provide direct service to students and our agency does not receive E-Rate funds, the requirements of CIPA do not apply to our day to day interactions with school districts. However, when setting up a communications wiki for my Region, I had to PBWorks instead of Ning because of filtering with school districts. This actually turned out pretty good, due the the new price structure of NING.
Access to Web 2.0 tools is a equity issue across our states. I am currently working with E-Rate and Virtual Public School on filtering issues, CIPA, FERPA, and Internet Safety/Digital Citizenship so that we can provide guidance and strategies for addressing the concerns of Technology Directors administrators, and local school boards. Our state has partnered with the University of North Carolina to offer a certification course for technology directors. (http://www.sog.unc.edu/courses/0823/) Part of the course content will address equity of access and policy issues related to Web 2.0.
Parents are also important stakeholders in the discussions regarding how and when to incorporate social networking tools into the classroom. Describe how you plan to educate parents about the concept of a personal learning network and share your initial strategies and ideas for how you might involve parents in the discussions regarding how to safely and effectively incorporate networking tools into the school community.
If I were a school administrator or school superintendent, I would work with my communications staff and move all newsletters to blogs. These would be hosted on a site like Edublogs or Sharpschool. If it were hosted locally, I would use Word Press. Principals and staff would be required to post regularly with a weekly post being the ideal. I would also encourage student blogging or podcasting for two reasons: 1) As a communication tool about the school or school district and 2) students do better work when they write for an external audience.