Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Benefits of Learning Communities

Are you a member of a learning community? Hopefully your school provides you with many opportunities to learn from each other; as such, your campus is likely your primary learning community. But technology has made it possible to learn from a host of people outside the walls of your building. Participating in virtual learning communities allows you to take charge of your own professional learning and delve deeper into issues that would enhance your professional growth. You might start as a consumer (i.e. one who just listens/reads) or you could jump in and join in the online conversations that so often take place among the passionate educators who participate.

Here are some suggestions to help get you started: has subgroups for every possible teacher interest, from Autism and other Special Needs groups to grade level or curricular groups. Teachers can even create their own groups in the unlikely event that they can’t locate an existing group for their particular interest.

Facebook offers pages for just about any interest, and Educational Technology is no exception. In addition to Technology groups like TCEA and ISTE, there are Facebook groups for Reading teachers (such as the International Literacy Association), Math teachers (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), Science Teachers (National Science Teachers Association) and more.

Google for Education
Google has designed free online training, and very affordable steps to achieve certification at varied levels of proficiency, including Google Certified Educator, Google Certified Trainer, and Google Certified Innovator.

Google+/Google Plus is a social network with innumerable options for educators. The service’s primary purpose is to “deliver information, spark discovery and foster conversation between users.”
 It offers many of the same kinds of groups that are available on or Facebook; Educators Technology has publised a list of 10 Google Plus Communities Every Teacher Should Know About.

The International Society for Technology in Education is “the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world.” Subgroups such as the Ed Tech Coaches Network, Digital Citizenship Network, and Literacy Network are examples of online communities in which educators can participate to grow professionally.

Region 10
The Region 10 Educational Service Center hosts a technology conference each year in May. The annual event brings together teachers and campus and district leaders “to share practical digital learning tools and strategies to create engaging classrooms and life-long learners.”!conference/c46c

The Texas Computer Educators Association boasts 35 years of experience integrating technology in schools. TCEA exists to improve teaching and learning through the use of computers and technology and offers many special interest groups (SIGs) to appeal to a wide variety of educator interests.

Although the micro-blogging site might be in decline, educators continue to have many choices in chat topics. Twitter provides countless opportunities for educators to “meet” and chat about a wide variety of subjects related to education.

1 comment:

  1. Really a valuable information you had provided here. And i think this will be helpful for creating the better and reliable site. Thank you very much

    Digital Marketing Company in India