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Since I’ve managed to title my first two posts “how-tos”, I decided to keep the streak going. This week’s key question is “How can teachers use technologies to grow and evolve professionally?” Here’s a popplet showing my own PLN (Personal Learning Network). How do I grow professionally?

Jeffreygene's PLNClick here for the links to the XKCD Tech Support Cheat Sheet and Justin Hardman’s twitter page (former tech director at my school who in addition to being a close friend is my professional help whenever I get stuck on the Flow Chart). (The links didn’t export from the popplet.) Seriously – click on the XKCD link. It’s perfect. I have it posted in my classroom.

What quickly became apparent to me is that the vast majority of my go-to sources of professional help are in the same building as I am. I highlighted in orange the sources that don’t directly work with me – there aren’t that many! And I purposefully left the Twitter and RSS Reader box unconnected. I used to quite diligently read a number of educational blogs, but it has long since dropped that out of my routine. So, is it a problem that so much of my PLN is in my building? I’m not sure. After all, my colleagues are from all over the place (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, even Montana!) so I don’t need to go far to get new sources of inspiration. And shouldn’t most of my professional help come from my professional context?

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