Professional Development of the 21st Century

Professional development money is drying up fast.  Schools can no longer afford pricey conferences and expensive guest speakers.  Fortunately, we live in the era of private broadcasting.  Social networks and blogs are a great place to learn new pedagogy, assessment, and technology skills.  The days of a static classroom are over--using the same old crusty worksheets and activities.  The Digital Age is creating exponential growth, and we have to find cost effective ways to keep up.
The term associated with this movement is PLN (Professional or Personal Learning Network) or PLC (Professional Learning Community).   This is the group of people or resources you rely on for help and professional growth.  Twitter can be a great way to build a PLN.  Google Reader is the best resource I use.  I search education and technology blogs and collect them in Reader.  There are many services to choose from such as Pinterest, Edublogs, and countless others.  You have to find what combination works for you, without overwhelming you. 

Professional development via a PLN is flexible, individualized, and self-paced--all ingredients of a 21st Century education.  Its also easy and free.  District and building administrators can find measures of accountability and collaboration to meet their expectations, but PLN/PLC are without a doubt the PD of the future.

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