A deep understanding of something allows to better use and development of it. Therefore, when trying to become better connected, and constantly evolving as a teacher, it is important to understand your learning. For me to visualize and track this learning I created the above popplet to show others, and myself, how I develop. This is a map of the people, places, and things that I use to continually improve myself and collaborate or learn from others. Anyone interested in improving their development I would suggest to find some how to write out exactly how and where they are developing, at least as a guideline for themself.
So, what is the importance of a Professional Learning Network? The National Educational Technology Plan discusses how educators are often isolated, without proper professional development, and removed from optimal conditions which make their abilities diminished in their teaching environment, and often burnout too quick (2010, p. 39). Research has proven the benefit of this, when Trust, Krutka and Carpenter conducted a review of 732 teachers they found that 21st century PLNs (online, and available at anytime and place) had a postive impact on their teaching (2016).
Office of Educational Technology. (2010). Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology. Retrieved from : http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
Trust, Torrey, Krutka, Daniel G., & Carpenter, Jeffrey Paul. (November 16, 2016). Computers & Education. “Together we are better”: Professional learning networks for teachers, volume 102, pages 15-34. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036013151630135X