Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Is joining a PLN bad for morale?

Steve Dembo, teach42, is a part of my PLN (whether he knows it or not!) :) :) . On Twitter today, I read his tweet in which he shared his latest blog post "Is joining a PLN bad for morale?". Read it when you get a chance. Very interesting.

This sparked a thought from that I have been challenged with. Here is my response....

Good points, Steve. How about the Tech Specialist who feels a disconnect from the classroom and yearns for that experience again; being able to implement and utilize the tools that as a Tech Specialist, he or she seemed to be beating to death for other teachers to embrace? Wanting to directly impact curriculum first hand in a classroom or grade level and “practicing what is preached?”. Ok, ok..sometimes I feel that way…if I could only directly get my hands on a classroom…how empowered would I be? Technology tools would be thrust upon them and I could bring in the Blooms, NETS, and ISBE standards! I am glorifying it a bit and I know that the waves come and go, but this feeling of mine does come and go. Wondering if this is a common feeling of those of us in the technology resource/leadership/specialist positions…or is it just me?

Steve made me think s'more with his response to here I go thinking again (darn you, Steve!)

I have been a Tech Specialist in a K-2 building for five years; Computer Lab Teacher K-8 three years; 5th Grade teacher three years, 1st/2nd Multiaged three years(seeing a pattern here, eh?) … I am trying to reinvent year after year as our students come into school year after year more exposed to technology and how technology impacts teaching and learning changes so rapidly! Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do….just thinking outside my current reality.

My online communities are great! Frustrating to me, no…adding to the disconnect, maybe. I learn so much from my PLN and then share with my staff through Lunch and Learns, emails, small groups. It bums me out when I see the educational value of these resources and ideas that come out of my PLN go under-used. I have an email list of contacts in which I share (outside of my building) with too! This group gets my morale going all of the time! These are just guys and gals I have met over the years in education….

So, maybe my PLN does have something to do with my current state of mind….if only my PLN was not so AWESOME, I would not be having this conversation! :)