Step Into the Stream… Why Every School Leader Should Be a Networked Learner

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Recently I was invited (okay, actually I raised my hand like Horshack) to develop a brief presentation for members of my faculty who are participating in a year-long leadership development program. I wanted to share with them the importance of becoming networked learners.

I learn much and am grateful every day for the resources, ideas and conversations shared by the generous, thoughtful educators to whom I am connected online. I literally feel that I “stand on the shoulders of giants” who push my thinking, enlighten me and just generally make me better at what I do. I am a believer in leading from the middle, and making change within your sphere of influence, so I created the presentation with every educator in mind. I hope this contribution is helpful and piques some curiosity in those who may be considering “stepping into the stream…”

What is Networked Learning?

A networked learner is someone who learns from connections to others. You already have a face-to-face network, and probably connect online through websites, listservs, discussion groups, etc…. Social media tools such as Twitter, Blogs, social networks and social bookmarking tools make it easy to expand your network (and your professional learning) both powerfully and exponentially.

As we have all seen during recent political events and natural disasters, social media tools are helping to change the world. We need to consider how these tools should also be changing our classrooms and schools, and how they impact our students as learners and future citizens and leaders. We have to participate to know.

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Cross posted at Finding the Signal

Shelley Paul @lottascales

1 Comment

  1. Great blog post! I am a technology facilitator in my school district and conduct many trainings to not only teachers and students, but have been given the opportunity to train building principals more this year. Being a part of a large school district and having the opportunity to introduce new things to many principals, it is so important to have that school leader to be a networked learner. When you can get a principal on board with the new ideas and they actual demonstrate and “lead by example,” the staff is more likely to join in. Having that expectation in place and knowing that you own campus leader is actually using it makes a big difference. The impact of having someone who is knowledgeable and demonstrating the use of it different tools makes for a global learning environment.


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