Just Like The Real Thing!
The day started out with our group ( made up of beginners to the world of PLNs and committee members) watching the keynote from CUEBC via live streaming. Not only did the technology work perfectly, but our worry that watching a keynote on a screen would become tedious was entirely unfounded. An animated and humorous Ian Jukes (follow the link to watch!) looked at how changes in technology have shaped today's workforce, and how these changes have created new fluencies that should be taught in our school system. (Here's my personal takeaway). Twitter channels were being being projected as well to illustrate one way to use Twitter as a professional development tool.
After the keynote had finished, our group had a chance to talk about what we had just watched in a comfortable environment. As well we took some time to talk about our individual experiences with PLNs so far and what each of us hoped to accomplish during the day. From that conversation we set the agenda as a group and went to play. The rest of the day was spent with helping people get signed up for tools like twitter and diigo and how to use RSS feeds. The environment was quite casual with small groups working throughout the room and spontaneous lessons several different topics. One could join in or work individually as preferred. Without too much effort, the day evolved from talking about "What is a PLN" to participating in a PLN.
A New Model for Professional Development
A day that involved real conversations, peer teaching, a chance to play, and learning to use tools to develop learning networks was a day well spent indeed! Thanks to all the participants for their positive energy and organizers for making the day a real success!