A Professional Learning Community/Network Example

Or: “Why many educators find Twitter and other social networks indispensable.”

I’m currently attending the NSTA STEM Forum and Expo in St. Louis. Last night while taking a class on using telescopes in the classroom,  not far from my house in Nevada I got an email request from a teacher wanting to know if there was a way to live stream from her classroom so that the chicken eggs her class is observing could be watched all night so as to not miss their hatching.

I thought of USTREAM, but I haven’t had reason to use it in awhile and when I checked it out I could see it wasn’t going to meet her needs. So I went to Twitter to see if the network of educators and various “techies” and others I’ve been fortunate to be part of could help:

My Twitter Request




About 5 or so minutes went by and lo and behold Chris Craft from South Carolina chimed in. He suggested using Google Hangout … then when I balked somewhat, he filled me in as to why it should work:

Chris Craft Twitter
















(Note my typo in the last Tweet – it should say “so I’ll have…” not si)

In the meantime I touched base with the teacher that requested the help and set up a time next week when we will try to make this work (or a variation of it) well in advance so we have time to problem solve. I’m not positive it will work (at least in part due to limitations on my part) but it gives us a solid place to start and a resource (Chris) I can go back to for clarification if we do run into issues.

I lament all the time along with many of my colleagues that we don’t share these examples of how a PLN helps … is really indispensable anymore. So when this happened I made sure to share … but there are many examples and it is hard to always share. Hope that helps clarify PLN’s a bit more.

Oh! And I’ll do my best to share how it goes!

Learning is messy!




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5 thoughts on “A Professional Learning Community/Network Example

  1. Brian, you’re right…it’s scenarios like these that make the power of the connection so important to educators! As the Tech Integration Specialist at my school, I continue to advocate for other teachers to find a place for social media in their “toolkit”. Last week I shared the comments that some of our 3rd graders had received from students across the globe and the power of that authentic audience. We’ve found Mystery Skype buddies in the US, UK, and Bosnia (random, right?). Without my use of Twitter and following blogs, these connections wouldn’t have been made.

  2. Helpful to see the different ways that PLN’s help educators. I am reluctant to do this, as I am a school counselor, but I am looking forward to the rest of the class to see if there is some way for me to do this.