Following the professional development activity to introduce and form Educational Professional Learning Communities on a District-Wide basis, I took the liberty of setting up this web page and create the first online access Professional Learning Community - the OAS English Language Arts PLC. Other PLC's can be added in a matter of minutes.
Based both on my personal experiences with online PLC activity and a variety of articles that I have read on the topic of PLC dynamics in education, I have come to agree with some of the research that indicates that professional isolation due to the demands of lesson planning, collecting data for reporting to administrators, and a variety of other student-centered activities that teachers are engaged in often contribute to a sense of disengagement from a District's goals. Face-to-face Learning Communities are an important part of our professional obligation to our students and ourselves as we seek to improve our practices and understand the directions that the State is mandating with regard to curricular reforms and accountability to those mandates. I hope that other Professional Leaning Communities within the District will want to create online community groups also and join this endevour to create a flow of information that will stimulate professional growth and a better understanding of how we may all, "... deliver comprehensive and challenging learning experiences, preparing all students to become productive, responsible members of society." (from the Oscoda Area School District Mission Statement)
The immediate benefit that I see coming from this form of interaction is the extension of relationships being developed in our face-to-face gatherings through collaboration and social interactions that may promote refective practice and increase the likelihood that we may learn to appreciate one another across grade levels and improve our teaching and learning.
Traditionally, a librarian's role is to provide access to a wide range of media in a variety of appropriate formats, and by helping colleagues to be productive in today's information-rich, though sometimes info-merky environment, we can help each other to meet the goals we have set for ourselves and those we serve. I hope that this technology assisted format may become a way that we might articulate the shared goals of connecting appropriate technologies, appropriate instructional goals, and our school reform goals. Maybe this will become the meeting place of choice for collaboration and encouragement between those times when we meet face-to-face -- anyone game to try this?