The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Conferences, learning networks, professional development sessions, edchats, etc... give us something to think about, but I learn better by getting practical.

How?

1. Put your money where your mouth is. Don't just talk about online education. There are heaps of free, easy to-use, software out there. Make a tech-lesson, test it, brand it, and add paypal to it. People may, or may not, be willing to pay for it, but if you don't charge, you'll never know.

2. Set up a project. Testing tech-lessons shows you what works, and even better: what people want. Got an idea, but don't have the programming/designing skills to pull it off? Use this community, start a project, set deadlines, get the ball rolling. Above all: be willing to roll with it.

3. Get busy. Have an idea, but:

a. haven't got time to work on it? Wake up 30 mins earlier.

b. haven't got funds? Collaborate, cooperate, barter, swap favours, network, write a business plan, make a pledge, find an angel investor, get a loan, etc...


4. Go beyond teacher training. Focus on teaching students, instead of teachers. Online education products should be intuitive to users, but no matter how good your product is, it'll present a learning curve. Students are used to being hand-fed information, so they need to be trained to be independent learners. Throw them a half-baked, online lesson. See what they do with it, and get their feedback. What was intuitive? What didn't work? What would make it better?

There's a long road ahead for those who want to work with online education. Talking only gets you so far.

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