How To Build Your Professional Learning Community

Professional development used to mean one thing: inservice days. Oof. We sure have come a long way, haven’t we? Especially in the realm of connecting with other like-minded individuals around the globe. We’re no longer limited by what is offered geographically nearby, so we can get into what really interests us as educators, even if the expert is on the other side of the world, and our collaborators are scattered about and have never met in person. When you have a group of people who are interested in similar things as you and are collaborating,  sharing ideas, and offering encouragement, advice, and constructive criticism to the group, some real magic can happen!

That said, you’re unlikely to virtually run into this specific group of people in your internet travels. Everyone has a personal, professional learning community, and curating that group of people takes some time and effort – a neatly packed parcel of hand-selected individuals ins’t going to be dropped into your lap by a PD stork anytime soon. When you’re starting at zero, or close to that, the task can be intimidating. But the handy infographic below looks at how to curate your own professional learning community. Take a look, and see if you can put some of this advice into practice! Do you think any key tips are missing from the graphic? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

How To Build Your Professional Learning Community

  • Don’t be afraid to do some hard work and make some mistakes
  • Figure out what you want to learn about, and join discussions on these topics
  • Participate in the discussions! Show you are a thought leader
  • Talk to your colleagues who are interested in collaborating
  • Don’t be afraid to build a new community of colleagues online
  • Take an online course or watch some instructional videos
  • Start a blog or other outlet to share your ideas and thoughts – start building an audience
  • Talk to a ton of thought leaders – on Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, etc
  • Attend meetups and conferences
  • Keep in touch with the new people you meet!

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2 Comments

  1. norbert boruett

    July 1, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Great idea, it can be applied to all professionals

    • Dr. Brian Bolden

      July 18, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      “True” Professional learning communities will help change the current state of education