During the #satchat conversation of August 23, 2014 the participants discussed Digital PLC’s. Of the six questions one was focused on the transition from physical face to face PLC’s to digital ones. During this part of the conversation I outlined four steps to the process.
Although there are only four, each is vital and not easily mastered. But each is essential to taking our learning as educators to the next level by engaging colleagues through the use of technology.
It’s vital that we educators explore the use of digital PLC’s and the learning that can come from the connections. Personally, my own learning has expanded beyond my expectations and would not have been possible without the digital connections.
Step 1: Establish a positive mindset with educators who have yet to make digital connections. When we ask others to try something new, that will take time from other activities they engage in, then we should expect some reluctance. With this understanding we must establish a positive mindset with the educators we are hoping will establish a digital connection and ultimately a digital PLC. This positive mindset comes from your experiences and how digital connections and your digital PLC have helped you as a professional, made you more efficient in your educational role and ultimately more effective. The key here is how it helped you, not how it will help them. Each of us is different, we have different professional needs, different amounts of time available. Trying to fit your success into someone else’s needs will not work so the establishing a positive mindset with educators who have yet to make a digital connection needs to be centered on your success.
Step 2: Model the use of digital resources, apps, and websites. Of all four steps this is the most powerful. I talk about this all the time… model your expectations of others. What we model, how we model it and when tells the true story of what we believe in and why we do what we do. So model the digital connections and model the power of a digital PLC so others can see what you get out of these connections. Modeling the use of digital resources, apps, and websites should be a daily occurrence.
Step 3: Demonstrate the value you have found with your digital PLC in your daily educational activities. Let other educators see you in action. Our words are one thing, and they can be powerful, but our actions are the most powerful. Demonstrate something you learned directly from your digital connections and digital PLC. This opportunity to demonstrate should be clearly identified as a result of your connection with your digital PLC. Demonstrating is an opportunity that comes around periodically and is different than what you model. In this step it is clearly identifying something that has helped you and is a result of your digital PLC connections.
Step 4: Encourage others to connect and establish their own digital PLC. The key word being “encourage” in the sentence above. We can not force, dictate or mandate that others make a connection to a digital PLC. Educators must want this connection after they have experienced the first 3 steps. Encouragement means words and deeds in this step. Be a positive influence and be willing to help.
As connected educators who have a growing digital PLC we can help others through these four steps.
Leave a comment and tell other connected educators how you are encouraging the development of digital PLC’s in your educational community.