Why Every Educator Should Join a PLN | Mary Beth Hertz

If you are in any educator networks online you must have come across this week’s blogger of the week, K-6 west Philadelphia Computer Science teacher leader Mary Beth Hertz. If not, her passion about Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) for educators will motivate you to start utilizing the social web to share and learn with educators all over the world.

Hertz is currently working with last week’s blogger of the week Kevin Jarrett, and other teacher leaders she met online to organize the first EdCamp Philly, an education “unconference” run by the attendees focused on best practices and exciting projects in education. You might also run across Hertz on delicious, diigo, in various educator ning networks such as classroom 2.0 and twitter. Most recently, Hertz participated in an educator panel on Real Time Communication and Education for the #140 Character Conference.

Click the image to view the panel discussion.



For the past two years, Hertz has written regularly at Philly Teacher: a Blog about Teaching, Learning, and Life nominated for best teacher blog in 2009. The post that stuck out to me most this week was 6 Reasons I Surround Myself with People Smarter than I Am, a post advocating for Professional Learning Networks for educators.

Her advocacy for PLNs begins with a reflection on her own education including her experiences at Oberlin College: “I was exposed to ideas and points of view I had never considered in high school. I was pushed to explore these new ideas and ponder how these new points of view played into my own beliefs at the time. This is the same experience I have had in building my PLN as an educator.”

Through self reflection and thoughtful analysis, Hertz comes to the conclusion that every educator should join a Professional Learning Network. She insists, “Teachers need to have the opportunity to be surrounded by colleagues who challenge their ideas and expose them to new ones.”

To learn more about PLN’s click here.

Photos from Philly Teacher Blog 

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