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MC-C: Designing and Leading Professional Learning Networks
Engaging educators in meaningful and impactful collaboration through professional learning networks (PLNs) is an increasingly common—and potentially effective—strategy for innovation and improvement in schools. It is a popular strategy for a reason: we know that teachers are the most important within-school factor that affects student learning and achievement, and teachers working with teachers is key for advancing professional capital and transforming classroom practice. But do all PLNs reach their full potential and achieve their desired outcomes? Not necessarily.
That’s where an intentional design (or re-design) approach can help.
In this masterclass, presenters will introduce a framework of principles, or design elements, that can be used to examine and strengthen an existing PLN, or even design a network from scratch. They will share practical tools, lessons learned, and concrete suggestions drawn from their extensive combined experience in designing, advising, leading, and studying a variety of networks around the world. As participants actively engage with and discuss the framework, they will contribute their own insights and experience with each design element, including:
Shared Vision, Goals, and Focus
Membership and Citizenship
Form of Collaborative Activities
Collective Leadership from the Middle
Sustainability and Resources
Knowledge Circulation, Innovation, and Improvement
Together we will grapple with challenges that are commonly faced in designing and leading PLNs and surface solutions and strategies. Participants will leave with practical tools and insights they can use to design, assess, and enhance the networks in which they are involved.
This masterclass is designed to bring together participants with varying levels of experience with PLNs – from those just exploring, to those with extensive experience participating in, facilitating, and/or studying PLNs. Come learn and share your ideas with us!
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