Faculty Articles

Proactive Professional Development: A Connected Educator

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

JALT2014 Conference Proceedings

Publication Date



development, educators, PLNs


Educators realize that they no longer have to wait for professional development opportunities. Although the idea of professional networking is not new to educators, advances in web technologies such as blogs, learning platforms, and social networks have enabled educators to form larger and more useful networks that would have been inconceivable even a decade ago. With these networks, called Professional Learning Networks, or PLNs, educators are able not only to find cutting edge information and resources but also to learn about opportunities for collaboration and professional development. This paper briefly describes PLNs and gives an overview of how educators in higher education are using Web 2.0 tools for professional development. A number of popular components that are used to construct PLNs are highlighted, along with specific examples. The paper concludes with practical suggestions and a list of resources that can be used when starting a PLN.

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