Communities of Practice & Professional Learning Communities –
Both of these methods of learning and socializing rely on the involvement of other members within the same field of employment. As adults in the work force, we often learn most from those around us. Our colleges help to bring new ideas to mind.
A CoP occurs in the education field all the time. Many times they are purposeful while others are just a result of a community of educators looking for support. One common form that I have run into while teaching pre-kindergarten is being a member of a data team. In my case the data team met once a month for about twenty minutes. Prior to the meeting each teacher would collect data in a particular learning area for all their students. Then at the meeting we would compare the result from all the classes to see the strengths and weaknesses as a hole to better help implement instruction and improvement for all children.
However such groups of educators do not only exist in the classroom and school, but they are everywhere. Due to technology, educators are able to interact with other educators around the world. With such advancements, teachers are better able to understand and teach a wide range of students and concepts. Blogging has become an increasing tool for educators and others to communicate with others to ask questions and share ideas and information. Through a blog an open communication is possible for anyone who wants to join the conversation. This means that the knowledge achieved through such a source is limitless and unimaginable. As I find blogs I love I feel as though I become to really know the individual creating it, and become so enthusiastic to implement their ideas into my curriculum.
A PLC is very similar in my eyes to a CoP. However, my best relation to it would be the discussion board for our class. These boards are designed to help the student critically think about the research or data supplied and then create an analis of the results or provide research supporting a particular opinion. Then it asks for the other members of the class to embrace other individual’s thoughts and believes and really create a full understanding of the ideas supplied. Through throughly analyzing the work of each other we are better able to understand other members of the educational field and the future of our field.
In both situations the goal of the community is to create a better understanding and knowledge of the field we work in. The education field is constantly changing and can differ from state to state or even town to town. With this said it’s increasingly important to stay connected with other members of the field to understand and prepare for the future of our careers as well as to be the most successful teacher possible.
Another amazing tool available on internet is Pintrest. Through the use of Pintrest I feel as part of a community sharing so many great and exciting ideas for the early childhood classroom. Being able to receive regular blog updates I am able to stay connected with particular member of the early childhood field.
Another community that I am a member of is the Association For The Education Of Young Children, Inc (Haeyc) in Hartford CT. Through this community I have an opportunity to meet so many other members of the early childhood field and bounce ideas and concepts around, receiving so many different opinions and feedback.
My final project will relay on the use of the SmartBoard but I am still unsure of what extend. I have considered doing a unit study of a particular subject of a particular area of the world or children from a different state. It would be amazing for the students to interact with other students through such a technology. Kind of like the idea of pen pals!!!
A resource I plan referring to is …
Allen, K., & Cameron, E. (2008). Interning in an Alternative School. Knowledge Quest, 37(1), 50-57.
Great Resources of the Use of SMARTBOARDS in the Early Childhood Classroom: