One component of the 21st Century Professional Development (Links to an external site.) framework encourages sharing knowledge with fellow faculty, using face-to-face, virtual and blended communications. When we think of sharing knowledge, we often think of using professional learning communities. In several of your courses, the concept of a professional learning community (PLC) is presented and elaborated on. A professional learning community consists of individuals with an interest in education. The focus of a professional learning community can be taking measures to ensure students learn, creating a culture of collaboration in the school, for school improvement and more (DuFour, 2004). In this discussion, you will deliberate about the use of professional learning communities as they relate to the 21st Century Professional Development (Links to an external site.) framework with an emphasis on technology.
Initial Post: Think about the 21st Century Professional Development framework and technology when working in your mock professional learning community. Next, imagine your state legislatures have asked the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office to advise them regarding the creation of a blended professional learning community across the districts within the state. As an educator who is well versed in employing critical thinking, problem solving and 21st-century skills in the classroom, you have been selected to participate with a group of other teachers to inform and persuade the Analyst’s Office of why the incorporation of technology to work collaboratively with other teachers in the state is important.
Work with your mock PLC group to come up with a supported argument based on personal experiences and scholarly literature in which you:
- Discuss how you could incorporate and implement the use of technology to create a blended professional learning community across districts within your state to share knowledge with fellow faculty on how a deeper understanding of subject matter can actually enhance problem solving, critical thinking, and other 21st-century skills.
- Discuss how creating a professional learning community can increase the ways teachers seize opportunities for integrating 21st-century skills, tools and teaching strategies into their classroom practice – and help them identify what activities they can replace or de-emphasize.
Guided Response: Respond to at least two peers. In your responses, ask a question about the 21st Century Professional Development framework with regard to professional learning communities and offer an additional resource for consideration that supports an alternative viewpoint. Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you, including the instructor. Responding to the replies given to you will further the conversation and provide additional opportunities for you to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real- world experiences with this topic.