Hawaii Supporting Educators through Online Professional Learning Networks
Another in an occasional series of guest posts, we are pleased to feature the work and voices of leaders in the field. Today’s post is a following up to the September 3 post Hawaii’s Access Learning 1:1 Pilot – Year One Successes providing an overview of Hawaii’s access program first year of implementation. The post was the collaborative effort of GEG Community members Chad Nacapuy, State Resource Teacher, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support, Michael Fricano II, Tech Integration Specialist, Iolani School and Linda Lindsay, School Librarian, Seabury Hall.
In July 2013, the Hawaii Department of Education launched the Access Learning 1:1 pilot program. The center of the professional development portion of the program included the requirement for teachers to develop Professional Learning Networks (PLN). PLN’s are informal, self-directed learning experiences in which teachers connect with other educators to seek input and share their ideas with others.
Hence, Access Learning sparked the launch of the Google Educator Group Hawaii (GEG Hawaii). Now, four nights a week, teachers can log on to this community to participate live in a Google hangout. All hangouts (shows) are streamed online and automatically archived so educators can view the shows and ask questions if they are unable to participate in real time.
Participation began very slowly. For a lot of the teachers, the idea of participating in an online social networking community for professional development was a new concept. Led by Hawaii’s educators from both the public and non-public schools, the group started with biweekly sessions, then weekly Mondays sessions became a forum for reminders, open discussions, and the opportunity to meet other educators. Next weekly Wednesdays meetings were added to demonstrate and share how to implement specific educational apps and tools in the classroom. Soon, other events were incorporated into the fold and now teachers can log in four nights a week to participate or watch the shows live.
As this school year progresses, we want to help connect Hawaii’s educators from school to school, island to island, and to the rest of the world. Our online PLN is going to play a major role in accomplishing that goal!
Linda Lindsay is the librarian at Seabury Hall, a college-preparatory Gr.6-12 independent school, on the island of Maui, Hawaii. She is a Google Certified Teacher and an authorized Google Education Trainer. She is keenly interested in integration of technology in the classroom, social media best practices, digital literacy and citizenship for students, and books and reading for everyone.
Michael Fricano II is a Technology Integration Specialist, authorized Google Education Trainer, and has been teaching and providing Google Apps and Apple training for students and teachers for more than 5 years. Michael enjoys interacting and connecting with like-minded individual through social media and co-hosts the Google+ Live Hangout, EdTech Mixed Plate.
Chad Nacapuy currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for the Office of Curriculum Instruction and Student Support for the Hawaii Department of Education. He is part of the planning and implementation team for the State’s 1:1 Common Core Digital Curriculum Initiative. He also works with various public schools across the state of Hawaii to implement technology initiatives.