Education’s “Blogs for Busy Administrators” at http://schooltechleadership
The quickest strategy to manage your
reading and keep up with the blogs you
enjoy is to subscribe to their RSS feeds
and group them in one spot through an
aggregator or reader.
Virtual meetings and presentations.
Presentations, as well as workshops
conducted through Internet tools like
Making It Happen
What School and District
Leaders Can Do
■ Create a free RSS feed aggregator account with an aggregator
like Netvibes or Diigo; subscribe to
a few blogs of interest; and make it
a habit to check the account daily.
■ Create a Twitter account and
select one or two professionals to
■ Join a professional network.
ASCD’s EDge is a good place to
■ Follow the advice of Scott
McLeod, Director of Innovation,
Prairie Lakes AEA;8: “Set up a
RSS reader and/or Twitter stream,
load it up with some good feeds,
and then just be a lurker. Too
many administrators shy away
from blogs and Twitter as learning
streams because they think they
have to post and contribute. That
comes later, if at all.”
■ Weigh the time/benefit ratio of
your PLN connections. Toss out
those that don’t add value to your
professional practice or thinking.
Don’t worry if a tool or a person
is not a good fit for your learning
needs. These are personal learning
networks, after all.
■ Make it social—make friends.
Go ToMeeting or Elluminate, eliminate
windshield time and costs. Streamed
conference sessions that we attend at
our desks enable us to get inspiration
from keynotes without paying for airfare
or conference registration. Watch your
e-mail for webinars and check conference websites to see what sessions
might be streamed or archived.
Repositories of high-quality educational
resources. TED Talks and other online
presentations can delight, inform, and
motivate. Some of the best minds in the
world share their ideas in free lectures.
Universities like Brown and MIT have
placed their best courses online for free
viewing. Expand your horizons and
make creative connections by taking
a class—for instance, on archaeology.
Maybe you will understand some of your
older faculty members a little better.
Twitter. The real trick for success
in Twitter is finding the right folks to
follow. Those experts whose articles
you read, whose conference sessions
you attend, and whose classes you have
taken are likely Tweeters. Start with
them. Tweeters will share their excep-
tional blog posts, their favorite web-
based tools, and publications of value.
You’ll find at least one great idea every
day. If you have a particular area of
interest, search Twitter by hashtags—for
Pursue Your Own Learning Online
Classes and degrees for educators