Kirk Anderson has consistently laid out a really great challenge: How do we make sure that these types of…

Kirk Anderson has consistently laid out a really great challenge: How do we make sure that these types of communities of practice are not just for early adopters and external folks who are drawn to online collaboration?

To me this speaks to both the promise and drawbacks of personalized professional learning.

Are we building structures and supports for everyone, or are we building them for those who are already able to take advantage of them?

How do we ensure that our own school and district stakeholders take part in personalizing their learning?

It is easy to build a coalition of the willing, which is what I think we have started doing here. However, it is much harder to add to that coalition and to continue this high level of discourse with folks who are new to the platform and the very concept of personalized PD.

I know I have more questions than answers in this post, but I hope that there are folks within this community that are actively engaged in building things that will outlast our involvement.

Care to help me answer this challenge?

24 Comments

  1. Ben Wilkoff I feel that the way to get people engaged in online communities is through peer to peer support, coaching, modeling and creating safe spaces to remove the barriers that create discomfort around online communities.  I agree that this is a challenge, and I also agree that communities appeal to the ones that are already willing to take part.

    That said, the question for me is most likely around what makes people so willing to come play?  My guess is perceived value.  To that end, I would like to think that through the peer supports, one can demonstrate value to individuals to get involved.

    I never thought of myself as an early adopter, and people like you, Kirk Anderson  and many others in my PLN demystified online learning for me.  The way that y’all did it was through consultation, collaboration and coaching me through the process.   

  2. Ben Wilkoff I feel that the way to get people engaged in online communities is through peer to peer support, coaching, modeling and creating safe spaces to remove the barriers that create discomfort around online communities.  I agree that this is a challenge, and I also agree that communities appeal to the ones that are already willing to take part.

    That said, the question for me is most likely around what makes people so willing to come play?  My guess is perceived value.  To that end, I would like to think that through the peer supports, one can demonstrate value to individuals to get involved.

    I never thought of myself as an early adopter, and people like you, Kirk Anderson  and many others in my PLN demystified online learning for me.  The way that y’all did it was through consultation, collaboration and coaching me through the process.   

  3. Ben Wilkoff I feel that the way to get people engaged in online communities is through peer to peer support, coaching, modeling and creating safe spaces to remove the barriers that create discomfort around online communities.  I agree that this is a challenge, and I also agree that communities appeal to the ones that are already willing to take part.

    That said, the question for me is most likely around what makes people so willing to come play?  My guess is perceived value.  To that end, I would like to think that through the peer supports, one can demonstrate value to individuals to get involved.

    I never thought of myself as an early adopter, and people like you, Kirk Anderson  and many others in my PLN demystified online learning for me.  The way that y’all did it was through consultation, collaboration and coaching me through the process.   

  4. Ben Wilkoff I feel that the way to get people engaged in online communities is through peer to peer support, coaching, modeling and creating safe spaces to remove the barriers that create discomfort around online communities.  I agree that this is a challenge, and I also agree that communities appeal to the ones that are already willing to take part.

    That said, the question for me is most likely around what makes people so willing to come play?  My guess is perceived value.  To that end, I would like to think that through the peer supports, one can demonstrate value to individuals to get involved.

    I never thought of myself as an early adopter, and people like you, Kirk Anderson  and many others in my PLN demystified online learning for me.  The way that y’all did it was through consultation, collaboration and coaching me through the process.   

  5. I have teachers whom I try to bribe with PD credit and actual cash money and still can’t get them to participate. 

    Part of the problem is the culture of I work and I can’t or don’t need this extra work. 

    Many are taking graduate courses that take up much of their outside of school time and these communities of practice are not recognized as valuable by the institutions they are learning from. 

    I have done my best to integrate the work into the regular school day, but without actual authority in administration my words mean nothing. 

    My one activity that is working to beg teachers to invite me into their classrooms and then share what I learn from my PLN with them. 

    They see the value, but feel that for one reason or another they cannot EFFICIENTLY capitalize on the opportunity. . 

  6. I have teachers whom I try to bribe with PD credit and actual cash money and still can’t get them to participate. 

    Part of the problem is the culture of I work and I can’t or don’t need this extra work. 

    Many are taking graduate courses that take up much of their outside of school time and these communities of practice are not recognized as valuable by the institutions they are learning from. 

    I have done my best to integrate the work into the regular school day, but without actual authority in administration my words mean nothing. 

    My one activity that is working to beg teachers to invite me into their classrooms and then share what I learn from my PLN with them. 

    They see the value, but feel that for one reason or another they cannot EFFICIENTLY capitalize on the opportunity. . 

  7. I have teachers whom I try to bribe with PD credit and actual cash money and still can’t get them to participate. 

    Part of the problem is the culture of I work and I can’t or don’t need this extra work. 

    Many are taking graduate courses that take up much of their outside of school time and these communities of practice are not recognized as valuable by the institutions they are learning from. 

    I have done my best to integrate the work into the regular school day, but without actual authority in administration my words mean nothing. 

    My one activity that is working to beg teachers to invite me into their classrooms and then share what I learn from my PLN with them. 

    They see the value, but feel that for one reason or another they cannot EFFICIENTLY capitalize on the opportunity. . 

  8. I have teachers whom I try to bribe with PD credit and actual cash money and still can’t get them to participate. 

    Part of the problem is the culture of I work and I can’t or don’t need this extra work. 

    Many are taking graduate courses that take up much of their outside of school time and these communities of practice are not recognized as valuable by the institutions they are learning from. 

    I have done my best to integrate the work into the regular school day, but without actual authority in administration my words mean nothing. 

    My one activity that is working to beg teachers to invite me into their classrooms and then share what I learn from my PLN with them. 

    They see the value, but feel that for one reason or another they cannot EFFICIENTLY capitalize on the opportunity. . 

  9. In my experience supporting community development, there needs to be an actual, personally relevant reason (beyond “this is a job requirement”) for people to show up.

    In the community space, how can people define what is personally relevant to them, and how can they get support meeting these personally defined needs? What in the space is immediately useful? What in the space allows them to contribute meaningfully to the school/organization?

    In short, without some specific goals for the space (and these goals can be defined by both the organization and the participants) people will be hard pressed to show up, because they won’t know why that are coming.

    And I’ve found extrinsic motivators (credits, cash, etc) set a minimum bar that participants clear, and then leave once they have cleared it.

  10. In my experience supporting community development, there needs to be an actual, personally relevant reason (beyond “this is a job requirement”) for people to show up.

    In the community space, how can people define what is personally relevant to them, and how can they get support meeting these personally defined needs? What in the space is immediately useful? What in the space allows them to contribute meaningfully to the school/organization?

    In short, without some specific goals for the space (and these goals can be defined by both the organization and the participants) people will be hard pressed to show up, because they won’t know why that are coming.

    And I’ve found extrinsic motivators (credits, cash, etc) set a minimum bar that participants clear, and then leave once they have cleared it.

  11. In my experience supporting community development, there needs to be an actual, personally relevant reason (beyond “this is a job requirement”) for people to show up.

    In the community space, how can people define what is personally relevant to them, and how can they get support meeting these personally defined needs? What in the space is immediately useful? What in the space allows them to contribute meaningfully to the school/organization?

    In short, without some specific goals for the space (and these goals can be defined by both the organization and the participants) people will be hard pressed to show up, because they won’t know why that are coming.

    And I’ve found extrinsic motivators (credits, cash, etc) set a minimum bar that participants clear, and then leave once they have cleared it.

  12. In my experience supporting community development, there needs to be an actual, personally relevant reason (beyond “this is a job requirement”) for people to show up.

    In the community space, how can people define what is personally relevant to them, and how can they get support meeting these personally defined needs? What in the space is immediately useful? What in the space allows them to contribute meaningfully to the school/organization?

    In short, without some specific goals for the space (and these goals can be defined by both the organization and the participants) people will be hard pressed to show up, because they won’t know why that are coming.

    And I’ve found extrinsic motivators (credits, cash, etc) set a minimum bar that participants clear, and then leave once they have cleared it.

  13. Tough stuff in an overwhelmingly dynamic environment (education/teaching/learning) based largely on open choice of a culture/society.

    Teachers are faced with so many “it works” options/paradigms where there’s no one silver arrow pointing to a solution.  Nor can they possibly hold all the arrows in their quiver and then be convinced to take on a new one.  (with a target that keeps moving… very quickly, as we know)  That’s the mark of an amazing teacher that can select what will hit… the mark.

    Now translate that to training/developing those “archers” having to do this, everyday.  How do we, as trainers and pd leaders, do this?  How do we help them?

    For me, education (in all its varietals) is very much embedded in the psychology/cognitive “stuff”.  As a suggestion, turn to those psych’s.  What PD ideas are they blossoming in their communities?  How do you make things personalized when still looking to serve the masses in a culture/society?  And then in turn, measure the success of each of those personalizations.  

    It might start with knowing those persons and learning the most you can about those personalities, “diagnosing”, and implementing.  What do the teachers want/need?  Then look to the avenues (like e.g. Google/online/school meetups/etc) of how to give it.

  14. Tough stuff in an overwhelmingly dynamic environment (education/teaching/learning) based largely on open choice of a culture/society.

    Teachers are faced with so many “it works” options/paradigms where there’s no one silver arrow pointing to a solution.  Nor can they possibly hold all the arrows in their quiver and then be convinced to take on a new one.  (with a target that keeps moving… very quickly, as we know)  That’s the mark of an amazing teacher that can select what will hit… the mark.

    Now translate that to training/developing those “archers” having to do this, everyday.  How do we, as trainers and pd leaders, do this?  How do we help them?

    For me, education (in all its varietals) is very much embedded in the psychology/cognitive “stuff”.  As a suggestion, turn to those psych’s.  What PD ideas are they blossoming in their communities?  How do you make things personalized when still looking to serve the masses in a culture/society?  And then in turn, measure the success of each of those personalizations.  

    It might start with knowing those persons and learning the most you can about those personalities, “diagnosing”, and implementing.  What do the teachers want/need?  Then look to the avenues (like e.g. Google/online/school meetups/etc) of how to give it.

  15. Tough stuff in an overwhelmingly dynamic environment (education/teaching/learning) based largely on open choice of a culture/society.

    Teachers are faced with so many “it works” options/paradigms where there’s no one silver arrow pointing to a solution.  Nor can they possibly hold all the arrows in their quiver and then be convinced to take on a new one.  (with a target that keeps moving… very quickly, as we know)  That’s the mark of an amazing teacher that can select what will hit… the mark.

    Now translate that to training/developing those “archers” having to do this, everyday.  How do we, as trainers and pd leaders, do this?  How do we help them?

    For me, education (in all its varietals) is very much embedded in the psychology/cognitive “stuff”.  As a suggestion, turn to those psych’s.  What PD ideas are they blossoming in their communities?  How do you make things personalized when still looking to serve the masses in a culture/society?  And then in turn, measure the success of each of those personalizations.  

    It might start with knowing those persons and learning the most you can about those personalities, “diagnosing”, and implementing.  What do the teachers want/need?  Then look to the avenues (like e.g. Google/online/school meetups/etc) of how to give it.

  16. Tough stuff in an overwhelmingly dynamic environment (education/teaching/learning) based largely on open choice of a culture/society.

    Teachers are faced with so many “it works” options/paradigms where there’s no one silver arrow pointing to a solution.  Nor can they possibly hold all the arrows in their quiver and then be convinced to take on a new one.  (with a target that keeps moving… very quickly, as we know)  That’s the mark of an amazing teacher that can select what will hit… the mark.

    Now translate that to training/developing those “archers” having to do this, everyday.  How do we, as trainers and pd leaders, do this?  How do we help them?

    For me, education (in all its varietals) is very much embedded in the psychology/cognitive “stuff”.  As a suggestion, turn to those psych’s.  What PD ideas are they blossoming in their communities?  How do you make things personalized when still looking to serve the masses in a culture/society?  And then in turn, measure the success of each of those personalizations.  

    It might start with knowing those persons and learning the most you can about those personalities, “diagnosing”, and implementing.  What do the teachers want/need?  Then look to the avenues (like e.g. Google/online/school meetups/etc) of how to give it.

  17. Here is my two cents, why are we worried about “external folks.”  At George, I tried to get people on board for years but with no success. Once other teachers realized there was in building support (me) they jumped on board.  Creating a Community of “Early Adopters” I think is a great idea, and when others are ready to join bring them in.

  18. Here is my two cents, why are we worried about “external folks.”  At George, I tried to get people on board for years but with no success. Once other teachers realized there was in building support (me) they jumped on board.  Creating a Community of “Early Adopters” I think is a great idea, and when others are ready to join bring them in.

  19. Here is my two cents, why are we worried about “external folks.”  At George, I tried to get people on board for years but with no success. Once other teachers realized there was in building support (me) they jumped on board.  Creating a Community of “Early Adopters” I think is a great idea, and when others are ready to join bring them in.

  20. Here is my two cents, why are we worried about “external folks.”  At George, I tried to get people on board for years but with no success. Once other teachers realized there was in building support (me) they jumped on board.  Creating a Community of “Early Adopters” I think is a great idea, and when others are ready to join bring them in.

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