There is nothing that beats the power of a personal/ professional learning network in growing up professionally. This power has been consolidated by the outburst of social media networking tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook...etc.
There are are now several online communities where teachers and educators engage in fruitful discussions around things that matter to their subject areas. They get to exchange their expertise with each other and offer help to those who ask for it and through this collective wisdom anyone can jump in and initiate the conversation. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has written profusely on this topic and you can check PLN section for more resources.
Below is a must watch video from made by Skip Via and in which he argues for the importance of creating and participating in PLNs for teachers and educators. Among what he talked about in this video and which really caught my attention are the two chief reasons you should consider creating your personal learning network. These reasons are :
Through PLNs, you get to create and participate in a support system of colleagues and mentors and no matter where you are , you can always have access to the help of your community.
Providing professional development for educators in the format and to the extent they need it is costly for k-12 and secondary institutions in terms of funds, tine and expertise. Therefore, it behoves us to provide for our own professional development. It simply wont work waiting for somebody else to do it for us.
Here is the full 5-minutes video of Skip. Enjoy