Due to unforeseen circumstances, we took a slight detour for the October session. This session was held in a computer lab, and we took the opportunity to cover the Professional Learning Network.
The Professional Learning Network (PLN) is a one-stop shop for a variety of resources available to anyone working in community colleges. That means all California Community College faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees have access to these resources, which range from detailed articles about upcoming statewide initiatives, to strategies and best practices offered by other community colleges, to brief video tutorials covering a number of software and professional development topics.
One major benefit of the PLN is that these resources are shared throughout the California Community College system, and they are created by other professionals working in community colleges across the state. Briefly, here is a walkthrough of the PLN site:
The Resources page is the primary way to find information in the form of articles, presentations, models, and templates shared by other community college professionals. You can search for materials by category or by specific tags. This is also where the Acronym Dictionary is located. If you ever wondered what something like “IEPI” stands for, the PLN provides an explanation and a link to the appropriate webpage.
The Learn page is where PLN members can take advantage of some of the partnerships with training services. Primarily, the Learn page gives you free access to Lynda.com (an extensive library of detailed instructional videos on various software tools and skills) and Grovo (a library of short “micro” video lessons covering a number of software tools and services as well as general professional development).
The Connect page is a web forum, offering the opportunity to post a topic and discuss with other professionals on the PLN.
The Speakers Directory is a curated list of speakers who have given (usually keynote) presentations at various California Community College conferences and events. If you’re looking for a particular speaker or someone to speak on a particular topic, you may be able to find details and contact information here.
The Calendar lists all previous and upcoming events that are relevant to California Community College professionals. These include various conferences, meetings, and workshops, and you can find more information about any given event by clicking its entry on the calendar. Likewise, you can submit events to the calendar yourself if you’d like the announcement to reach PLN users.
The Initiatives tab is just a consolidation of all the Resources associated with a given initiative. Currently, the PLN is consolidating information and submissions regarding three major initiatives: Common Assessment (CAI), Education Planning (EPI), and Online Education (OEI).
Last but not least, the Share page is where you can go to upload material to the PLN. If you have any material you would like to share, just enter the title and a brief description. The PLN support team will review submissions and upload the material as long as it is appropriate.
As always, please feel free to provide any questions and comments about the material, or additional suggestions for the type of content you’d like to see on these blog posts. The next Brown Bag is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th, and we welcome any suggestions you have for (educational) topics you’d like to see us cover.