Lessons learned over the past year
Wow, over a year already since PEPLC was created! As one of the main organizers of the PEPLC network, I must say that I have learned a ton about what being a part of a professional learning community is all about. Nathan Horne, Kelly Ann Parry and myself had only the very best of intentions when originally setting up the network.
It took a ton of energy, work, and effort to get things going and was a very rewarding experience bringing educators together from around the world to help them grow professionally. It was always about setting our own professional growth goals and collaborating together with a team of like-minded practitioners to help reach these goals. What was more amazing was to sit and watch all of the Google Hangouts taking place and to listen to all of great things being shared.
Redefining What PEPLC Means
As I look back on the year, I have learned a number of things from the PEPLC experience. Firstly, the pressure to join PEPLC and be a part of it must come from within each and every educator involved in the network. Nobody can or should force anyone to do anything that they are hesitant about. PEPLC is not for everyone, this is a fact. Some educators prefer learning face-to-face and creating their own networks where teachers meet in person. This type of learning is just as valuable and effective and was always the way things have been done in the past.
PEPLC has gone quiet, but to me this does not indicate that great things haven't happened. When I look at the great work of Naomi Hartl, Adam Howell, and Matthew Pomeroy, I am amazed. Although they were never on a PEPLC team together, they took charge of their own learning, set goals, shared resources, and created a number of Google Hangouts streamed live that taught our #Physed community about Google Scripts. As well, there were a number of other PEPLC teams that found success in the process of coming together online to share and learn from one another.
Looking back, I now realize that PEPLC served a purpose to bring educators together to have discussions about the importance of improving the overall quality of teaching and learning in PE. Although some educators stuck to their own teams, others branched out across teams and formed their own PEPLC discussion groups. This also exemplified great learning in action.
Where is PEPLC Headed Now?
Simply put, PEPLC is about taking charge of your own learning as an educator and finding the best ways to grow professionally. If you are seeking out educators and collaborating with them online, this is the heart and essence of what PEPLC was always about. There is a PEPLC group in the middle east being led by a great physical educator named Osama Abu Jafar. Osama is bringing educators together in that region to team up and embark on their own professional growth journeys. These teams will collaborate online and use Google Hangout as their main tool for communication.
I am looking forward to seeing where their learning takes them and will help them out in whatever ways I can. I will offer them advice based upon the major lessons I have learned over the past year in regards to PEPLC. The potential to come together and learn is enormous. I wish these groups the best of luck and hope that they share all of their learning using the #PEPLC and #physed hashtags. And to any other educators reading this who have been involved in the PEPLC network, keep learning, growing, and sharing in whatever ways suit you best!