Personal development is the idea that people constantly strive to improve themselves, whether intellectually or emotionally, whereas professional development is how people continue to improve their professional skills to benefit their careers. Source

Finding Answers Together

One of the courses or sessions I facilitate for K-12 CTOs and technology directors focuses on professional learning networks (PLNs). But what are PLNs these days? Are they where you hang out on social media, like LinkedIn, TikTok, or Facebook? Maybe Clubhouse or Instagram is your thing. What bugs me about those is the idea that they are simply platforms. These commercial platforms make me ask, “What are we creating this content for? How are we building a community of learners, practitioners, and leaders that thinks through answers to questions?”

A PLN is a network of connections that educators create and engage in aimed at enhancing their professional development (PD). PLNs provide great spaces for teachers to exchange ideas, collaborate and share resources, and engage in meaningful discussions about teaching practices and trends in education. Source: Rachelle Dene Poth, Building Your PLN, Edutopia

Teachers today, same as CTOs, have ample places and spaces to do that. When I first started blogging, I was exploring the areas of personal and professional learning networks, trying to better understand them. As I start this new blog, I have to ask myself, “Is it mission accomplished?”

It is not to keep up with colleagues, or achieve social media notoriety, but rather to keep up with the shift in the way all people will approach learning as the digital divide begins to close at an ever-increasing rate. Source: Enough with Connected Educator Month! by Tom Whitby, My Island View

Why, indeed?

Of course, it’s not mission accomplished. Back in 2016, when I started my post-K-12 school district work in a non-profit education association, I realized that I had fallen into a trap of thinking, “I know a lot. There’s nothing new under the sun.” It took some time to re-adjust my furled sails, and put myself in the position of becoming a “lifelong learner” again.

“Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.” - Dylan Wiliam

Today, I’m doing that again with the launch of this blog that is narrowly focused on five key areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence: I’m simultaneously enamored of AI and horrified at the impact on people and the environment.
  • MyNotes: This is where I’ll be focusing my efforts on critical thinking processes, and sharing what I read.
  • Personal: I will probably share anything interesting that doesn’t fall into “work related” type category
  • Philosophy: As I’ve grown older, “awakened” to the injustices and history, I find myself reaching for ideas and guiding principles that precede the religion I was taught growing up. I have decided to forgive myself for not “waking up” from the fantasy of false history and religion. I want to learn more about other ways of thinking that are not supernatural, and be fearless in the face of preternatural threats the religious might level at me.
  • Professional: I can’t help myself, I want to write about work stuff and I realize now that trying to keep these ideas separate simply because they might make someone uncomfortable is silly. I will try to be respectful as I can be.

Thanks for joining me in this journey. Let’s see where we end up.

Oh, One More Thing

My other blog, where I’ve been writing for over 15 years, is Around the Corner. The idea was, go around the corner even if you don’t know what’s there. And, that was appropriate back then because I didn’t know what the heck I was getting into with all the new edtech coming at me. I still remember the panic attack I suffered on the way to work when I realized, “Dude, you’re SO ignorant.” My way out of that was to start learning and blogging.

I don’t have that sense of anxiety now. That’s why, after taking stock of what I “know” and “don’t know,” I realize it’s all silly worries for me to have now. This blog is “Another Think Coming.” What does that mean?

To have ‘another think coming’ is to be greatly mistaken. The phrase is usually spoken by an antagonist as ‘you have another think coming’; the implication being that one will shortly be obliged to adopt a different viewpoint, either by the presentation of indisputable evidence, or b_ force. (Source: Phrases)

Yep. It’s to remind me that new evidence will probably force me to adopt a different viewpoint. Bring it on.