My Professional Learning Network


By Wendy Gangwer

Teachers today rely on technology as a professional source of information, research, teaching materials and communication device.  Teachers also utilize different software and applications that their students use to enhance their learning experience.  The function of the app is to support, reteach and expand on what is taught in the classroom.  The internet also provides a search engine for the student (research) as well as a storage device (google doc.).

The International Literacy Association (ILA) is a professional educational organization.  The goal of the organization is to promote literacy instruction through research and professional development.  The website for this organization includes a blog post that shares different articles, one article posted was “Teaching with Technology, Using the Language of Code to Empower Learning,” (  I am interested in this, last year my daughter’s class did an hour of code, I would like to see what this is all about.  The ILA website also included a page that featured an App a day, Teaching with Technology and Purposeful Technology.  This website provided an abundance of information, I would definitely like to spend more time discovering the information the site provides.

The ILA website referenced the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  This professional organization promotes high-quality early learning for all young children.  The site has articles, links to join, donate and connect with other professionals.  The site also contained an online store where you could purchase books and resources to support effective teaching.

The National Council for Teaching Social Studies has a large list of articles; however, you have to be a member to access many of them.  This organization also publishes journals, such as, Social Education, Social Studies and the Young Learner and Middle Level Learning.  The site also contains a blog with different articles.  NCSS Special Interest Communities are listed and you can join to connect with members to discuss the topic and share resources.

BrainPOP Jr. is a cool website for students.  I found out about this site in my social studies methods class, (Thanks Kristen).  This is a kid friendly site that covers multiple subject areas:  science, health, reading and writing, social studies, math and arts and technology.  This site has access for students (in English, Spanish and French) and educators.  The drawback is that you must pay to access this site.  The site presents a topic of choice in video format (which has the text below the video picture, the video is presented at a slow pace and it also defines tricky vocabulary), then students have the opportunity to do an activity, draw, take a quiz (easy or hard), make a map, write about it.  There is also an option to choose word play, the student can choose a word from the video to draw, write or create a skit about the word.  The Pop a Joke icon tells a cute joke to the student based on the topic.

Cult of Pedagogy is a website by Jennifer Gonzalez.  My science methods teacher highly recommends this website as a teacher resource.  The site includes a blog, podcast, videos and a store.  The site includes articles by other educators and their experiences that can help you hone your craft in the classroom.  The blog is broken up into compartments:  The Craft, Go Deep, and  Teacher Soul.  In addition, there is a long list of topics that you can choose and a collection of articles that support that topic.  Technology is an icon under “The Craft,” I look forward to further exploration of this topic on this website.

Brian Gulka has also supported our science methods class with Mystery Doug, which is a weekly video series that shows Doug answering questions from real elementary students.  In addition, Brian has shown You Tube footage of The Slow-Mo Guys which show high-definition video in super slow motion.  GoNoodle provides a wiggle break, this helps with classroom management; as well as, Smart Classroom Management, which contains many different articles around this topic.

I may join one of the organizations to receive email updates, as well as following on pinterest.  I do not plan on following any organization on a social media app at this time.  I do not want to be inundated with unwanted emails.  In addition, upon a recent presentation by Dr. Mindy Dieu, I am very apprehensive about being scrutinized by future employers based on social media posts.