Professional Learning Communities are going to change. The change will come in response to technology and the need to adopt it as a part of how a PLC functions.
Collaborative technology platforms are going to have a major impact on the current Professional Learning Community model. Converged Networking, the ability to carry data, voice, and video over a single network will change how, where, and with whom Professional Learning Communities collaborate with.
The convergence combined with broadband to school sites, district offices, and wireless devices will create an environment in which PLCs communicate and collaborate regardless of geography.
Converged networking will allow Professional Learning Communities to easily share data, communicate, and collaborate with people in different classrooms, at different schools, with experts at the district office, or with consultants from across the globe.
Location independent, or location non-dependent collaboration will not only be possible, but in many cases might allow PLC to have greater access to a wider range expertise more frequently. Imagine PLC meeting with teachers at other schools to share instructional strategies, or with district personnel to discuss data or potential Special Education issues, or even with consultants via various collaborative technology platforms.
PLCs will be able to leverage talent, expertise, and knowledge independent of geographic restrictions.
This location independence or location non-dependence will increase the calls for Professional Learning Communities to operate with even greater collaboration because more people will be able to be potential members.
Just as communication technologies such as email or cell phones have created an expectation of immediacy, that is, and expectation for immediate response, so too collaborative technologies change the culture of Professional Learning Communities to expect real-time interaction.
Professional Learning Communities will move from “community” to “network.”
From Professional Learning Community to Professional Networked Learning Collaborative. The PNLC.