For a Professional Networked Learning Collaborative to have maximum impact on meeting the needs of students and improve student learning they must leverage their “AWARENESS.”
A student focus
Having AWARENESS means PNLCs are focused on the needs of students and student learning. That is the mission and purpose of the PNLC. PNLCs need to be aware of their work and ensure that is focused on student needs, and not house keeping needs. This means having a student focus.
A PNLC leverages wisdom. The difference between the typical view of wisdom and the PNLC view of wisdom is a PNLC views wisdom as something that can be discovered and accelerated. Wisdom can be discovered and accelerated through exploring the creativity, knowledge, innovation, and imagination of each individual, the great minds of the past and present, the team or the group, their networks, including professional networks, and the crowd. Leveraging the power of each of these is what I call "Lateral Wisdom." PNLCs use Lateral Wisdom
PNLCs are aware of the individual abilities of each of their members and seek to leverage these abilities to maximum effect to improve and increase student learning.
PNLC don’t just respond and hope. They use proven strategies, methods, and models to respond appropriately and effectively to meet the needs of students. PNLC have the ability to respond. This ability is honed through the other key characteristics of PNLCs, and that is learning. PNLC are constantly learning so they can better respond to the needs of their students.
PNLCs members are learners. Members need to always be aware of learning from their work, from their peers, and from their extended networks. Seeking out education opportunities to increase the group’s knowledge and cognitive diversity is something all PNLC members are constantly aware of and actively seeking.
PNLC have the advantage of the “network.” The vast array of networks that are combined and blended to make the PNLC networked. PNLC members will fluidly move between the physical and virtual networks to communicate, collaborate, and share ideas, data, strategies, and information. Each member being a portal or node to their individual network makes the PNLC exponentially stronger, knowledgeable, and wise.
PNLC are aware of and seek to leverage the variety of individual experiences that each team member brings to the team. No two members will have the exact same experiences. PNLCs are aware that the variety and different experiences of each member can be leveraged to improve student learning.
PNLCs are also aware of the skills of their individual members. Just as no two members will have the same experiences, no two members will have the exact same skill set. Skill that are developed professionally within the teaching discipline are combined with skills developed outside the discipline to create unique skill sets. PNLCs are aware of these skills sets and seek to leverage them for the betterment of students.
PNLCs understand that they are scalable. PNLCs can be expanded to include professionals who provide their needed expertise in both physical and virtual spaces. New members can be added as needed to address certain specific student needs and problems as they arise. The PNLC is aware that this can be accomplished in touch space with professionals at the table with the team or in virtual space with teams using collaborative technology platforms for synchronous communication and collaboration from professionals who cannot be physically present. PNLC are always aware that they scalable, and will add professionals to help the team meet the needs of all their students.