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Chat Highlights Social Networking as PD

Over at teachermagazine.org yesterday there was a vibrant discussion about the value for educators in participating in professional online social networks, like the one set up by chat guest Jim Burke, the English Companion Ning, and savvy tech-ed phenom blogger Karl Fisch. Hundreds of educators signed on during the chat, but in case you missed it the full transcript is here.

There were a few takeaways from the discussion, according to Elizabeth Rich, editor of teachermagazine.org and moderator of the chat.

"There's a lot of interest in how social networking can advance teacher professional development," she said, "but also a lot of questions that educators are grappling with as they try to sort out what resources can work for them personally and professionally."

Some commenters noted that privacy issues and local rules for participating in online activities sometimes get in the way. Burke noted how one teacher on his ning was confronted by supervisors after she suggested that some of the teachers in her district were not receptive to new ideas.

"Some people are getting in trouble for it, others are concerned about privacy issues," Rich said. "Others, though, are jumping knee deep into it and reaping all the benefits."

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