Professional learning communities (PLCs) bring together teams of educators to share ideas, learn about instructional approaches, and reflect on practice. Educators increasingly have opportunities to connect with peers and experts outside of their schools and districts through online platforms. These online PLCs offer greater flexibility for educators to participate in discussions from any location and at any time. But, there are important questions about how to design online PLCs that provide teachers with flexibility, encourage their participation, and are integrated with face-to-face professional learning opportunities.
Mira-Lisa Katz and Bill Loyd of WestEd’s Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) hosted a discussion focused on lessons learned from designing and implementing online PLCs. SLI has experience implementing online PLCs as part of its Reading Apprenticeship program. They discussed:
- The benefits of using online PLCs
- How to blend online PLCs with face-to-face professional learning
- How online PLCs can extend face-to-face professional learning