Since my position in the school district is unique – I am not in the classroom but support all the instructional and student management programs for K-12 – I have come to heavily rely on learning networks for support, communication and collaboration. Typically, I have a contact person for each program so that when I need assistance, I can email, call or put in a help ticket. And then wait. And wait. SO Frustrating! Now though that I have joined so many specific user groups, professional organizations and/or learning networks, I often hear about an issue BEFORE it is reported to me personally. I learn about fixes and updates BEFORE it hits our end users. When I am on the verge of tears, I can reach out with the details and hear back from others immediately with suggestions or even just words of encouragement. My learning networks have made my job more bearable for sure where I can connect with people that are literally experiencing the same frustrations and challenges as me. I do find that it is more helpful in my circumstance to find multiple networks that are specific to the program though so it ends up I have dozens and dozens of emails per day. It is worth it though because I can filter and go back and look if needed. Or assist others if I have found a “fix”. In addition, many of my learning networks have blogs, twitter, facebook and/or podcasts that I can also access. With so many options for learning, I am able to be proactive and find resolutions, listen to program updates or unique opportunities, discover new ways to incorporate into the classroom, and make personal connections to others in similar situations. Please check out my Learning Networks page.