Watch Out, Here We Come! The Music Education Professional Learning Network launches today, July 19th, 2010. The site is a "freely available public site specifically designed for Music Teachers, Educators interested in Music topics, and pre-service Music Teachers."
Users must register for an account, otherwise the site is free. The MPLN contains Forums, Groups and News/Info. links about aspects of Music Education. Pre-launch, the site had 68 members who Beta-tested the network. These members are among the top music education professionals with an online presence (music ed. teachers, conductors, clinicians, presenters, bloggers, etc..). One of the greatest attributes of the site is that is it is social media rich meaning that there are multiple ways to share information outside the network on different platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and MySpace. I believe this attribute will insure the site's success. Interestingly, it is also possible to connect IN to the network. For example, by using the hastag #mpln on Twitter, the update will post inside the MPLN network. Nifty!
The launch comes at a time when social networks are becoming increasingly accepted as valid places, forums for learning. There have been a few attempts at creating social networks for music educators but none have achieved a wide membership/following. MENC has had a Mentoring Forum for years (of which I was once a Mentor) but it never quite evolved from the limited 'thread'.
I am convinced that the time is ripe for the Music Education Professional Learning Network. I believe that it will be widely used by Music Education Professionals to connect, discuss, debate, elucidate, elaborate, learn, grow and educate. Is the world ready for Music Education to finally, finally be transformed?