With your district Google account, you have the ability to set up Google+. It is very simple, and only requires you to click on the "+You" link found by your login name once you have signed into your Google Account. You then fill out a few screens of information, most of which you can skip over.
Once you are set up, you can navigate to "Communities" through the menu on the left of your screen and start connecting with educators all around the globe who are trying to accomplish the same goals as yourself. For example, I belong to communities that discuss "Science in Google", "Google Apps for Education", and "Education Revolutions"...and the list will surely grow.
The great thing about these communities is that they are created and moderated by regular people, not organizations. That also means that you can create a community yourself and invite like-minded U5 educators. As an example, I encourage everyone to join the U5 Instructional Technology community (direct link). It's a great place for us all to share, discuss, debate, and encourage around the topic of instructional technology in Unit 5. We will be adding content to it regularly, and encourage you to do the same!
Similarly, maybe your department wants to create a community to share web resources and have discussions around curriculum. If we think even bigger, why not have a U5 Science community and invite all of the science teachers (or anyone for that matter) to join? The possibilities are exciting!
If you would like more information on PLNs or Google+, please contact your district instructional technology coach!
Sean Mullins | Instructional Technology Coach