Personal Learning Networks

A teacher’s Personal Learning Network (PLN) is the people we learn from and share ideas with.  These PLNs include, but are not limited to, colleagues, social media groups, blogs, and professional groups.  Anywhere you go to share and collect information is part of your personal PLN.  Most educators are naturally knowledge seekers.  We are continuously looking for new information and improving ourselves academically.  We learn from the world around and in turn share our successful experiences with other knowledge seekers in our PLNs.  Therefore, our PLNs are essential to our endeavors as teachers.  Taking advantage of our PLN benefits our effectiveness as teachers as well as our students.  The following hyperlink is blog post which simply describes PLNs.  This was a great starting point for me as I did not know much about the term Personal Learning Network, although the concept is not new.  This blog also suggest ways to use social groups on the internet, such as Twitter and Nings, to expand your PLN.

http://www.teachingvillage.org/2012/01/03/what-is-a-pln-anyway/

Until recently my PLN was mainly limited to my colleagues and basic internet searches when I needed to expand my knowledge on a given topic.  I have not connected with other educators or professionals through Twitter or blogs or similar sites.  However, I do see the usefulness and necessity in doing so.  Before taking this class, I had no idea so many people use Twitter and other social media groups in professional ways.  It has been an enlightening experience.  Twitter especially is one area I’d like to learn more about.  I’ve noticed this is the social media group of choice among my students.  Although I have had the opportunity to briefly use Twitter through this class, I will admit I have not used it outside of class requirements yet.  I still mind it a bit overwhelming.  The following hyperlink was helpful in breaking down the process of using Twitter as part of a PLN.  The site also includes suggestions of educational Twitter chats to follow.  At this point in my career I would not be able to use Twitter with my students, however, I can definitely see how Twitter can aid me professionally.  I have been trying to find new twitter chats and people to follow.  

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/twitter-expanding-pln

This last link I want to share is especially helpful!  It includes an entire list of resources to help educators use Twitter.  I couldn’t pick just one hyperlink so I want to share them all.  I think there is something beneficial here for anyone interested in incorporating Twitter in the classroom.  There is also a section of links to encourage and support teachers in expanding their PLN.  I recommend bookmarking this awesome blog!

http://ideasfactory.me/using-twitter-the-pln-in-education

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2 thoughts on “Personal Learning Networks

  1. Its funny that you bring up how your PLN was restricted to just colleagues! I thought the same way until I asked a question on twitter.com about effective vocabulary strategies and got a response almost immediately from my professor! How cool! I am really enjoying this new network of people that I have never met face-to-face. I am learning so much.

  2. Hi Auburn-many thanks for the kind words about my website.

    Really pleased that you found all the links useful and fantastic that I am now a part of your PLN.

    I have found my PLN invaluable-it has changed my pedagogy and linked me to 1000’s of global educators.

    I hope you continue to use it even after you have finished your masters.

    We are no longer alone on our island of learning!

    Julian @ideas_factory

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