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Personal Learning Networks in Education

Page history last edited by Krista Scott 12 years, 9 months ago

What is a Personal Learning Network (PLN)?

Through my research, I have not located a formal definition of a Personal Learning Network.  To everyone that has a PLN, it seems to create its own meaning.  My PLN is my source for information, my support when I need help, and my social filter for other education experts.  I am able to get in the brains of those in my PLN to learn new things and find new information.  My PLN also helps me locate new resources and helps me when I can't find an answer.


About a year ago, I was working on a project in Moodle.  The way I was being told to complete the project was going to take me many hours to complete.  I knew there had to be an easier way.  I searched forums and asked around, but I had no luck.  Finally, I posted my question on Twitter.  I immediately had a response from @moodlefairy.  From this response, we were able to exchange emails and solve my project dilemma.  I have never met @moodlefairy.  She actually lives in a different country and a different time zone, but Twitter brought us together and allowed us to jointly solve a problem.


How is a PLN beneficial to me as an educator?

Your PLN will help you develop real-time, on demand professional development.  Due to the unique nature of a PLN, you are able to create a network that fits your needs and learning goals.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.   The best part is you can determine the type of information you want to learn and adapt your PLN as necessary.


As you may guess, my goal is to learn as much as I can about educational and instructional technology.  I also enjoy learning all things education, including leadership.  I follow ed tech leaders from all over the world on Twitter, read blogs on a regular basis, participate in Nings, and collaborate on wikis whenever the opportunity arises.


How much does it cost to build my PLN?

Your PLN is absolutely free!  However, as it begins to grow and you start developing blogs, wikis, and other collaborations on your own, you may decide to purchase upgraded options on the corresponding sites. 


What does a PLN look like?



Picture from Sue Waters' wiki PLN Yourself (http://suewaters.wikispaces.com/).

Follow Sue on Twitter at http://twitter.com/suewaters.


What types of projects can my PLN help me with?

Any tools used to create a PLN can also be used as a classroom tool!  Read below for more information! 


How do I get started?

Visit the pages below designed to give you more information on each topic:

  1. Twitter
  2. Blogging in the Classroom 
  3. Subscribing to Blogs
  4. Bookmarking
  5. Ning in Education 



Connected Educators - Post by Steven Anderson

http://techlearning.com/blogs/26352 - The PLN Spirograph by Jen Wagner

http://www.mguhlin.org/2008/12/building-pln.html - Building a PLN

David Warlick's Approach to PLN

http://creatingapln.wikispaces.com/ - The Power of the Human Network

Ten Tips for Growing Your Learning Network - The Power of Educational Technology blog post

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