Photo CC By Sue Waters
This week I learned that a Personal Learning Network (or PLN) is an individual’s selected group of other learners and experts both online and in person whom they collaborate with, share with, provide feedback to, and absorb insight from. Popular ways to grown your PLN include social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. By friending/following those who harbor similar interests or expertise, one may grow their PLN and therefore obtain a greater knowledge of the topics of their choosing.
After learning more about what PLN exactly means, I took into account how I have unknowingly built mine recently. Actually, just by being a student I feel like my PLN constantly grows. I collaborate with other people who are striving to learn how to teach or, like me, specifically learning how to teach English. By enrolling in classes that deal with education, I learn answers to teaching questions that never have even entered my mind! Aside from learning from both the experts (my teachers) and those seeking to someday become experts (fellow students), this past spring I also unknowingly was building my PLN from one class in particular: Adolescent Literature. In that course, I created my Twitter account and my WordPress blog. I learned from this that there are about a million education-related Twitter accounts out there and almost as many accounts that take on more specific material (i.e. children’s literature, young adult literature, special education, etc.). I discovered that throngs of authors, librarians, teachers, and administrators have sites, blogs, and Twitter accounts dedicated to sharing resources and tips. Twitter chats can easily be found any day of the week involving people striving to collaborate with others who share the same goals and interests. Also, webinars are regularly available to help teach about any number of topics. This can help build a broader technology-related PLN.
Today, to increase my PLN, I began following @EducatorsPLN, @WeAreTeachers, and @NCTE. To help others who follow me build their PLN, I shared a video which explains PLN, a quote from Kathleen Morris, as well as an article about PLN:
One nice aspect of Twitter is that it takes into account the people/groups who I follow and provides me suggestions based off of those accounts. This also will help me grow my Personal Learning Network.