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Welcome to our professional learning series on building a PLN.

This self-paced free course guides you step-by-step through the process of setting up your own PLN.

We have an optional PDF workbook that will help to keep you on track and focused as you work through the 7 steps of this course. Scroll down and click on the ‘download’ button under the document to save it to your computer.

The aim of this first step is to:

  1. Unpack the definition of a PLN and “connected educator”
  2. Help you understand why educators create their own PLNs and how they use them

What Is A PLN?

Back in 1998 when the internet was in its infancy, Daniel R. Tobin wrote an article about the term “Personal Learning Network” which was abbreviated to PLN. This term was used to describe a network of people and resources that support ongoing learning.

Whether or not Tobin actually coined the term PLN is up for debate. As Clint Lalonde has pointed out, others, such as Dori Digenti, also wrote about the term in the late 90s.

Digeni said,

The PLN consists of relationships between individuals where the goal is enhancement of mutual learning. The currency of the PLN is learning in the form of feedback, insights, documentation, new contacts, or new business opportunities. It is based on reciprocity and a level of trust that each party is actively seeking value-added information for the other.

The term has evolved and is now sometimes referred to as a Professional Learning Network — taking into account that fact that most “connected educators” use their PLN for professional growth and interaction.

As Tom Whitby has pointed out, there can even be a hybrid of the personal or professional learning network — the Personalized Learning Network.

…the shift in nuance maintains that participants are both personal and professional learners. A PLN is a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time. Participating educators, worldwide, make requests and share resources.

Are PLNs Exclusive To Education?

PLNs don’t just exist in the education world. They are important in all aspects of the business world, various vocations, and hobbies.

We contacted Daniel R. Tobin to ask him about how he came up with the term Personal Learning Network. We wanted to find out if he coined the term in relation to a particular industry or field.

Daniel told us,

It came from my own experience.

As I was thinking about how I had learned to do the various jobs I had over the course of my career, I realized that I had built an extensive network of people who had helped me learn. These included managers and colleagues and people I had met while doing research for my books, speaking at conferences, attending workshops, etc.

As I started writing about corporate training and development, I realized that what I had learned from my PLN was greater and more important than what I had learned from my formal education.

Interestingly, many teachers who are active online have remarked that they’ve learned a great deal more from their PLN than from any professional development session they’ve attended.

Are PLNs Something New?

All teachers know successful teaching and learning does not occur in a vacuum. Teachers have always relied on others for guidance, ideas, inspiration, support, and new perspectives. Naturally, some teachers are more active in their interactions than others.

Traditionally, all this interaction might take place in one school community. Teachers might have rarely connected with educators from other locations — apart from an occasional conference or professional development opportunity.

Technology changed all this.

Like in many other industries, educators now have access to people from all corners of the globe 24/7. This may largely be through social media but other platforms as well, such as blogs, online communities, and news sites.

So many barriers have been removed — geography, culture, language, timezones, travel, costs, logistics.

Embracing new networks and building a PLN doesn’t mean throwing out your old connections. Of course, it will always be valuable to talk to the teachers next door and down the hall. But imagine the possibilities of building on that network in diverse ways!

Video: What is A PLN?

Want to learn more about what is a PLN? This is Marc-André Lalande’s take on the matter in less than two minutes.

Being A Connected Educator

A connected educator is someone who collaborates online and uses a range of tools to build their own PLN.

Watch the following five minute video to learn more about being a connected educator. It shows interviews with educators who explain the importance of being “connected” in order to be effective teachers and leaders.

Why Create A PLN?

There are many reasons why all teachers should develop a PLN.

Here are eight benefits of having a PLN:

  1. You are in charge of your own professional development. PD is no longer something that you have to “sit and get”.
  2. You can explore your own interests, needs, and passions (or your students’). You might have a student who is struggling with reading, or you might have heard of makerspaces and decide you want to learn more about that, maybe you have a student who wants to research global warming, or perhaps you want to find a better system for running a sports day at your school. You can turn to your PLN for advice and support with all these sorts of things.
  3. 24/7 learning offers the flexibility to learn and connect at a time that suits you. You don’t have to wait for a PD or conference. And 24/7 learning certainly doesn’t mean you have to be constantly online either — you decide how much time you want to invest and when.
  4. You can learn and connect in a way that you enjoy. This might be via videos, podcasts, text, social media, Skype, blogging … the list goes on.
  5. There can be light and shade to your PLN. You can engage in a general chat about education (or anything) to debrief, laugh, or unwind. Or, you can engage in deep discussion, debate, and reflection that can really challenge and transform your thinking and teaching. The choice is yours and there will probably be a time and place for both.
  6. You can stay current on research and best practice, regardless of whether this information is being discussed in your own school, district (or even country!).
  7. A PLN allows for broad brainstorming or fine tuning. You might know very little about a certain topic and ask your PLN for any/all entry points into exploring the concept. At the other end of the spectrum, you may have already done a lot of work on a topic and use your PLN to fine tune your ideas and resources.
  8. Globally connected students need globally connected teachers. Having your own PLN is a key way to also help your students connect with others and start developing their own networks. We know this is important to enrich student learning and help students thrive in the changing labor market.

Feel free to use the following graphic on your blog or share it with your colleagues.

Why teachers should build a PLN Summary Edublogs Teacher Challenge

Four Big Ideas Around The Connected Educator

Silvia Tolisana (aka Langwitches) has written about four big ideas that surface when thinking about connected educators.

4 Big Ideas Around The Connected Educator - model, isolation, crowdsource, perspective

I think about the isolation of a teacher within their classroom walls and how connectedness to a global network of experts and peers could expose and add multiple perspectives to their world view and professional practice.

I am amazed every time by the transformative nature of teaching and learning, when harnessing the power of a network to crowdsource authentic data, resources, connections and collaborators.

Last, but not least, the idea of being able to model for our students what connected learning in an interconnected world means is a moral imperative for educators who are charged to prepare our kids for their future.

You can unpack these concepts further by reading Silvia’s post. 

Building Your Own PLN

The great thing about a PLN is that it’s personal!

You make all the choices:

  1. What tools you use!
  2. Who you connect with!
  3. How you want to learn!
  4. When you want to learn!

The idea of this series is to guide you through the process of building your own PLN and give you a taste of the opportunities that are out there.

Remember, we each have our own preference of what online tools work best for us.

Throughout the seven part series, we’ve included popular tools for building a PLN to help get you started.

7 Steps To Building A PLN | Edublogs Teacher Challenge

Conclusion

A PLN is a network of people and resources that support ongoing learning.

We believe all teachers could benefit from having a PLN.

You might be in a fantastic school but in some ways, schools can become echo chambers for the same beliefs and viewpoints. It can be easy to go with the status quo and fail to really question things or bring in new ideas. A simple conversation with someone from a very different community can be so eye opening.

One does not need to be connected to be a good educator, but if one is a good educator, being connected can make him, or her a better, and a more relevant educator. Tom Whitby

Your Task

PLNs are all about sharing, collaborating, and learning from each other. So here’s your chance to ask a question, comment, and get involved!

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about PLNs by undertaking one or more of these challenges:

  1. PLN Definition: Watch the video What Is A PLN? Leave a comment on this post to explain what a PLN means to you. You might like to share your thoughts on “lurking”. What are the pros and cons of this approach? Or, you might like to explain what you think PLN stands for — personal, professional, personalized … or something else?
  2. PLN Benefits: Choose one or more of the eight benefits of having a PLN that’s listed above to explore in a comment. Tell us why this is a benefit that resonates with you.
  3. Connected Educators: Watch the Connected Educators video. Leave a comment on this post to explain why it’s important to be a connected educator and how a PLN can help you. You might like to give an example of one person in the education community that you’d like to follow and learn from or with. This could be a thought leader, or just someone you find interesting.
  4. Go Deeper: Write a blog post to explain what you have learned about PLNs. Perhaps your post could be a way to educate or persuade others on the benefits of PLNs. Or you might like to summarize some of the information from this study on PLNs for teachers. Leave a comment with a link to the post so we can have a look at how you went.

Also feel free to leave a comment to ask any questions or share your tips.

How to leave a comment: Scroll down to find the comment box. Write your comment, then enter your name and email address (email addresses are not published). Enter the anti-spam word. Press submit and we will moderate your comment ASAP.


The following information on PLNs was adapted from an original Teacher Challenge post by Australian teacher, Michael Graffin. You can check out Michael’s original post — What The heck Is A PLN.

This resource was updated by Kathleen Morris in 2018. 

538 Comments

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  1. One of the benefits of PLNs that resonates with me is the ability of staying current. Methods for best teaching practices are always being expanded upon. Having the ability to stay up-to-date on research helps teachers to keep learning even after formal education. The technological aspect helps transcend borders on a global level. This is important because it not only gives individuals current information on teaching practices and research, but helps with cultural awareness and understanding diversity within the classroom.

    • Akira Vaughan
    • Hi Akira,

      Thanks for sharing these great thoughts about building a PLN. You’re right about the importance of staying current. In the past, teachers could only really stay up to date with best teaching practices if their school organised a PD. All this how now changed of course. So much great information is at our fingertips!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  2. The benefits of PLNs that resonated with me the most were the ability to explore your own interests/passions (and those of your students!) and the ability to stay current on best practices in education. I am currently a pre-service elementary teacher and the idea of learning more about the interests of my students and making connections to my own interests is important to me in terms of building positive relationships with my students. A PLN will help me explore these interests and use tools that will enhance learning for all. I also think that the idea of becoming stagnant over time is daunting for many teachers and using PLNs to learn new ideas and best practices from other educators is an effective method of keeping learning “fresh” for both yourself and your students.

    • These are excellent reflections, Addie. Thank you for sharing!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  3. One of my favorite benefits of PLNs is the flexibility it gives to educators. You have the option of “lurking” or sharing your own ideas. You can choose which platforms are most suited for your PLN. You can devote however much time you wish to the PLN and choose which times suit your schedule best.

  4. One of the benefits of PLN’s that resonated with me the most is that you are in charge of your learning and have the ability to cater your learning to meet your needs. This is important because we have diverse interest and learn at different paces. With education being such a large field, PLN’s allow educators to compile resources of relevance. PLN’s allow for purposeful learning and meaningful connections. Great teachers never stop learning and PLN’s allow educators to continue to learn and be inspired by other great teachers.

    • This is a really well-considered reflection, Anna. Thanks for sharing!

      • Kathleen Morris
    • Hi Tim,
      Thanks for sharing your great post. Because I’m so familiar with PLNs in education, I always find it fascinating to hear about what’s happening with networks in other industries.
      Good luck building your PLN!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  5. A PLN provides educators with the opportunity to learn from others around the world. It’s a medium for discussing,exchanging, and sharing information with others in any part of the world. It’s a great resource that promotes life-long learning. The benefit that I connect more with is number 2 because it provided me as well as my students to express our learning in any medium we choose to.

    • Myra Martinez
    • Hi Myra,
      Thanks for sharing your insights into PLNs. I hope your enjoy the next steps of the course!
      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  6. A PLN is an opportunity for sharing, exchanging ideas and discussing with teachers from all over the world. The teacher can continuously learn new things.

  7. The PLN benefit that speaks to me the most is number 2-You can explore your own interests, needs, and passions (or your students’). I think it is wonderful to be able to get new ideas online about how to teach a lesson. Maybe the way you have been teaching it isn’t working anymore, or maybe you feel it can be enhanced but you aren’t sure how to do that. Using a PLN is a great way to explore and find new ways to reach every student.

    • Margaret LaFrancois
    • It sure is, Margaret! Thanks for sharing your insights.

      • Kathleen Morris
  8. A ok n gives teachers the opportunity to exchange ideas and advice. all teachers should use a social network to get in touch with other teachers and never stop learning.

  9. What are PLNs? For me, PLNs are an intentional expansion of our digital footprints, data created through online activity that can be linked to us. PLNs purposely increase active (intentionally-made) data through the use of blog posts, social media, email, etc. The video ‘What is a PLN?’ talked about the benefits of focused networking, but it did not really address the way PLNs influence how we are seen more broadly. If you google yourself, you will find that your name is associated with a lot of content created by others (websites for organizations that you did or didn’t sign up for, employers, colleagues, etc.), and you have little control over most it. PLNs cannot change what others post, but they can counterbalance it and personalize it through self-chosen links and content. Direct input into our overall digital footprints may not be the main purpose of PLNs, but it is an unavoidable side-effect. As long as we keep that in mind when building and expanding our PLNs, I think it is also one of their strengths.

    • Hi Kat,

      Great to connect with you again and hear your interesting thoughts about PLNs. The question of how PLNs influence how we are seen more broadly is an important point to consider. Hopefully this is something others will be able to add their thoughts to as well.

      Thanks!
      Kathleen

      • Kathleen Morris
  10. I teach math in a secondary school and I’d like to create a PLN because I’d like to teach my students in other differnt ways but I don’t know how i can do it.

  11. This resource has helped me to realize the importance of being thoughtful about your PLN. Mine has been a bit haphazard. Also, as an administrator I am interested in sharing these resources with staff to model for them how they can start or expand their PLN.

    • Erin Schneider
  12. I have a professional twitter account and when taking grad classes in Ed Tech a few years ago, I posted and followed quite a few higher ed professionals with it. Time to revive my presence there I think. Watched the Connected Educator video and immediately thought of Bonni Stachowiak who blogs at Teaching in Higher Ed. Checked to see if I also followed her on Twitter- @bonni208- and found out I didn’t, so now she’s added to my PLN via that channel!

    • Isn’t it great to be able to re-connect like that? I hadn’t heard of Bonni but I’m now following her too 🙂

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  13. A PLN is a personnel learning network that allows for learning and connection within ones own interests. As an educator, this is an important network with which to bond to other like-minded educators. I like the option of ‘lurking’ as sometimes I do not have the energy or desire to interact, but still appreciate the opportunity to hear new ideas or get insight on a specific topic.

    • Hi Lacey,
      There are definitely benefits to lurking and you’re right about sometimes not having the energy or desire to interact. This is very understandable after living and breathing education all day. It can sometimes help us recharge by exploring other topics and interests. It’s great PLNs are things you can dip in and out of as it suits! 🙂

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  14. The second benefit of creating a PLN resonates with me. I teach English language in secondary school. Most times,I wish I can teach my students in an entirely different way other than the conventional way of doing it, but I don’t know how to do so. Learning of this benefit makes me want to create a PLN immediately knowing that I can share my challenges and get help from other educators.

    • Ezemba Chinonyelum C
  15. What PLN means to me is just what it represents and supports – a network of like minded people and resources at my finger tips, that can support my instruction, make learning more accessible to my students, and remove the barriers to learning. Additionally, the PLN allows me to create my own, unique network, based on my needs and interests, and that of my students. It is also an opportunity to continue to grow and enhance my professional practice.

    • Melissa DeBoor
    • Well said, Melissa. Thanks for sharing!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  16. I love the self-directed nature of the PLN. I can tailor my PD to my specific interests and needs. I have a writing PLN. Through my interactions in this network, I have learned so much and made new friends. It has been a tremendously positive experience.

    • Tracy Vogelgesang
  17. PLN is a tool to keep yourself in a continuous learning state by collaborating, researching, asking, sharing, posting, and many other things. Sometimes you feel your approach will not empower students to reach a learning target, asking around will help you fine tune yours. Global thought is the way to go as in preparing youngsters to handle a future which seems uncertain but connected. Connect, discuss, share-Be Global.

  18. I think that PLNs are important and definitely a resource — the challenge that I find with PLNs is the same one that is prevalent with teaching research… so. much. information! I find it a challenge to maneuver through several different resources or know who to follow. In one word: Twitter. I KNOW that I should be lurking if nothing else, but I simply cannot seem to navigate this (or approach it really) as a resource because there is just so much information (either good or not) out there. It is my goal to get over myself and really work on the online PLN — because it really is all about who you know/follow.

  19. I had always thought about a PLN as being what we do at my school. Teachers get together a couple times a week and have an agenda for what they will be discussing. I never really thought about a PLN being a more individual thing. As the tech person on my campus I really don’t have any one else to discuss the specifics of my job and issues. I have always used Twitter and Facebook to seek out others to problem solve and find new ideas. Never thought about it as my own PLN

  20. One of the biggest benefits is to communicate with people who are looking to grow in the same areas. Conversation can be targeted and on track…

  21. Taking an Educational Technology class this semester and the first assignment we had was to start mapping out our PLN and how we are going to grow it over the semester. I wrote this as my very first blog post:

    https://msbrandsclassroom.edublogs.org/2019/01/26/pln-learning-how-i-learn/

    Then I found this course! It fits perfectly and hopefully will help me become even more connected as I learn more about using technology in the classroom and to reach out to other educators.

  22. One of the 8 benefits that really resonates with me is staying current in your knowledge of best practices. As an educator, I believe we have to be life-long learners to avoid growing stagnant in our field. We have a world of educators to learn from if only we first build our PLN and then work to plug in and stay connected.

    • Debra Dele Crews
  23. I like the term – personalized learning network – it evokes the idea of specific user needs and being ever evolving. I am one that relies on face-to-face interaction with colleagues, but I am finding myself increasingly isolated as a result. Although I traipse around in the digital world, I am a lurker on Twitter, browser of teacher blogs and scanner of educational websites. I can see the value of a PLN to become the connected educator 21st century students need and ultimately deserve. My goal is to set up a RSS Feed, blog and twitter account, as a way to begin creating the online connection of my PLN. I aspire to use social media platforms as passionately as @GwynethJones, inspiring as @debbiemah and thought-provoking as @ChrisWejr.

  24. I love PLN’s. I have been able to be a better teacher because I can reach out to other teachers in my state to get new ideas. I love that teachers are so willing to help one another. I came from a sales background where that is not the case at all. It was sell or not have a job so it was competitive.

    • How interesting to have experience in a different field. It’s definitely great that most teachers are very willing to share and help, no matter where in the world they are!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  25. I think their are many benefits of PLN’s. A PLN allows me to stay current with what is going on in education and in other parts of the world. I can have personal development at my fingertips to access when it works for me. Selecting my own personal network of people is also beneficial when looking for ideas and suggestions that fit my needs and the needs of my students. I started building one a couple of years ago, and I really need to make the effort to use it!

    • That’s great you already made a start in the past. I bet lots of those people you’ve connected with before would be happy to reconnect too. Good luck!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager
      @kathleen_morris

      • Kathleen Morris
  26. I feel like I am a “mostly” or “kinda” connected educator, which is why I am doing the @edublogs course. I feel like having a PLN is KEY to being #futureready! We want personalized or learner-centered experiences for our students. . .so we need to practice and model for them as professionals!

    • That’s great, Sia! It sure is key to being #futureready and I definitely agree we need to be models for our students as well!

      • Kathleen Morris
  27. This is great. I didn’t know about the term before even though I was actually having a PLN of my own. Thanks for in enlightenment.

  28. Connecting with other educators is a crucial part of being a teacher. Over the years, I have borrowed ideas, strategies, and activities from fellow teachers that transformed my teaching and my classroom. Recently I made the change to being our school’s librarian. I have found this to be a very lonely position. There is no one in my building who is a “teammate” and with whom I can bounce and share ideas. However, after observing fellow teacher librarians at other schools and in other districts, I have created a connection network. Those connections lead me to professional groups on Facebook that have been crucial in my development as a teacher librarian. I am constantly working to improve and enhance my library program for my students. Being connected in this way, has provided endless ideas, information and the comfort of a team atmosphere. In addition, collaborating with other teacher librarians in my district has been very beneficial. It does not matter how long you have been a teacher, there is always room for growth and improvement. As educators, we must value growth in order to have the greatest impact on our students’ success.

  29. Yes, yes, yes. All educators need to develop their PLN. This is especially critical for those, like Teacher Librarians, who are isolated.

    But in the same way that schools can become echo chambers, we need to be aware that we don’t just choose to follow those with the same views as our own, and that we choose a range of people for our network.

    • Schools can definitely become echo chambers in some ways! And you’re right that there are certain roles (such as TLs) who don’t get to work with colleagues as much as others. A PLN can definitely help!

      • Kathleen Morris
  30. It’s important to be a connected educator because you’re able to get feedback from so many other people who may be in the same boat as you! PLN is all about exploring and exploring is the biggest thing when it comes to learning. An example that I heard in the video was that a man posted one night about a software and someone in New Zealand responded because it was so late in his time zone, but not theirs! Crazy!

    • Victoria Mason
    • Time zones are certainly funny things, aren’t they! It’s great always having someone around to connect with! Good on you learning about PLNs while you’re a college student.

      • Kathleen Morris
  31. I think what is most beneficial to me is that I am in charge. I like to be in control of what I’m doing at all times. I also really like the idea of exploring things that I am interested in, not just something that is given to me. I also like the technology frame of PLN’s. Although technology can be a distraction to some, I find things more attractive when I can do it from my phone or laptop.

    • Victoria Mason
  32. As a college student interested in becoming a teacher I think that PLN is an amazing way to get feedback and new ideas. I am very big on getting ideas from people because although I often think that my way is the best way(; when I’m stuck I like being able to seek help or insight.

    • Victoria Mason
  33. As a Department Director at a Hospital I feel that myself and my staff can benefit from a PLN. Healthcare is ever evolving and reaching the younger generation has become more difficult. A PLN would be a great way to provide ongoing education in the Department as well engage this generation. It would also allow the staff to offer resolutions to work related issues. This would help us all learn from each other.

    • Melissa Barnhill
  34. We evolve toward perfect network, the infinite correlation which is deep in our Self and for this reason we use this blueprint to built better and better networks outside. PLN is a way to unfold our huge potential.

    • sorinel balan
  35. The video “Connected Educators” was spot-on. Having taught for 30 years, the importance of connection in order to continue learning and evolving as an educator is a necessity. I am looking forward to building my PLN and learning new things that I can implement with my students.

    • Hi Connie, I’m sure over 30 things you’ve seen a lot of things change in education but the importance for connections remains strong!

      • Kathleen Morris
  36. After watching the videos, ‘What is a PLN?’ and ‘Connected Educators’, I am further convinced that engagement, connection and collaboration among educators is the best practice, given the rapid development in education and technology.

    Some years back, I joined a PLN and was able to complete my CICTL in which I had a distinction due to collaborative efforts within the PLN. We learnt together, studied together and also shared ideas among ourselves. It have us the confidence to approach those essays and tasks with positive mindset with feedback and guidance from our mentors and coordinators.

    PLNs have come to stay, and the least educators can do is to leverage the opportunities for Professional Development.

    • Stephen Obasun
  37. Having a personal learning network has been beneficial to others and I am looking forward to building my own PLN. I like that learning can take place on my time and will be according to my interests. Thank you for explaining the process in a way that is easy to understand and most importantly implement.

  38. After watching Connected Educators, I have to say that I agree with many of the statements given by these educators. What resonated the most with me was the point about being lifelong learners and how we tell our students to be lifelong learners but we do not always practice what we teach.
    As an educator I believe we need to constantly learn , find new ideas, and take risks. Twitter is a great way to achieve this.
    I began twitter in 2016 with the primary purpose of following my teenage daughter. I had no other intention. When I developed my profile, I decided to keep it all professional since I had just started my Masters program. I really did not expect what I found.
    Twitter has changed my professional life. The connections that I have made over the past two years have definitely made a difference in my professional world. As I go into 2019, I want to continue to grow my PLN so that I can grow as an educator and enhance my teaching and my students’ learning.

  39. Task 3: Connected Educators

    There was not a signal point made in this video that I did not agree with! All very well said. I think some of the most important statements made had to do with being a life-long learner, and that often means leaving the security of the building. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some very innovative people, but also some heal draggers. I was always amazed that year after year, there were zero changes made in the way these people interacted with their classrooms.

    Twitter was also mentioned several times. When I first learned about Twitter I thought it was a silly tool for famous people. When I was finally introduced to the educational value it possesses, I was forever changed. The endless amount of potential ideas and resources is incredible. Someone also mentioned using Twitter as an answer finder. I can imagine this to be very helpful, especially for people teaching in remote areas.

    I think another benefit of connecting through technology is to have a better global perspective. This is important as educators so we can support out students in their digital citizenship paths.

    I am excited to learn more about PLNs.

    Amber

  40. Task 2: the Benefits of a PLN:

    I have been slowly building a PLN since participating in the Introduction to Blogging course this time last year. It has been a slow process as I mostly read what other people write, rather than sharing my own ideas. I hoping now to branch out and do a bit more writing of my own.

    Many of the 8 reasons for building a PLN resonate with me, however, I guess that the one that keeps me motivated is Number 6: staying up to date with current practices. I have found that I am constantly finding new ideas and perspectives to inject into my own teaching and school through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a variety of blogs. I am quite sure that I would not be as confident in my practice as a teacher if not for the great educators I consider as part of my PLN.

    • This is a wonderful reflection, Kirsty. I definitely agree with you about the power of finding new ideas. It’s such a shame that most teachers wait for their school to bring PD or new things to them, when there is really so much out there to explore and try!

      • Kathleen Morris
  41. For me, the P in PLN means professional, although it will also make a difference in my personal life.
    How do I use resources like a PLN? I always start by “lurking,” to get a sense of a group. Not just on the internet either. I’ve always been the person to enter a the room, try to get an understanding of who is there and what is happening, and then speak up. I don’t barrel in and immediately start talking.
    The benefit that resonates with me is learning more than I can from my immediate environment. I’m particularly interested in making the web accessible for as many as possible. That is a goal some of my colleagues share, but I don’t have access to the insights of those who are more familiar with making the web available to all. At least, I did not have such access until today! I look forward to learning from colleagues around the world on accessibility and other topics.

    • Hi there, this is a good description of being a lurker. You’re right — it doesn’t just apply to online interactions. I love your goal of making the web more accessible. It is so important yet overlooked by so many big companies. 🙁

      • Kathleen Morris
  42. What I really love about PLN is the ability to control your learning. You can equally explore your interests, needs and passions. All you have to do is turn to your PLN for advice.

    In Nigeria where education is being made mockery of, having a PLN should be what every student have as such will compensate for the lack of current information and half baked knowledge being dished out in class.

    I’m so glad I came across this free blog. It’s well designed for this particular purpose.

    I’m off to build my PLN

    • I love controlling my own learning through having a diverse PLN. Hopefully, you’ll get more of your colleagues and perhaps students on board!

      • Kathleen Morris
  43. What PLN means to me is surrounding one self around individuals who have made an investment in their learning by going one step further to instigate things to happen in my own professional development. By being pro active in my own growth and development and surrounding my self around like minded people who can help empower me to be the best me that I can be in my own growth and professional development .There are many things that resonate with me about PLN,but the one thing that really sticks out the most is being active in my own personal development. It’s important to be a connected educator because not only can I help others, but we can be a source of impression for one another to succeed when we are connected to other people who we select to be a part of our PLN.

    • Abdu kareem Muhammad
  44. This is in response to being a connected educator. The video I watched really makes sense to get connected with technology because it is the future. I couldn’t agree more with how hearing from other educators around the country can enhance my own teaching. I haven’t really used social media of any type so this is an exciting adventure for me. Thanks for setting up this course.

    • Michalle Keiser