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.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download

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. 

1,115 thoughts on “Step 1: What Is A PLN?

  1. A Personal learning network is a place where you connect to people with similar interests. You can share your ideas, gain insight as well as be critiqued and grow with these people . While it can be strictly digital, you can build bonds and network due to the fact we all have other webs of life going different directions. A PLN is a great way to learn from others and find new resources and people who support your passions.

  2. A PLN is simply a making connections and building a community online that exchanges knowledge, experience, and grows together. PLN can be personal and professional. The idea is to connect with and learn from other professionals, but your network, like in real life, is unique to you. PLNs can also be personal in the sense that they can range in levels of formality. Some parts of your PLN may be more of a formal professional environment, like connecting with others through an online conference to discuss equity. Other parts of your network could be more informal, like simply making other “teacher friends” on twitter to talk about your experiences.

  3. PLN Benefits- The PLN benefit that I resonate with, the most, is #4 ” You can learn and connect in a way that you enjoy.” This really resonated with me because, too often, we are forced to interact with media that we are not comfortable with. I’ve noticed that when I’m genuinely interested in something, it’s much easier for me to apply myself. So having control over over the way that I receive and share content is vital.

  4. 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

    It’s important for people to be able to outsource information or questions. I love the fact that it’s a way to communicate with people from all over and to pull in different methods and ideas from people in different learning communities. And it’s so convenient to be able to access help at any time.

  5. PLN Benefits: The benefit that I chose was that You can learn and connect in a way that you enjoy. There are so many different ways that we can connect with people and learn from others. So why shouldn’t you be able to do it in whichever way that is best for you. I feel like in the past 2 years there are so many more technology options that can connect people.

  6. A PLN is a Personal Learning Network used to learn and inform people about a topic that like minded people are interested in gaining knowledge about. The platform is used to share information, but also learn new information from colleagues and other people who share similar interests and passions. This is a great resource specifically for teachers, because oftentimes we hear, “do not reinvent the wheel.” Through collaboration and networking, teachers have the opportunity to spread their content around to multiple platforms and inspire many. The professional reach and opportunity is expanded and everyone involved has the chance to benefit. A possible con to this approach is the lack of credit people can receive. Since many ideas are floating around, it is possible that individuals aren’t being credited for their ideas. On the other hand, since so many people are working towards a common goal a negative impact like this would be rare. Professionals can control what information they share, and what information they gain, also known as lurking. For those of us who want to become better at our profession, or have thoughts of our own to share, this is a great tool.

  7. An aspect of having a PLN that really resonated with me is the idea surrounding Personal Development and adapting it so that it fits the needs of both you and your students. This allows you to explore the interests, needs, and passions of your students or something that you also are interested in. This gives you the opportunity to do that work for yourself and for your students in order to learn more about different ways of doing things or how to get resources for your students that you had no idea about before in a flexible manner. This allows you to do it when you need to, at your own pace, instead of having to wait for a PD day or a conference to pursue this.

  8. Share your thoughts on being a connected educator: I feel that being a connected educator is extremely beneficial in a generation where our social platforms are rising. I think by being a connected educator can help expand ways you teach, share resources and give your students a chance to respond. As well, it gives you the ability to stay updated on events that you might not be aware of and give you an opportunity to share your own voice.

  9. Out of the 8 PLN benefits, I most resonate with number six which focuses on staying up to date with current research and best practice. As a future educator, it is important to stay updated on best teaching practices and new research that is out there. Having a PLN would benefit me in the sense that it provides more ideas and perspectives from others who are well-educated in certain fields or organizations.

  10. What a PLN means to me is having a support group of professionals for you to discuss with and bounce ideas off of. As a graduate student, while I do not have much professional experience yet, my time as a university student has helped me to stay very up-to-date on the research. This is how I am able to keep the PLN reciprocal. I have maintained connections with other teachers (former professors/teachers, those I have worked with or shadowed under, etc.) and when I reach out to them for advice on classroom management or how to best teach a certain lesson, they also ask me for feedback whether their approaches are up-to-date and if things are student-friendly. For younger or inexperienced teachers, we might shy away from a PLN because we do not have a lot of experience in the classroom just yet, but we can still share lots of knowledge from what we have been learning in our classes and using the perspective of someone from a younger generation.

  11. A PLN is a network of people and resources that support ongoing learning. One of the 8 benefits of a PLN is staying current on research and best practices. This is important because it keep educators updated in order to increase student engagement and interests.

  12. PLN stands for professional learning network. To me, it feels like a personal learning environment or personal learning community where educators can share their thoughts and ideas with one another. PLN is also helpful because it can be flexible and personalized with through feedback.

  13. 1. 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.
    – You can explore your own interests, needs, and passions (or your students’). I like this benefit because it allows independence and freedom while still learning.
    – 24/7 learning offers the flexibility to learn and connect at a time that suits you. I also really like this benefit because I am incredibly busy so being able to do it whenever is a huge benefit for me. It would also benefit people who have children so they can do it on their own time.

  14. I do agree that PLN will allow the teacher and her students to connect globally and students will know the how to properly communicate with others in this global world.
    Globally connected students need globally connected teachers. Also, its a great avenue that teachers can use to teach, share and connect .This might be via videos, podcasts, text, social media, Skype, blogging etc. By using these avenues educators can can talk about anything about their life experiences which may impact and inspire others. Global connections also helps us to stay current with events across the world and learning about the cultures of other peoples and places is readily available.

  15. What does a PLN mean to me: I am excited to know that there’s a world community that will receive my communications and offer responses, if I need them, or just read and accept! This opportunity to connect, in so many ways, is refreshing, invigorating, and can open oneself to a kind of vulnerability that is scary! In light of the many resources that are available within this community, there will be many areas of engagement that I will pursue! I am most thankful for this educational experience that is making me aware of the resource! Best regards!

  16. 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?
    A PLN of course stands for “professional learning network,” but to me, it could be explained as a personal learning environment or a personal learning community.
    When it comes to the idea of “lurking,” I can say I do not mind it. I think it is smart to keep an eye out for educators’ thoughts and what they share on platforms.

  17. The benefit that I believe helps me the most is the ability to learn at my own pace. I lead a very busy lifestyle as an educator and a multi-sport coach, so the idea of having the autonomy and flexibility to learn at my own pace is definitely something I feel like benefits me greatly.

  18. There are several benefits of PLNs that have resonated with me. First, I like that it puts the educator in charge of their own professional development and can apply to individual needs. Too often the PD that educators are required to complete do not always apply to their classroom. Having the ability to gear the development towards personal needs that are most applicable to a current issue or struggle allows for a more personalized approach. Overall, the flexibility and customization of PLN use is a great asset to any educator.

  19. Understanding what a PLN is and entails is essential to becoming a more effective educator. With so much technology accessible to us, we are able to share on global level new idea, methodologies and strategies to engage our students, and make them life long learners. Aside from helping teachers, PLN’s also help our students connect with others and start developing their own networks. I feel these are important life skills to have.

  20. I enjoy PLNs because because of the ideas I can get from colleagues outside of my district and state. I reached out for help about a few new platforms for presentations and had several teachers give me feedback and ideas to use. My district is working on purchasing platforms for its teacher to use and I was able to provide examples for tech. platforms. I believe without the help of my PLN, I would not have been able to discuss potential technology platforms to my administration team for consideration.

  21. While all of the PLN benefits sound fantastic, especially during this extended era of online learning, I am most thrilled for “brainstorming and fine-tuning” with fellow educators. Although I can walk down the hall and collaborate with my colleagues, having the ability to reach out to even more educators and learn from them is exciting. Teaching tips and knowing how to instruct content-area knowledge do not fit every educator equally, and having access to new research, tips, content, and learning strategies allows for further instruction exploration. As teachers, we are never done learning, and being given an outlet for progressing our craft with teachers across the globe is a joy. I look forward to learning with my peers and uncovering new ways to effectively teach my students in order to best help them comprehend subject matter, all while encouraging joy and fun along the way.

  22. To me is the ability to network with influencers all over. It gives you the ability to grow in your career but not only share ideas but also receiving them. I’m all for it I think it is a good source of connection.

    1. A PLN, To me is the ability to network with influencers all over. It gives you the ability to grow in your career but not only share ideas but also receiving them. I’m all for it I think it is a good source of connection.

  23. A PLN, to me is the ability to network with influencers all over. It gives you the ability to grow in your career by not only sharing ideas but also receiving them. I’m all for it I think it is a good source of connection.

  24. One defines a professional learning network as a learning-promoting avenue that fuels educators’ connections through social media to spark collaboration, the sharing of resources, and limitless communication (Courses & PD, 2021). The convenience offered by PLN is encouraging, yet practical. Educators can grow professionally by utilizing their unlimited access to PLN’s and can grow without waiting on the occurrence of the next professional development meeting (Courses & PD, 2021).

    Reference:
    Courses & PD. 2021. Building your plan. https://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/pln-define/

  25. The benefit that most resonates with me is the 24/7 access. Besides teaching, I also coach a year-round swim team that already limits my time and finding a class-swim-life balance is extra important in order to avoid burnout. Having the extra time to schedule when I can is a great benefit to me!

  26. A PLN, to me is an opportunity to build and collaborate with other professionals in your field. It is reassuring to know that there are always others that can help. I really like that we have this to help us better ourselves.

  27. A PLN, to me, is a way to connect to others in your work field, or with similar experiences. Its purpose is to encourage a community with collaboration and continuous learning. By sharing ideas with others in your content area, your knowledge will continue to expand, and you will cultivate important conversations about relevant ideas.

  28. For me, a Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a network of people and resources that I connect with to enhance my professional development. This means I can connect with colleagues, mentors, and professionals to share valuable resources and information to continue my growth as a teacher. I like this network because I can help my students connect with people and teach them how to start a network of their own.

  29. Something I’m most excited about is the ready access this will provide to the most up to date research, both in my chosen field (science – biology and chemistry) and in education. This will allow me the opportunity to show students the incredible things that are going on in the world with respect to science. It can also provide students with a window in to how they might pursue a career in science. The latest research in education will give me insights into how I might bring the latest scientific research to the classroom in the most efficient and effective manner. I find it to be a travesty that some students have never seen science come to life. This is a goal I can accomplish more readily than ever with a PLN.

  30. A PLN provides you with a convenient place to connect with other professionals. It provides a variety of resources that will strengthen your professional growth. While connecting with others, you gain knowledge from others’ experiences. It also, serves as a support system where you can go to retrieve help. A PLN is a great way to contribute and learn from your professional community.

  31. A Personal learning network, to me, is a big club for likeminded individuals. We all have personal/professional goals. Sometimes we may not be equipped with the resources on how to achieve those goals. Other times, we may have resources or new findings that no one else may know about because It could be a self discovery from experience. A personal learning network offers a space for individuals to share all of these ideals and continuously learn from one another and also help others out. I like this idea because he really opens your eyes to more than the things that you may have in common with others. For example, your co workers are in the same environment, teaching with you day after day. You may all have a problem of trying to figure out how to reach your students more effectively to enhance to learning experiences. You all sat down and couldn’t come up with anything concrete. You log into the PLN and you find people who were in a similar situation but they found ways to overcome. You can take those ideas and incorporate them into your own life. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? PLN are all about sharing; sharing is caring! Take care!

  32. A Personal learning network, to me, is a big club for likeminded individuals. We all have personal/professional goals. Sometimes we may not be equipped with the resources on how to achieve those goals. Other times, we may have resources or new findings that no one else may know about because It could be a self discovery from experience. A personal learning network offers a space for individuals to share all of these ideals and continuously learn from one another and also help others out. I like this idea because he really opens your eyes to more than the things that you may have in common with others. For example, your co workers are in the same environment, teaching with you day after day. You may all have a problem of trying to figure out how to reach your students more effectively to enhance to learning experiences. You all sat down and couldn’t come up with anything concrete. You log into the PLN and you find people who were in a similar situation but they found ways to overcome. You can take those ideas and incorporate them into your own life. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? PLN are all about sharing; sharing is caring!

  33. A personal learning network is a resource that consists of other people to support learning. The learning is ongoing and the different people in your PLN make a difference and share valuable resources/information. It helps continue education and learn more without having to take numerous classes at a time.

  34. “Globally connected students need globally connected teachers. ”
    As educators, it is our ability to adapt our teaching methods to the changing tides of young minds. We need to utilize the same virtual platforms that they are using (or at minimum, be aware of them) in order to better be connected and informed.

  35. In education, both educators and students are on a lifelong learning journey. To me, a Personal Learning Network is a support system that educators voluntarily choose to help them in their professional growth so they can, in turn, help their students improve their learning.
    It is an environment not bound by space or time, where educators can pick the brains of other educators, collaborate with them, communicate their ideas and insights, and stay connected with others in the learning community. In this way, ideas stay fresh and relevant, and educators are able to present innovative and creative content, materials, and tools to their students to keep them engaged.
    In sum, a PLN is all about community, individual and collective learning, as well as individual and collective growth.

  36. I like the idea of being a connected educator because we can “stay current on research and best practices.” We can explore what interest us at our own pace, and what better can support our students, decide who we want to follow, and what we want to share. At this point, I am just at a “lurk” stage, still need to gain more confidence, and find time for interaction.

  37. To me, a PLN is an opportunity to grow and connect with a diverse grouping of people. It creates a network of members with mutual interests and goals in which information, ideas, and input is shared for the personal and professional growth of the PLN members. Advantages of PLN in current times is the ability to instantly share and connect via the internet which also provides flexibility for members to check in and stay current when it fits their schedule.

  38. I feel as though all of the benefits of having a PLN are important, but number 8 stood out to me. Globally connected students need globally connected teachers. In today’s ever changing world with technology it is important that students have teachers that are up-to-date with technology and are globally connected. By creating my own PLN, I can help my students connect with others, which allows them to start developing their own networks. Technology is needed in education so that students can feel connected to the real world, as well as be prepared for the workforce.

  39. A Personal Learning Network helps keep the learning continuous in a profession that’s easy to get stagnant or burnt out in. Being a lurker makes it easy to be passive in your pursuit for continuous education for your profession. If there is no conversation it’s easy to just sit back and let others do the work without having to ever really be challenged. I think PLN stands for personal learning network, it’s personal to your role and profession within the world of education. Staying current is one of the benefits of a PLN whether it’s new technology or new classroom management techniques that work or a good resources that clicked with students. PLN’s are important to be able to have conversation with others who are in a similar environment in their careers or even further advanced than myself in my career to help be the best teacher I can be.

  40. Though I feel all of the benefits of a Personal Learning Network are important, I appreciate how a PLN allows for broad brainstorming or fine-tuning. When one participates in this type of community they can receive support, benefit from different perspectives, and gain insights. There have been many ideas or conversations from my PLN that have sparked action or change in my classroom. When we work together, we all improve our practice which positively impacts our students. It is important to connect with other educators for support, collaborative problem solving and sharing innovative ideas.

  41. Benefit #4 of starting a PLN resonates with me because I like that I will be able to connect in a way that’s enjoyable for me. Reading hours of research and case studies can be extremely monotonous but being able to interact with information and people through social media and online resources seems much more enjoyable. Though I do not think this is the greatest benefit, it’s the one I would look forward to the most if I created my PLN.

  42. After reading through all of the benefits, I strongly believe that number eight is what impacted me the most. Number eight states, “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.” I would love to venture out and find new ideas that will connect my students and enhance their learning. All of the benefits are significant; however, I believe number eight impacted me the most.

  43. After watching the Connected Educators video, one comment really stuck out to me. Al Pichego said “You gotta ask, you gotta connect, and you gotta collaborate.” I feel as if this is important advice not only as an educator but in every aspect of life. You are never going to be able to do everything on your own, and getting advice from others may benefit you more than you think. Someone may be more experience or has tried something you’re curious about. That is why asking, connecting, and collaborating is important in order to produce good results. It is important to be a connected educator because it broadens your horizons. PLN allows you to be flexible, connect across disciplines and the world, and gain knowledge from different viewpoints. It encourages working together and challenging your own thoughts.

  44. A personal learning network (PLN) is an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment. I resonate with learning and connecting in a way that you enjoy via zoom, skype or Google platforms. As a college student, these platforms have allowed me to travel and access my academics at my fingertips. It is important to be connected with the educator of the curriculum so both parties remain on the same page as one would say.

  45. From reading more about what PLN’s are I’ve come to realize all of the advantages that come with them. Having a PLN allows you to exchange with fellow educators across the globe and to stay informed about current trends in education, and your field of specialization. You are able to access lesson plans and resources that you otherwise would have never come across.

  46. I think of all the benefits of a PLN, the one that resonated most with me was #3 (and #2, which I think offers similar advantages). The flexibility of a PLN is especially valuable now, in a pandemic, but also appeals to me as an introvert who often needs quiet time to process information and decompress after conferences. Being able to access resources and fellow educators when I’ve had time to ruminate is probably the most appealing aspect of building a PLN to me.

  47. PLN’s a.k.a Professional Learning Networks, simply put, are networks of people and resources that support ongoing learning. The benefits of PLN’s include receiving feedback, insight, ideas, and information in areas of interest or need, for professionals through professional connections by way of technology which can lead to new opportunities and growth. Together these benefits support not only interaction with others who share common goals and desires, but professional growth and new perspectives. Using PLN’s creates other avenues for professional development outside of one’s own experiences within a place. They create a so to speak, “hallway” conversation through the use of technology, making a platform for individuals to be lifelong learners. PLN’s offer opportunities for professionals to explore interests and passions or needs on current topics. They can be engaging to brainstorm ideas or simply to enjoy and unwind. PLN’s are flexible and available 24/7 to suit any lifestyle.

  48. PLN has helped me I staying current on research and best practices. I worked with iTutor, they publish articles on current research and best practices for student learning, equity, positive classroom environment… They conduct a survey along with these resources, so you can see real time how many teachers are actually using these practices or not. I think this is very cool, it is a way of getting data on what teacher are already doing, and what they need to improve on or receive more support.

  49. I have been doing a little of PLN for a few years now. Never big o twiter, or blogging, mostly following and getting notifications from organizations that I am interested on for up-dates on workshops or events; up dated information on foreign language learning especially Spanish, virtual education, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *