Personal Learning Networks
What are Personal Learning Networks (PLN)?
A PLN is basically your own virtual basket of connections. It is an easy way to access tools, information, and assistance from other people across the World Wide Web. Your PLN can be as simple as one Twitter page, or as complex as multiple social media sites. This is a great way to connect with various people of various backgrounds and degree levels.
How can they help you as a teacher?
One of the main duties as a teacher is to collaborate and research with fellow teachers. Just as each student is different, each teacher is different and provides a different method of teaching. Using the resource of a PLN can help you to locate new teaching methods, resources, and studies. PLN can lead you to new information, new studies, and new collaborators. PLN also give way for you as a teacher to receive assistance from peers.
How are they formed?
There are many ways to form a PLN. The easiest way is to create a social media page or site such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. I personally began with LinkedIn years ago. The plus side to using LinkedIn, as well as Twitter, is that they will provide suggestions for "people to follow" based on your personal information and posts. This is a quick and easy way to expand multiple connections in a short amount of time.
How can you create your own PLN?
I have already begun my PLN through the creation of Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I will, however, research other social media to create. I also plan on creating a Symbaloo account to keep track of my various accounts and tools.
Who will be the first additions to you PLN?
Luckily, I began early with my PLN. My first few additions included Edutopia, various teachers from my local school district, and the University of South Alabama College of Education. My PLN has expanded, especially recently, as I have now added each of my professors, and their followers as well.