Do you have a personal learning network (PLN)? Even if you don’t think you do, you probably have one. PLNs are simply informal networks of folks that you learn from and possibly share some of your own knowledge or experiences. Perhaps right now it’s just a work group or maybe its associated with you hobbies. For today’s learners – which is all of us – PLNs are growing in importance due to the connected nature of our modern culture, the rapid pace of global change, and the technology that makes it possible to glean and share information anywhere, any time.
Two simple ways to start your PLN:
Twitter – When I want to catch up on the latest in personalized learning or find out what the top innovative educators across the globe are doing, the first place I head is Twitter where I am known as @GWilborn (Scott is @TheScottFuller). I “Follow” many other educators, authors, thought leaders, publications, and organizations such as the Dept. of Education, Donnell Kay Foundation and the Colorado Legacy Foundation just to name a few. I also retweet and post interesting news or examples of personalized learning so if all you do to get started is “Follow” @GWilborn and some of the other tweeters we’ve linked here, then you will harvest a great deal of news, information and pondering.
Facebook – Yes, Facebook! Research shows that over 80% of educators are on Facebook. In addition to the millions of online games, memes, and other annoying wall posts, there are actually some great pages on Facebook that can help you build your PLN. Our favorite, of course, is The Personalized Learning Dudes. Other great pages to “Like” include Edutopia, Mind/Shift, TED, and Mission Monday. So, take a break from Words With Friends and start exploring PLN options on Facebook!
Share with us your experiences with PLNs.