Building your Personal Learning Network

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a group of people you count on to:

  • guide you in your learning
  • be your source of advice and resources
  • make you aware of learning opportunities
  • share their best practices
  • point you to answers and support

This concept of a PLN  has been around for many years. What has changed in recent years though is the reach, the size and the availability of that network.

The look of a PLN has changed.

From

  • your colleagues in the building you work in
  • a cherished personal mentor
  • professional development opportunities offered sporadically throughout the year
  • conferences
  • college credit classes taken for re-certification

to:

  • Blogs
  • RSS Readers
  • Twitter
  • Nings
  • Skype
  • Podcasts
  • Wikis

Your PLN is no longer tied to your zip code and you no longer work in isolation. It is literally available 24/7, since the “other side of the world” is asleep at different times than you. You are able to connect to educators from around the world who are ready and willing to teach beyond the walls of their own classroom.

Your PLN is customized as:

  • it filters the vast information available and pushes what interests you
  • you choose who is part of your network
  • you decide when and how to access and use it

Learning how to build your own PLN is:

  • a 21st century skill
  • learning about tools that enable your to make these connections
  • being in charge of your own professional development
  • connecting to educators who will contribute to your learning
  • extending your learning
  • receiving “just in time” learning and help
  • becoming globally aware
  • sharing your own best practices and receiving feedback from peers
  • experiencing the power of 21st century learning for yourself
  • filtering through “too much” information available
Take a look at the following slideshow, I created for a presentation I gave recently in Canada.