Archive for the ‘PLN’ Category
I often begin my workshop on personal learning networks (PLN) for educators by asking these questions: Who is in your learning network? Who do you learn from on a regular basis? Who do you turn to for your own professional development? Some educators are lucky enough to learn from their coworkers or colleagues at their site. Far too many others feel isolated in their room or office, and need to meet with counterparts from other sites in order to have a professional learning experience. All educators (and learners) can benefit from extending their own personal learning network online – beyond the walls of their schools, the boundaries of their districts, and the limits of their experience.
This post discusses how to build your own Personal (or Professional) Learning Network. Instead of starting by telling you which tools to use, I want to talk about why you would do this in the first place….
You can think of building your own Personal Learning Network as an attempt to create this “learning loop” for yourself using the tools at your disposal. Instead of a bunch of teachers selecting challenging information for you, the Internet gives you access to a world of bloggers, tweeters, speakers, photographers, videographers, and colleagues who will teach you anything you want for nothing more than the price of your time and attention. All they ask of you is to think about it, question it, master the skills, and respond in a thoughtful way. You can participate in this conversation by writing your own blog, tweeting, organizing sources, speaking, and teaching others in the way that works best for you. This is all part of what we educators call “Life-Wide Learning”, where you are continuously gaining knowledge and building skills that help you stay professionally competitive, personally empowered, and connected with a community of people who share your interests– even after you leave formal education.
A model of: