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.