What is a PLN? (and why would I want to know?)

If you’ve never heard of a PLN, the funny thing is that you probably have one, and are part of one, already. PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. Originally this may have consisted of a few friends you met at teaching college with whom you shared ideas and resources, then you added in a few members of staff in the schools where you taught, teachers you met at courses, and so it grew. As we aim to be the chief learner in our classrooms, having a PLN is an important part of that learning process. We can connect with people who are willing to offer the benefit of their knowledge and experience, answer questions, direct us to opportunities and support us. We too, have a role to play in providing what support we can to the people we connect with.

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The internet and online collaborative tools have allowed us to broaden these networks so that we can find and interact with people who share the same interests and questions, no matter where in the world they are. We no longer have to wait until we meet up with people to share resources or ask questions. Connecting online we can instantly communicate with like-minded people and share websites, ideas, and gather information from educators all across the planet.

As you’ve made it to our blog, then we’re probably part of your PLN! (We’re delighted to see you here!) Why not take part in a conversation by leaving a comment below. You may also follow us on Twitter – @DigitalCEC. Twitter is a wonderful way of expanding your PLN. If you haven’t yet dabbled with online collaboration using social media, or you haven’t used it past sharing photos with friends, then click on the links below to find out how to go about building your PLN. It may be the most important, most influential, most transformational learning decision you ever make!

35 Ways To build Your Personal Learning Network Online This blog post by Katie Lepi at Edudemic is brilliant. It has tips and ideas, guides and tools and resources for you to get started right away.

Click here to see some PLN social media tools collated using Pinterest

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