I’m a new teacher, returning to relief / substitute teaching after 3 months in (several) classrooms.
My PLN has changed the way I learn, and the way I teach, for the better. Yet, I am still to meet a new teacher in my part of the world who’s ever heard of, or has a PLN.
Perhaps this post will help to change that.
Why you should begin your own PLN —Ashley Azzopardi (@ashleyazzopardi)
Defining the Personal Learning Network
As a quick Google search will show, there is a wealth of information already written and shared about Personal Learning Networks available online. So, in writing this post, I’ve drawn upon the collective expertise and thoughts of my own PLN. (A big thankyou goes to @mwedwards and @ashleyazzopardi in particular for your help with this post).
So, what does it mean to have a PLN?
Imagine being able to walk into a room filled with the very best education professionals, selected by YOU, and having a conversation with them!
It can be as long or as short as you want, and as in-depth as you have time for. Perhaps you might discuss ways to teach various concepts, learn about resources that others are using, or maybe even have conversations that challenge the way you think about education and teaching.
This is exactly what a Personal Learning Network (PLN) can bring to you!”
Ann Carnevale in Break Down Walls, Build Up A Community [italics added]
To me, this is the essence of my Personal Learning Network -
Connecting, Mentoring, Sharing and Learning
Building a PLN
People go about building or growing their PLN in different ways. I personally started by talking to my real-world colleagues; moved to blogging about my experiences; took the plunge with Twitter; met @clivesir and well, the rest is history!
Your PLN is shaped by YOUR interests, learning needs, technical skills, and ultimately, your contribution. Building a PLN doesn’t happen overnight, but in time, it can fundamentally change your teaching practice (see this excellent post from @InnovativeEdu). Truly, “from little things, big things grow”.
I’ve included a couple of useful videos which may make the PLN building process a little clearer; however, if you have some advice / experiences to share, please leave a comment! Your contributions are most welcome!
Ann Carnevale – Personal Learning Networks (shared by @mwedwards)
Coming Up: “The People of my PLN”
Seeking your Contributions!
Dear PLN: The concept of a Personal Learning Network / PLN is not well known in my part of Western Australia, and I’d like to create a PLN VoiceThread to share with prospective employers later this year.
I’m interested in learning more about the “real people” who make up my PLN, and exploring how PLNs influence us as people, and as educators. I’d also love to know if / how my inclusion in your PLN (via blogging and Twitter) has helped or inspired your own teaching and learning.
With your support, I hope to be able to better explain and share the benefits of having a PLN with my colleagues and prospective employers. Thankyou.
- The Educator’s PLN: The Teacher Mentoring Project
- @langwitches – Building Your Personal Learning Network
- @suewaters – PLN Yourself Wiki
- @mscofino – The 21st Century Educator(Slideshare)
- A Teacher’s Thoughts Blog: Build a PLN: A Newbie’s Guide
- Bit’s & Bytes Blog: Break Down the Walls, Build Up a Community
- Te@ch Me Blog: Building your own PLN with Twitter
- @InnovativeEdu: 5 Ways to Build Your 1.0 and 2.0 Personal Learning Network
- @shellterrell: We Connect Wiki