50 Great Ways to Grow Your Personal Learning Network. Personal learning networks have always existed, but modern technology has put a new spin on how and where we connect with others. These days, personal learning networks, or PLNs, extend far beyond friends, family, coworkers, college classmates, and teachers, and can encompass experts and learners from around the world in just about any given field. Through social networks, email, video, and online chats, learners can connect with and learn from a wider range of people than ever before, yet building a successful PLN that doesn't overwhelm you can be challenging. With so much information out there, it can be hard to know whom to follow, what to read, and how to fit it all into your daily schedule. Here, we offer some tips that can help you not only build and grow a better PLN, but also get more out of the experience and give more back to your online community.
The Basics These basics will help you get started with creating and building your PLN. Seek out experts on the web. Useful Tools. How Do I Get a PLN? What is a PLN? Will Richardson was the first person to clearly explain to me about six or seven years ago what a PLN was. Back then, PLN stood for Professional, or Personal Learning Network. A better label today, one that might quiet the nitpickers, is Personalized Learning Network -- the shift in nuance maintains that participants are both personal and professional learners.
A PLN is a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time. Participating educators, worldwide, make requests and share resources. Each individual educator becomes a potential source of information. PLNs Develop Thought Leaders Many early adopters of the PLN have gone on to become thought leaders in education, not surprising given that PLNs seem to promote a great deal of reflection and collaboration. Barriers to Mass Adoption We must remember that lifelong learning requires effort. PLNs Are Collaboration What Can PLNs Do for You? How to cultivate a personal learning network. Elearnspace. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.
Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age December 12, 2004 George Siemens Update (April 5, 2005): I've added a website to explore this concept at www.connectivism.ca Introduction Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism are the three broad learning theories most often utilized in the creation of instructional environments. Learners as little as forty years ago would complete the required schooling and enter a career that would often last a lifetime. “One of the most persuasive factors is the shrinking half-life of knowledge. Some significant trends in learning: Many learners will move into a variety of different, possibly unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime. Background Driscoll (2000) defines learning as “a persisting change in human performance or performance potential…[which] must come about as a result of the learner’s experience and interaction with the world” (p.11).
Driscoll (2000, p14-17) explores some of the complexities of defining learning. Conclusion: 10 ways to help students develop a PLN… There has been some discussion lately about the precise meaning of the term PLN. I’m not sure why it matters actually. Like any other word in the dictionary (!) , it has more than one definition and might mean different things to different people… My PLN is my ‘personal learning network’. It comprises the people I learn with and from, some face-to-face and others online, around the globe. As teachers begin to let go of ‘the old way’, to relinquish control and allow kids to take responsibility for their own learning, students too need to develop a PLN. 10 ways to support students in developing a PLN… Start simply… 1. Provide opportunities for students to engage with their in-class PLN. 2. Don’t do all the talking. 3.
Model what good learning looks like and sounds like. 4. Let them work with students from other classes. 5. Create global connections. 6. Invite speakers from your local community. 7. Invite parents to share in the learning, in person, or by commenting on class blogs and wikis.