What I learned about PLNs

This week we were asked to do some research on PLNs. Some may not know what PLN even stands for, it stands for Personal Learning Network. Having a Personal Learning Network is about making connections and building personal relationships with teachers, school administrators, professors, and experts around the world. It is also about sharing ideas and resources, collaboration, and learning. Some people share their learning, expertise, and experiences in different ways. No matter where you are in the world, there is always someone available to answer questions, share their expertise, and simply chat about what is happening in their lives and in the classroom. The defining feature of the PLN is that it is a global network, enabling people to retrieve information from all diverse areas.

During my research I learned that some of the most popular PLNs are twitter, youtube, and there is actually a specific PLN for teachers called the Teachers PLN.

In the reading that I found on PLNs it includes a diagram: PLN

When I created my twitter account I really did follow these steps thoroughly. This week our class requires us to subscribe to blogs that are in our area of interest. We also often watch TED webinars and write blogs on our thoughts. After we write a blog it is set up to automatically tweet on our twitter. I would say I followed the steps well to creating my Personal Learning Network on twitter without even knowing about them?

A reading included in this weeks assignments called “How to Cultivate Your Personal Learning Network,” has a lot of helpful tips to get the most out of our own Personal Learning Networks. It includes 8 steps. The first step is to explore, we need to explore co learners and experts. The second step is to search, search pools of expertise to find information that interests you. The third step is to follow candidates through RSS feeds on feedly. The fourth step is to always keep tuning your network, delete people that are not bringing rich information to you. The fifth step is to feed the people you follow, bring relevant information to them that will help them, along with others. The sixth step is to engage the people you follow, make the information you post meaningful and worthy of their time to read. The seventh step is to inquire the people that you follow, ask questions that will help you and others. Last but not least, the eighth step is to respond to inquiries to you.

I found this article very helpful, and I will definitely follow all of these steps to get the most out of my twitter account for personal learning. I can already see a few that I could potentially delete as they are not bringing very relevant information to my attention. I do believe there will always be fine tuning when it comes to following over 100 people. I am going to feed my PLN with information from weekly articles and from other information that i find from fellow followers as well as from the education blogs that I am following. A challenge that I foresee in feeding my PLN is making the information relevant and helpful to all the followers. I am excited to get to trying all of these steps and making my PLN the best it can be!

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