The power of my personal learning networks

MindMup of my PLN

MindMup of my PLN

A personal learning network is the people and platforms a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from.  Examples are colleagues, friends, family, administrators, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Ted Talks, Google+ Communities, Wikispaces, Blackboard Classrooms, Google Classrooms, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and so forth.  PLN’s are replacing professional development, workshops and conferences.  Instead of learning once or twice of year we are learning at every click.  When you are part of a PLN you belong to a worldwide network of learners who can offer perspective and information instantaneously.  PLNs are not passive.  As Dr. Mark Wagner stated in his 2012 article Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips; PLNs require learners to connect, contribute, converse and request.  These strategies; oft employed by teachers to ensure engagement in the classroom, also ensure educators engagement in their own learning.

As early as 2007, Will Richardson acknowledged that our students are already involved in their own PLNs.  We must be participants in these networks in order to guide our students as they navigate these new forms of learning.  As stated by Howard Rheingold in his YouTube interview with Robert Scroble;  curating PLNs is a new form of literacy that we must learn and a skill we must learn how to teach.

Knowledge is being created in enormous volumes at an enormous rate.  The days of a “culminating” degree are over.  We can never stop learning.  Just today I used my PLN to find a great app for Chrome Book Mind Mapping, MindMup.

During my research on PLN’s I also found a YouTube video specifically on Personal Learning Networks for educators by Skip Via posted in 2010 and it inspired me to make my own.


Making the MindMup and WeVideo required me to connect, contribute, converse and request; thereby demonstrating the power of my PLN.


2 thoughts on “The power of my personal learning networks

  1. I really love your video with its visual accompaniments and text additions!

    I think that you emphasized to really important point about PLNs, which is the need to take responsibility for information we are contributing in those networks. I think that this is something that we have to help our students understand. I’m not sure that many of my students see themselves as curators of information; therefore, they don’t believe that what they contribute will make a difference in anyone’s learning. Further, I am not sure that they see their network as serving much purpose beyond connecting socially. Therefore, a part of our responsibility becomes teaching them how to add to their networks so that it is equally social and educational and of course, how to become contributors.

    It would be interesting to see who they follow on Twitter and discuss what they are learning and what they have contributed.

    You gave me a lot to think about…


  2. Many great points you bring out here. I especially like how you included students and other kids who are part of your learning network. We can learn a lot about technology from them because they are not afraid to explore and take risks. At my school, we often talked about having students present a technology tool at one of our PLC’s.

    Liked by 1 person

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