Since day one of this class I have found myself constantly being introduced to new words, apps, and websites. This week, PLN was the new acronym with which I was not familiar. Although I didn’t know exactly what a PLN was, I had seen many posts on Twitter referencing a PLN. After doing much research on what a PLN is
, and how to create one, I realized that I have actually been doing this for many years!
Photo CC: Caitlin Tucker
PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. Simply put, a PLN is a person’s network with people who share a similar idea. The point of a PLN is to connect you with people who are interested in a similar subject as you so that you can share and receive ideas from each other. For example, my PLN is based around education. The people that I follow on Twitter and Blogs are people that share thoughts, tips, and articles that are about education. These people may range from parents, teachers, principles, or even government agencies. By following these people, I am allowed the opportunity to learn more about the field I am entering into.
At first, the idea of building my PLN was very intimidating to me. I was uncertain of who to follow and where to find these people. After doing some more research, and reading some classmates posts, I realized that I already had started my own PLN! Personal Learning Networks are not restricted to the internet. One of the sites I read actually pointed out the fact that conferences, PLC’s, etc. are all working towards building your PLN. Your colleagues and people that you meet in these conferences/meetings are also people who you receive and share ideas with.
Photo CC- Michaela Young
Like I said before, I really struggled with how to continue to build upon my already started PLN. I ended up Googling things such as “Educational Twitter Accounts to Follow” or “Best Accounts for Teachers to Follow.” Surprisingly, this proved to be very useful to me. Once I had an idea of some accounts, I made sure to go through the person’s account before automatically following them. One of the articles that I read stressed the importance of following accounts that are actually sharing information that you are interested in. If you aren’t going to get valuable information from this source, then there is no point in adding them to your PLN. After I would add accounts, Twitter also suggested other account similar to what I was searching. I found this very useful.
Overall, I feel that building upon my PLN will prove to be really helpful in finding new information related to what I’m interested in. I found that many of the accounts that I followed, followed me back in return. I have already had these new followers retweet some of my information. This was really exciting to me because I feel that I am not only learning from them, but contributing knowledge in return!