In our very first class of Internet for Educators we were fortunate to have John Evans (Professional Learning Consultant, MB Education) present with us. The focus of his presentation to the class was on PLN’s. Now as I was sitting there in class and wondering what the heck a PLN was, John very clearly demonstrated to us not only what a PLN was, but what steps we can take into creating our own PLN.
So, what is a PLN?? Well it is a Personal Learning Network, which is created by the learner and uses tools available on the internet to expand their personal learning. It is a network that the learner creates using tools such as social networking sites and social bookmarking sites to build a community that will allow the learner to communicate with and learn from a variety of people around the globe. Seems interesting…at least that’s what I thought! I like this idea of building an online community to assist you in sharing information, expanding your horizons, and learning from various people in various locations. And with technology today your PLN is constantly expanding and easily accessible.
This seems like a natural step in the learning progression for teachers. Using the resources available to them through blogs, wikis, social networking, rss, podcasts, etc a teachers learning can continue anywhere at anytime. And this personal network of learning provides the teacher with a community to help them find answers and provide them with creative new ideas!
During the presentation and since, I have taken the first (baby!) steps in creating and developing my own PLN. It is something I want to further explore and develop as I can see it being very useful and beneficial to both my own learning and my teaching.