Today I had the opportunity to think about the processes I went through in my teacher development process. What striked me while doing this is the impact of social media and power of connections. When I first started following people and being involved in online activities, I didn’t think that it would make such an impact on my career. However, when I interacted with people like me, l discovered more about ways of using web 2.0 tools and networking which made me more willing to learn. In fact, l unlearned and relearned many aspects of learning and teaching in the twenty first century and this made me feel the need to keep myself up to date. Then, I realized the power of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) and wanted to write a post on that.
What is a PLN?
PLN stands for Personal Learning Networks and it stems from the theory of connectivism developed by Stephen Downes suggesting that people can learn by creating connections with people having the same interests. PLN is an informal learning network consisting of people you communicate with and learn together in a personal leaning environment (PLE). It is believed that if you make connections with other people having a learning aim in mind, an informal type of learning will happen as a consequence of that connection. In fact,the people you connect with do not necessarily have to be the ones you know personally. You may even learn from them without ever meeting them in person.
How can you form a PLN?
There is not a single way of having a PLN. You may also do other actions to form your PLN. The steps below are just suggestions.
All in all, it can be regarded as a must for all the twenty first century educators. If you do not have a PLN, you will notice its impact in a very short time when you form it. What do you think about the impact of your PLN on your classroom teaching and professional development?