The Educator's PLN

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I'm writing an article for a trade journal and was wondering if anyone has any good references to some articles about creating a PLN? or about communities of practice or anything along the history of PLNs in general.  I've done a few preliminary searches on the web and have not been able to find a whole lot.  Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. 
Anyway, any help would be much appreciated.  Also, if you could leave your thoughts on what you think a PLN is, please do so in the comments.  You'll be helping to spread the word to a few folks here in Japan. 

Thanks in advance for your help. 

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I have a 5 part Blog Post on the creation of my PLN. part of which you are posting on with this discussion question.
The PLN Blueprint.
http://www.educatorsroyaltreatment.com/2010/04/06/pln-blueprint-in-...
Thanks for the rapid responses. I guess you have shown me what a great PLN can do! Thanks for the help!

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