The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

I started a new position in my school district three years ago.  I left the classroom for a position as the Technology Integration Specialist for grades 3 to 8.  I was so excited about the new challenge and all that it could encompass.  Three years ago, I had no idea what a Professional Learning Network was or how valuable it would be in my current position.  
I have learned that a PLN is unique to each individual, that my PLN may be similar to others but I designed it to fit my needs.  My PLN has been a tremendous resource for me, which in turn has made me a better resource for the teachers with whom I work.  The people in my PLN have shared resources, given advice, and shared learning opportunities that I would not have known about otherwise.


Through blogs, Twitter, and PLN networks such as  The Educator's PLN, I now have colleagues outside the walls of my small school district.  It still amazes me when someone from another state or even another country, offers me advice and resources. I do not know everything there is to know about these resources and how to use them to for maximum results but I am learning!  And I am enjoying it.


I advise every educator to begin cultivating a Personal Learning Network.  It not only benefits your professional development but the development of the students you teach everyday.

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Comment by Erika Podlovics on April 22, 2011 at 7:06pm
I am completely new to the idea of a PLN as well, and so far I have been really impressed at the amount of support, resources and discussion that people participate in actively.

It has motivated me to share and explore this PLN and look for other opportunities to expand and search for resources elsewhere.

Thanks for sharing :)
Comment by Rex Riley on April 20, 2011 at 10:51am

I am new to the idea of a PLN and have been working on building one.  I also was charged at writing articles in our schools Tech Tips newsletter about PLNs and how to encourage the faculty and staff at my school to start developing a PLN of their own.

 

Do anyone have a recommendations on good first steps to have take in building their PLN?  Most of my readers are reluctant users who feel the constraints of time.  So I am hoping to find several concrete things they might try out, but also ones that would give them strong possible feedback and satisfaction.

Comment by Dr. Jacqui Cyrus on April 20, 2011 at 5:28am

One of my assignments for my graduate students is to find a PLN in their content area, follow it for about 2 weeks, join in one discussion, start a discussion, and then create a PLN of their own. Some love the idea, and like you, are amazed at the camaraderie that develops. Others are more resistant and abandon their creation shortly after the course ends.

 

I have several PLNs that are related to my areas of instructional technology, CALL, and assistive technology. I am a much better teacher and researcher because of them.

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