Why build a Personal Learning Network (PLN)?

As part of our work in this course we are encouraged to start to build a Personal Learning Network (PLN). We’ve created our own blogs, and set up Feedly and Diigo. So why do we have to do this, and why is it so important to expand our PLN? In her blog, Jane mentioned a great article called How Do I Get a PLN? written by Tom Whitby. I found this article really helpful in explaining what a PLN is and why we need it. Tom defines a PLN as “a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time”. Tom goes on to explain that a PLN is useful for teachers in a variety of ways. It is a way for them to exchange ideas, methods and strategies. Online discussions and links provide access to materials and resources that they may not know about otherwise. Bev Novak, in an article for Education Technology Solutions lists the following benefits of participation in a PLN:

  1. Learn anything
  2. Learn anytime
  3. Learn anywhere
  4. Learn with anybody
  5. Self-directed learning
  6. Formal and informal learning
  7. Problem solving
  8. Collaboration
  9. Friendship
  10. Lifelong learning

So I’m beginning to understand more why I should be building my Personal Learning Network (PLN), now I’m interested to learn more about the best ways to do this for an Early Childhood Teacher.

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