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Professional Learning Networks

Page history last edited by Mr. Hanson 13 years, 11 months ago

Personal Learning Networks, or PLNs


Also called Professional Learning Networks when utilized by those in a profession networking with others in the same profession, PLN's can be a powerful resource. 


Utilizing the social network concept, PLN's allow people to connect with, learn from, and contribute to the learning of others with similar interests or goals.  These networks can use a variety of online tools to facilitate discussion and thought, as well as sharing discoveries and learning with the group. 


Many students are grasping the concept of PLN's, using them to network with peers and professionals in their chosen profession.  No longer do students need to go to their local veterinarian to interview the doctor on duty-they can have them in their PLN and ask them anything, any time, from virtually anywhere. 


Many of the online tools themselves have embraced this idea, and there are many sites which aid users in the joining/creation of a PLN.  For example, plurk users in the education field have started a wiki, a website that anyone can edit, allowing users to easily find other educators around the world in similar fields and add them to their PLN on the site plurk.com. 


A typical example of how this may work:  a teacher belonging to a PLN on plurk may need resources for an upcoming unit.  He or she "plurks" (similar to tweeting on twitter) the need to their PLN.  Several members from around the world who have resources, or knowledge of where they can be found, answer her request.  Within several minutes, the teacher has several good sources of information for the unit.  They didn't need to go and look for them, just send a virtual shout from a mountain to which other can reply. 


Sound interesting?  There are lots of options for you to join a PLN.  Those of you in the education field, I highly recommend Plurk for the network of educators already established.  Just click the link on the righ in the sidebar or go to plurk.com.  You can follow my plurks or friend me, and I'll help you get acquainted with the site and the ins and outs of using it as a PLN. 


Other options include twitter, wikis (pbworks and wikispaces are the most popular), facebook, and tokbox to name a few.  If you have any other questions, just ask

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