For the past 4 years, I have researched the what, who, when, how, and why of Personal/ Professional/ Passionate Learning Networks (PLNs). We have seen the benefits of the people we choose to connect, collaborate, and problem solve with through social media. The educators, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and mentors we choose to derive knowledge from help us self-reflect on our methodologies and beliefs. They support us, remember our birthdays, celebrate our accomplishments, and stir within us a passion to improve the status quo.
Within one year of connecting with a PLN, I jump started many projects at my own institute and in the past 4 years I’ve organized many free incredible professional development events with the help of my PLN. A few examples include #Edchat, the Reform Symposium Global E-Conference, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, the Crafting the ePerfect eTextbook open online 5 week course, the Digital Storytelling EVO, #ELTChat, Virtual Round Table e-conference, the IATEFL Harlem Shake, and the ELT Techniques MOOC Lip Dub.
A community raises a child! Yes, I do believe this, which is why I am passionate about PLNs. My PLN helps me be a better educator and prepare my students and trainees. They feed me experience, knowledge, and support 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Therefore, I hope you take time to bookmark these various resources, share them with other educators through workshops and presentations, and spread the message of PLNs.
Research about PLNs
Below are several resources I have collected about the history of PLNs, how to build a PLN, and the tools needed to build a PLN. Please scroll down and take a look at these resources and see if they can be an addition to a future presentation.
We Connect Wiki- This wiki is full of videos, presentations, Wikipedia articles, and more that help educators find the resources to build a PLN. You will find all the materials listed in this post there as well as at least 50 other links to video tutorials, step-by-step guides, lists of people to follow, and more to help any educator new or old to this concept build a PLN.
Wikipedia article about PLNs- This article explains the history and theory behind PLNs. Do you know where the term developed, the theory behind PLNs, who are the forerunners of the PLN movement?
Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age by George Siemens- Siemens is noted as one of the forerunners behind the PLN movement. In this article, Siemens discusses the theory behind PLNs. This is one of the most important articles behind the PLN movement.
Origins of the Term ‘Personal Learning Network’ by Stephen Downes- Downes is another forerunner of the PLN movement and connectivism. In this post, he delineates the origins of the term.
The Art & Technique of Personal Learning Networks by David Warlick- Warlick defines PLN in easily understood terms, explains how the process works, and provides several articles for more information.
PLN posts on Teacher Reboot Camp- Read several of my posts about PLNs and the type of learning they provide. You will also find posts like, PLNs, Where Do We Begin?, to help you relate the concept to educators who have never experienced this before.
Connected Learning- My interview with Harold Rheingold