23 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

Part of the Cool Sites series

For the past year, 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. Many might argue we are an echo chamber, but I don’t really believe this. I know that within one year of connecting with a PLN I have jump started so many projects at my own institute. A few examples include- my five-year-old students have connected with others from other countries, we use technology with the English language learners regularly at my institute, and we Skype. We also have added many new courses and wikis along with these classes. We give workshops about technology to parents and educators. The students love the technology, are improving their English skills at faster rates, and are motivated by using technology. I am excited, because I know that I am preparing them adequately for their world of globalization and information and communication technologies (ICTs). By preparing them I know I am actively making a difference in the future. As an educator my goal is to send forth my students skilled and armed with knowledge to better, not burden the world.

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 daily. 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, Wallwishers, 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.


Why Do We Connect? from Shelly Terrell on Vimeo.

How To Build Your PLN Using Twitter

Personal Learning Networks for Educators by Skip Via

The Network is the Learning by George Siemens

Personal Learning Networks – the what, why and how from darren elliott on Vimeo.

Sketchy Explanation: Starting a PLN


Presentation: Constructing a PLN by Richard M. Byrne

Twitter for your PLN Public by Al Rowell

Interactive Multimedia

VoiceThread- Why a PLN? by Steven Anderson

VoiceThread- What Does the Network Mean to You? by Alec Couros

Wallwisher- What My PLN Means to Me by John Evans

Wallwisher- Getting Started with a PLN by Don Lourcey


Use one of these resources to prepare your next PLN presentation.

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What are other PLN resources I should add to this post?

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  1. 2
    Marisa Pavan

    Thanks, Shelly, for gathering all these links! It’s a valuable source of information.
    I’m proud of having you in my PLN.

  2. 3
    Claire Adams

    Wow! Thanks Shelley.
    Only yesterday I was hunting for exactly these kind of resources.

  3. 5
    Janet Bianchini

    Thank you so much dear Shelly for this fantastic post with so many useful links re PLN. I am adding this to my bookmarks list immediately!

  4. 6

    Shelly, thank you for posting my video, thank you for all these great resources.

  5. 12
    Marti Sides

    Thanks for the resources Shelly. I’m giving a presentation on PLN’s next week so these will come in handy! ūüôā

  6. 24
    Goal: Cause a Ripple | Teacher Reboot Camp

    […] in education through social media networks. I believe that educators are being inspired by their Personal Learning Networks (PLN) to cause ripples in their schools and local communities. Steve Moore’s post, Is Twitter Just […]

  7. 30
    Passion: PASS It ON | Teacher Reboot Camp

    […] I just have to listen to a song, watch a TED Talk, read a Seth Godin book, or talk with my Passionate Learning Network (PLN), and my thoughts are set back into motion.¬† Here’s one of my favorite passionate speakers […]

  8. 34
    Leave it Behind « Sturm und Drang

    […] Collaborate and Refuel.¬† Find your PLN! If not at your school or even your District, try online. There are so many out there and I am thankful for all those that all me to lurk, participate, or both.¬† See this link for information on Personal Learning Networks. […]

  9. 39
    What Will You Learn this Summer? 23 Professional Development Resources | Teacher Reboot Camp

    […] Summer has officially started for many of you! I know that you will probably be relaxing for the first few days, but eventually you may feel the need to be inspired and motivated for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year! Social media provides us with incredible opportunities to choose the way we want to develop professionally. You can choose the topic, the medium, and who you want to learn from. You can choose the way you like to learn, because social media provides us with several multimedia experiences, such as webinars, LMS, live video, and more. The experience is usually dynamic and motivating because you are learning with others around the world! Additionally, you will be developing your Personal/ Passionate Learning Network (PLN). […]

  10. 43
    links for 2011-09-25 : DrAlb

    […] 23 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) Pitched for teachers but the title says it all. This is a useful place to start with building a PLN. (tags: usqict dlrn edp4130 ee4l) […]

  11. 50
    You Should Read…(January 15, 2012)

    […] will definitely become more ‘connected’ by the end of the experience. ¬†(Here are some great resources regarding Personal Learning Networks) ¬†This is something definitely worth looking into for someone new to social […]

  12. 52
    PKM PLM PLN PLE | Pearltrees

    […] 23 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) : Teacher Reboot Camp I know that within one year of connecting with a PLN I have jump started so many projects at my own institute. A few examples include- my five-year-old students have connected with others from other countries, we use technology with the English language learners regularly at my institute, and we Skype. […]

  13. 55
    Timothy Scholze

    Shelly. These are AWESOME resources. I don’t think I have used the word awesome more in my entire life than I have since I have been developing my own PLN in the past month. I just have to make sure that I set aside time to watch all of the wonderful presentations. Thanks for all you do! Shelly Terrell Rocks!

  14. 56
    Shelly Terrell

    Thanks so much for you comments! Really made my day and it is always fantastic when someone can use the resources to meet other thought-provoking educators.

  15. 58

    […] Sherry has provided us with several tutorials ¬†( both in the form of slideshows and videos ) on how teachers and students can create, curate and run their personal learning¬†networks. I have gone throughRead More: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/11/personal-learning-networks-simplified.html This entry was posted in Technology lInk of the day and tagged 30 Web tools for educators, web tools for teachers by Teachers Tech. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  16. 63

    Thanks for making sense of all this, at least I know where to start now!

  17. 64

    I still thank the day I decided to create a Twitter account, made a personal learning network, and connected with you and other great people online! I am always learning something, sharing what I’m learning, and creating great relationships with people I know I can turn to for help in an instant.

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