PLN stands for Personal Learning Network, can be also Professional, or Passionate. Not one group or set of people but it is something that is constantly changing, from where you get new ideas. This is not really new, but facilitated by the fact that nowadays we can connect anytime from anyplace.

The power of PLN is the possibility to reflect the knowledge and to mix them and create new ideas. PNL can (or should) be conducted by technologies AND face to face, Kay says. In PLN the P can stand for personal but also for Professional and Passionate, which means that PLN can be used for many purposes… They are different ways/approaches of Learning: but when you decide to open your learning network it means that you accept that your own learning capacity is limited and you may learn a lot from the community. You also, as an autonomous learner, open yourself to the community and become an active learner where you share, open and mix ideas.

Kay defines two “Network” 1) the learning Community that you know, with common goals and often common ideas, where you feel comfortable because you know the people (you trust them) and, 2) the learning Network which is undefined and has weak ties. The members of this latest communities are more flexible (you can come in and out without being missed by anybody), but it is also a good way to increase your innovation skills and to open yourself to new perspectives. Drawback: find the signal in the noise can sometimes be difficult, it is easy to lose track while in the community it is easier. The goals of PLN then should be “the creation of an Open Learning Network to share with people ideas” by using multimedia tools and share ideas in many different ways!!!!

Siemens (2005) theory of “learning connectivism” : it underlines the impact of technology on society and ways of learning. I agree with him when he says: “learning in digital age relies on the connected learning that occurs through interaction with various sources of knowledge and participation in communities of common goals through dialogues and interaction”. He also highlights that learners are not passive receptacles any longer but rather active actors in the process of knowledge acquisition (through discussion, search of information, exchange opinions with their peers).

Siemens (2002) views of learner/learners interactions in an e-learning course. The 4 C for Communication/Collaboration/Cooperation/Community

Successful communication, collaboration, cooperation and community should definitely lead to improve knowledge and is facilitated by new technologies. One major problem is TIME. Collaborative work takes more time at the beginning, even tough in the future in might be more efficient, it requires more time at start. Moreover, frustration that can arise in collaborative learning can discourage people from collaborative Network.

Personal Learning Network