“A personal learning network (PLN) is a group of colleagues, mentors, and professionals that you connect with to enhance your learning and take charge of your own professional development” Elizabeth Trach, Schoology Exchange

The quote above resonated with me as it speaks to the autonomy you have in creating your learning networks. They are personal and driven by your developmental needs. This topic has allowed me to reflect on my own network, and this is what I have found:

  • It is varied – as I have shifted focus my network as grown to align to new needs
  • It is global – I can connect with individuals in my area from anywhere is the world
  • It is optional – I can engage as much or as little as I would like
  • The method varies – I connect through Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, Newsletters, YouTube, the list is endless

Working through the different networks I belong to, I have begun to feel that I can become more active in my engagement. I could offer my opinion more without fear of being “wrong” as these are learning spaces. I feel that we put a lot of pressure on all our online communication that we forget to let our gaurd down and open ourselves to learning enough. This is a challenge to myself – comment, offer my perspective and be open to robust debate; this is how I can develop and learn the most.

In a world that is connected at all times, there is no excuse for falling behind in your field Technology offers us the ideal platform for connecting with experts, colleagues, and interseted parties to move forward and learn. All that’s required is that we engage meaningfully, are respectful of others’ experiences, and open ourselves up to learning.

PLN’s allow us to be flexible in our learning, form relationships with other professionals, and assess information and people globally. This access allows us to solve our own challenges in real-time.

Here’s to continuous learning, sharing my learning, and tapping into my networks.
Topic 3: Learning in communities – networked collaborative learning