So, What’s a PLN?

2673688736_db55d8116b_z                                    PhotoCC- By Sue Waters

The title says it all, what in the world is a PLN? I had no idea until I started researching the topic and decided that it will most likely come in very handy in the near future. A PLN is a Personal Learning Network that you develop for yourself, over social media, in whatever content area you are interested in. The PLN will then provide resources that are designed to make you a better whatever you are, let’s say a teacher, for example. Some articles that I found helpful and that swayed my opinion were, What is a PLN? Why do I need one? and How to cultivate a personal learning network: Tips from Howard Rheingold

I am an Elementary Education major with an Area of Concentration in Special Ed., so naturally, my PLN consists of resources that cover Education in general, Elementary Ed., and Special Ed. I have also followed sites that talk about educational laws and legislation and what is going on at the Department of Education. I have also followed sites that pertain to educational news in general as well as sites that involve technology, since we are now a technology based nation. After all, I do want to stay up to date on what is going on in my future career. Certain decisions are going to impact my daily life and the lives of my students. I did not want to specifically limit myself to just Elementary Education, because I felt I  would not be allowing myself the full benefits of a PLN. I should also mention that right now my PLN is only twitter based, it is not involved on any other social media. While putting my PLN together and searching through endless sites, I did find some great information. A tweet that really grabbed my interest was:

I thought the article, When Kids Have Structure for Thinking, Better Learning Emerges, was intriguing because I was interested to see what structure of this sort looked like. This post led me to a great blog post that talks about getting students in the habit of observing, thinking, and analyzing all the time. They are ready to truly think in every situation and the teachers prepare their students by using “thinking routines”. The routines are based off of “naming, inquiry, looking at different perspectives, reasoning, making connections, uncovering complexity, making firm conclusions, and building explanations, interpretations and theories.” I highly recommend checking this article out!

Because of the PLN project, I found some very helpful and intriguing articles, posts, and videos, that I probably never would have came across if I had not started a PLN. From sitting in endless hours of classes of course I know it is crucial to get students to use their critical thinking skills, but I thought the article gave that concept a new twist. It gave me more ideas of how to get students to think critically and how to get in the habit of thinking that way in every situation.

I hate to say it, but after having doubts about the PLN (not thinking it would really benefit me), my opinion has completely changed and I am glad I had to develop one, even if it took a while and I was a bit frustrated with the assignment at times.













8 Comments Add yours

  1. jbasenback says:

    Haha I love that you were open about being frustrated with this PLN stuff at first also! I too found a lot of useful articles to keep in mind for the future. great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly didn’t really like the thought of it at first, but the results are pretty great! Thank you!


  2. Jessica says:

    I also had doubts when I first started researching PLNs, mostly because I’m not a fan of throwing myself out there and meeting new people (even online). However, I must say it has been a pleasant experience so far. As a future high school English teacher, the majority of my PLN consists of fellow high school English teachers. Something interesting I found as I was going through is I was finding many peer teachers from the UK. It’s neat to see how different yet the same education is over there. Many of the people I followed also followed me back. It has officially begun! Hope the rest of your experience is positive as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am the same way, I try to stay fairly guarded when I’m working on the internet! I have seen a lot of English resources; that’s really interesting that the UK and US have a fairly similar education! I had the same thoughts when we people followed me back…I was like “Oh, this really is a thing!” Thanks, I hope your have a positive throughout your PLN as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. corymartens says:

    Trying new things, especially things that are outside or your comfort zone, can sometimes really benefit you. In this case, by developing your PLN, you will be benefiting your future students as well, because you will have a good network of peers and experts that have helped you in preparing for a quality career in education.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are correct! It is amazing what types of resources we literally have at our fingertips through our PLNs. It’s almost overwhelming to think of all the information that we have, it seems to takes a lot of planning just to decided where to begin!


  4. sydnistevens says:

    I definitely had doubts and struggles about PLNs as well when I started this assignment. But you covered everything very well. I also enjoyed that you added the articles you read about so we can all read them too! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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