Personal Learning Networks


Personal Learning Networks

This is my page for blogging about my learning in Northwestern University’s Open Seminar on Personal Learning Networks.

Week #2 of this seminar has asked us to assist in the definition of a PLN and rather than attempting to wordsmith the term, I am going to post links to works in progress and works completed by my PLN since last January, 2013 where I met many of my virtual colleagues in the Education and Technology Mooc (#ETMooc)


Here is a list compiled by @valerielopez where she asked ETMooc participants to document how their practice had been affected by the program and the formation of their PLNs. Notice that many connections made during ETMooc last January have continued on to the present seminar on PLNs ten months later.

How has connecting professionally over the internet impacted your practice?

Here is another document which profiles the conferences being attended by former ETMoocers who are maintaining their PLNs and spreading the word about networked and connected learning.

Conference Presentations:

Intrigued by the architectural possibilities for collaborative work on the web and inspired by ETMooc, I volunteered along with others in my PLN, to co-create a 10 month long Open Online Experience for educators covering many of the same topics found in ETMooc. I have volunteered many hours in the creation of this cMooc and continue to actively participate as a mentor in #OOE13.


If you follow the links I have posted, you will notice that a PLN has formed and continues to expand on the www using various social networking platforms.  My PLN is characterized by interdisciplinarity without institutional or geographical affiliations. My PLN on the internet is now critical to my learning about how education is being transformed by technology.. L. Rafael Raif, President of M.I.T, writes in his article, Better, More Affordable Colleges Start Online,, “When the class of 2025 arrives on campuses, these technologies will have reshaped the entire concept of college in ways we cannot yet predict. Those transformations may change the whole equation, from access to effectiveness to cost.”

I am also posting a link to a project I have worked on in the last few months through my expanding PLN and  #DS106 ( Digital Storytelling 106: Jim Groom from University of Mary Washington, Md. / an innovator in open education). This project is a bit more creative in nature and has introduced me to digital storytelling, gif creation, movie making, radio broadcasting, photography and creative writing on the net. I was introduced to digital storytelling in ETMooc.



So, what is a PLN? I wonder whether I need a definition for my purposes because through my active and evolving learning network, I have learned to create on the web and to be more open in my practice as an educator. I am learning every day when I check my Twitter feeds, Google Plus communities, read the blogs of my networked virtual colleagues, comment on blogs and discussion forums. Again, from the pen of Rafael Raif, “I am convinced that digital learning is the most important innovation in education since the printing press”.


3 Responses to Personal Learning Networks

  1. Pingback: Building PLN defintion in the ambiguity sandbox | nauczanKi

  2. A great post Janet and a great way to demonstrate the power of your PLN. Having moved to Hawaii last year, I find that I have become more connected simply because of geography. My interest in online learning and digital cultures has grown my PLN from a small group of colleagues in Colorado to a global community of like minded educators seeking to reform education.

    • janlynn2013 says:

      Thank you for your comments, Cathleen. Even though, I reside in BC, close to family, friends and work, I find the PLN has broadened my understanding of the changes occurring in education K-16, and I don’t feel so isolated in my views about the need to learn about technology for teaching and learning. I am a minority, thus far, in my department with my views about the need for changes and updated skills, but my virtual colleagues in my PLN share my persuasion and help me learn and are so supportive of my fledgling efforts. I am also having a lot fun learning online!!

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