Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). A PLN is an informal learning network that consists of the people, websites, and applications a learner interacts with and gets knowledge from. Here is my PLN:
I have divided my learning networks into 5 groups; Projects, Social Bookmarking, Online Communication, Entertainment, and Social Media.
Projects. In this category I have included the different platforms I use to work on any projects that I have going on. Dropbox and Google Drive are great for sharing many documents with people. For example, if I’m working on a group project for a course, we would just create a dropbox folder, invite everybody to that folder, and then everybody has access to all the information needed. These websites have apps that can be used on most devices that automatically update when you open them. I have also included my blog in this because in the past few months it’s become a place for me to post valuable websites, ideas, information that I hope to use in the future (or make other people aware of this information).
Online Communication. It seems that so much of our communication is done online these days. On a personal level: my family is spread out across NA and I rarely get to see some of my brothers and sisters. Being able to connect with them daily online is great! On an educational level: most communication websites also have the option of creating group chats. I have quite a few of those and it’s great to simply post a question have other people with the same interests help you. For example, we have a WhatsApp chat group for most Hutterites here at Brandon University. It’s great to have that connection with friends! In the future I hope to connect more personally to other educators and have a group related directly to teaching! Zoom and Skype can be used to invite guest speakers into our classrooms, as we have already experienced in this class.
Entertainment. This is part of my personal and professional PLN. I use Spotify for most of my music. I use iTunes for my podcasts. I subscribe to about 10 different podcasts that generally have 1 episode a week. I find that this is a great way to stay up-to-date on many current issues/trends happening in the world. I have included some of the educational ones I subscribe to. I use websites/apps such as The Score for sports updates.
Social Media. I feel that this has been talked about quite a bit in this course. Twitter and Facebook are great tools to connect with people. They provide a great opportunity to not only access new information, but for individuals to share information as well. You can comment on, react, and share information, resources and documents with others.
Wrap up. My PLN seems quite limited at the moment. I hope to keep building on to it and keep develop it. As educators we can never stop learning. We always have to make an effort to find new and innovative ideas for our classrooms.