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Unit 1. Read and View Resources Related to PLNs

It’s July and I am reviewing my PLN learnings.

How will my Personal Learning Network (PLN) operate?

To answer this, I’ve sourced three resources: Six Steps to Effective Learning (article by Steve Kaufmann), a recording of Will Richardson about PLN concepts and Tanya Rosscorla’s Five Reasons why Educators Should Network.

In his article, Kaufmann informs me that online, distant, self-guided learning, as acquired through PLNs is an effective way of learning, generally more so than via tradition means – classroom learning. To make the most of my learnings through my PLN, Kauffman recommends I be interested in my topics and expect problems to occur. Jigsaws come together in time! When stuck on a problem, move on and try a range of different resources to help me solve the problem, so says Kauffman. Using “dead time” for learning can be helpful, as can using a great variety of tools to make “the puzzle clearer”. I should do the same for students when teaching them new concepts. Finally, Kauffman recommends joining learning communities to immerse myself in knowledge and wisdom, as well as providing others with help when required. Participating in a rich PLN will allow me to continuously learn and develop myself. Cheers to Kaufmann! I’m now following “PickTheBrain” on Twitter.

Richardson reports that a key concept of a PLN is the ability to connect with others about our passions. As many students connect with others about their passions, via social media, as teachers, we can prepare students well for their futures by demonstrating how the students can leverage their safe and ethical participation in social media. A great avenue for this is by teachers being role models and having our own PLNs.

In her article, Rosscorla points out that educators can live in relative isolation from a wider community of educators. Teachers can’t sufficiently successfully educate students by themselves. Teachers should learn from one another in order to be effective in their roles. Hence, the need for teachers to have PLNs. These enable teachers to access a dynamic resource – people throughout the world. Blogs and Twitter give instant and immense access to other peoples’ reflections about authentic teaching experiences. These social media tools thus provide teachers with ideas, opinions and encouragement for their teaching efforts.

From the three resources viewed, I can see the benefits of PLNs in allowing me to continuoulsy learn and develop and thus engage and inspire my students.  Thank you to the creators of PLNs :-).