As I started to piece together a visual representation of my own Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Bubbl.us.com, I had the the thought “well, it’s a work in progress.” As I put more and more bubbles representing the people, blogs, communities and other resources I learn from (professionally anyway) on a regular basis, I felt like I should have more. I have heard about other people’s PLN and my just seemed to be wanting. PLN envy perhaps?
Then it dawned on me, much like life, a PLN is not a destination, it’s a journey. Everyone’s PLN is a work in progress-at least it should be. As the educational systems have been examined in recent years, the focus has changed from teaching to learning. Nowadays, it is expected that teachers be learners first. As simple Google search for “teachers as learners” will tell you that- about 24,000,000 times in 0.84 seconds! This is the power of the modern internet. It is more than a repository for knowledge. It is a place where everyone with a connection can learn, collaborate and connect with peers and colleagues. The ‘teachers as learners’ model is not just about teacher professional development, but also about modelling a style of lifelong learning that today’s students will use throughout their life in just about every career.
So where do I go from here? First of all, there is the addition of quality RSS feeds. This is an area that has been lacking in my PLN. Streamlining the process using Google Reader or other RSS tools is key here. For me, it is important to have the information come to me, rather than having to go and get it everyday. Secondly, continuing to build my presence in communities like Classroom 2.0 and the Flipped Classroom Network. More than any aspect of the PLN, conversations through forum threads have been an area of great learning for me. I certainly want to build on that. One more area that I would like to expand is my presence at conferences. Joining ISTE and other professional organizations and attending conferences has been something I have not made time for. If I really want to build a powerful PLN, that has to change.
So, yes, other PLN’s might kick sand in my PLN’s face on the beach right now, but my PLN is growing. Is yours?