Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

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A personal learning networks (PLNs) is a network created through using social networking tools such as Blogs, Wikis, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, Google+, Delicious, and others.  PLNs provide a means for us to connect with other professionals throughout the world to build a collaborative community where everyone sharing ideas and provide support.  Numerous websites post information about developing a PLN and according to http://suewaters.wikispaces.com/ the top five suggestions for creating a PLN are creating a Twitter Account, create a blog, subscribe to blogs, use social bookmarking tools (Delicious or Diigo), and join Ning community.  I would add starting a Facebook to that list due to the fact that Facebook currently has the most users throughout the world. This Wiki current has 115 members and was established in 2011.  Sue Waters is also the editor of the  http:/theedublogger.com/ and facilitates e-learning professional development workshops.  Would rank this source a 4.

Some blog sites such as theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/ by Lisa Nielsen provides helpful tips for starting a personal education blog.  Currently Lisa has 14,310 people following her blog.  She is an established blogger, educator, author, and serves as the director of digital literacy and citizenship. I would rank this source as a 5.

The two personal learning networks I decided to explore are Delicious and LiveBinders Community in Google+.  Delicious is a social bookmarking tool that is available on the web and on mobile devices.  The idea behind Delicious is for users to bookmark and tag their Internet researches to share  other users.  Some useful tools in Delicious is the Discover, Network, Related Tags, and Remember tools.  Delicious is a good social networking tools to share research with other users.  It is also a good tool for organizing and archiving all your bookmarks.

I also joined the LiveBinders Community in Google+ and will try to join my first Google Hangout session with this community this week.  LiveBinders allows the users to create numerous binders and share them on the Internet.  You can also copy binders from other users.  A LiveBinder is a collection of all the webpages (websites) that pertains to a subject of interest.  For example their is an iPads in Schools LiveBinder that provides numerous websites (webpages) about iPads in school (http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=26195).  As of now I am one of 16 members in the LiveBinders Community.  This Google+ community shares ideas about how to create LiveBinders and how to network and troubleshoot.  I look forward to contributing and exploring these two social media to enhance my PLN.

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3 thoughts on “Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

  1. I was surprised to read the top five suggestions for creating a PLN that you mentioned. While I agree that Twitter and participating in blogging (as a reader and a blogger) are important, I was surprised to see bookmarking tools and Ning among the top suggestions. I agree with you that Facebook should be a part of the list, and depending on the profession, I would even add some of the visual-based networks (like Instagram or YouTube), too.

    I have a Delicious account, but in the past, I have found the management of bookmarking to be too out of the way and have never been able to incorporate it into my regular routine of web surfing and sharing. I wonder if this is something that other users have discussed and if there are tools out there to help streamline the process of participating in bookmarking.

    I also appreciate that you mentioned the LiveBinders community in Google+. I intend for my final project to try to incorporate Google+ communities, so it is nice to see that there is some activity out there that was useful for you. I am curious, though, how you found out about LiveBinders, and what search functions were useful to you as you were seeking out the Google+ community. Also, with only 16 people participating, do you find that it is better because it can function more closely where you know the participants, or is it too small and quiet? With social networks, I think we tend to think bigger is better, but I can imagine that there are some small networks that are incredibly active and rich, as well.

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your comments. I am finding out that my network should have a combination of large, medium, and small communities. I think large learning communities can provide manny point of views and exposure while small communities allow the participants to have a larger roll in the group. Still trying to fine tune my PLN. I believe in quality and quantity so I will be removing myself from some of the learning communities I joined.

  2. Hi Marie,

    Thanks for sharing the top 5 list. Aside from Ning, it looks like I’m on way. I have used Delicious for a class last summer, but this was my first introduction to LiveBinders. It sounds like a very useful tool for organizing resources and connections. I looked around your link and it seems a little complicated with the different tabs. However I am intrigued to try it out and see what the resource has to offer. You added Facebook to the list for building a PLN. I am curious about your success finding groups to connect with on Facebook. There were only a few that I found and asked to join two. I did get added and have started a conversation about program marketing that has gotten some interesting and useful responses. Thanks for sharing!

    Berna : )

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