Cultivating a PLN

There are 8 tips on how to cultivate your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

  1. Explore: It’s not just about knowing how to find experts, co-learners, but about exploration as invitation to serendipitous encounter.
  2. Search – Use Diigo, delicious, listorious, to find pools of expertise in the fields that interest you.
  3. Follow candidates through RSS, Twitter. Ask yourself over days, weeks, whether each candidate merits continued attention
  4. Always keep tuning your network, dropping people who don’t gain sufficiently high interest; adding new candidates
  5. Feed the people you follow if you come across information that you suspect would interest them.
  6. Engage the people you follow. Be polite, mindful of making demands on their attention. Put work into dialogue if they welcome it. Thank them for sharing.
  7. Inquire of the people you follow, of the people who follow you. But be careful. Ask engaging questions – answers should be useful to others
  8. Respond to inquiries made to you. Contribute to both diffuse reciprocity and quid pro quo

See cite

Cultivating the Personal Learning Network is basically building it up and encouraging activity. We need to explore other peoples’ pages and organizations that are available to us. We could Google who to follow based on the subject we want to build our PLN around. Which is what I did. I simply googled top PE and Health blogs and Twitter sites to follow. Then I checked out their pages to makes sure they looked legit and had appropriate content.

After choosing a few different people and/or organizations to follow, we need to keep tabs on who posts what and if what they post is accurate information that we can benefit from. It is also a good idea to ask specific questions to those people/organizations and have meaningful conversations. If those who we are following never post anything of interest or anything that we find helpful and the website turns out to be a waste of time for us or simply bland, then all we have to do it unfollow it and search for another source to follow; one that we can hopefully benefit from.

Not only do we follow and get information from those who we follow, but it also kind to share our own information and knowledge with them; things that we think would be of interest to them and grab their attention like their sites grabbed ours. Speaking of kind, this is another huge part of this social networking process. We always need to make sure that we are polite, courteous and considerate of what we and others post. We need to make sure that we are not rude, and over opinionated. It’s ok to have different opinions on topics, which we probably will every now and then, but it is important to keep things mature and professional in our conversations and have appropriate discussions that are respectful of others views.

I think that the biggest challenge for me with my PLN is going to be finding or sharing information that is interesting to others. I don’t have a lot of experience, just a lot of questions… So trying to find or think of something interesting to share with people or organizations who already seem to have everything figured out, makes me nervous.

Word Count: 545

6 thoughts on “Cultivating a PLN

  1. Skyler,
    The 8 Tips that you included at the beginning of your post are very helpful. I’ve only seen #2 mentioned in this article, but not in others. I never thought of that challenge before; finding/sharing information that others would find relevant and interesting to others. That would also make me nervous; what to contribute when everyone already seems to follow people that already have those ideas or when they already thought of it themselves. I’m on the same boat. Great post!


    1. Nancy,
      Right. I feel like i am still a “kid/pup”, meaning i still have a ton to learn in order to be truly successful. I have always looked for help or advice from those who i know have experience and who are often deemed wise because they have been around a lot longer. Like my parents. I don’t expect people to ask me for advice, rather i am always asking them (if i feel that they can give me valid feedback that is legit). Like, i am not going to ask someone who i know is lazy or only gives 50% of their time and effort on an important project to give me advice on how they completed their project. I feel that would be a waste of time. Naturally i would ask an “A” or even a “B” student or the teacher for advice first. I guess as a teacher though, i need to some how get used to the fact that i will have kids looking up to me and asking questions that they rightfully expect me to answer. Somehow i need to get that triggered over in my brain that i will be the adult and no longer the kid.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sklyer, I like how you mentioned it is important to be kind. I think PLNs are great because people are professional when they are communicating with others. I think its awesome that you have lots of questions you want to share. Its an opportunity to learn new information!


    1. Cara,
      Thank you. Yes i love how you can choose who to follow. That way you can weed out the fake/rude people and don’t have to bother with them when you can deal with professionals who will actually help you out and give you good advice and tips. I really can’t stand rude unprofessional lazy people so if i can avoid them i will.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really, really love the 8 tips that you posted up above. They are SO useful when working online!! I’ve had my blog since January, and I don’t know how I would keep up with other people’s blogs without my RSS feed. Feedly is truly a lifesaver! This week I’ve really learned the importance of a PLN. I’m excited to continue building mine! Great post!


    1. Regan,
      Thanks! I hear ya. I was wondering how we were going to keep up with everything and filter through what we did and didn’t need at certain times. Goodness knows there is not enough time in the day to get everything done let alone try and sift through what everyone has posted. My goodness. I agree it is super helpful!


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