What’s a PLN?

PLN? PLN?!? What in the world is a PLN??? Some other type of technology piece that I’ve never heard of and that will probably frustrate and confuse me!?! Dread.

That is how I first felt when I saw in the assignment page that we had to research and learn how to use a PLN. I was not at all excited to research the definition and I must admit that I worried about how long it would take me to master using it, whatever it was. Wow was I surprised! When I first read what a PLN is, I was still kind of confused and thought it sounded way too simple. But after watching the video with pictures, all my confusion disappeared.

PLN is the abbreviation for, Personal Learning Network. A PLN is a helpful source that people can use to find or even share valuable information with others. The ‘P’ in PLN stands for Personal. Personal meaning that we are able to make the source our own. We can choose who we decide to follow on Twitter or Blogging. We also have the freedom to reach out to those who we have followed and ask them questions or share information with them if we so desire.

The ‘L’ stands for learner. Because a PLN is exactly that, a learning tool. Through having a PLN, we have the ability to learn so much great information and tips from other people who we are professionals, experts, doctors and so on. It depends on what we decide to base out PLN around. Naturally my own PLN is based around Physical and Health education because I am going to school to earn a degree as a Health and Physical Education teacher.

The ‘N’ stands for network. The PLN is a network because it consists of so many different people, usually professionals or professors of some sort. It might even have retired people in it who can share their knowledge from their own past experiences with us. Then those people in turn are often following others who are also professionals or who have experience that they may have taught to the people who we are now learning from. Organizations also play a role because we can follow them too and learn or get tips on a variety of topics or discussions and get our questions answered. We might even be able to answer someone else’s questions and give them tips from what we know.

The steps that I took to build my PLN was to research and follow what I felt were legit people and organizations based on education that I think I can benefit from. I have already discovered several great sites with interesting information that I can use. One site I found concerning health gives lots of great tips along with resources that can be used to teach MyPlate and how to teach kids to make smart healthy choices when it comes to food. Another site that I found, is called PE and ME by Mr. Mallen. He has a blog site that is really interesting as well as inspiring.

6 thoughts on “What’s a PLN?

  1. Wow! I’m sure glad that I read your blog first, because like you, I was a little confused as well. I did a little research into PLN to and needed to give my brain a break. Thank you for your insight and helpfulness. What a terrific read!!

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    1. Melody,
      Thanks! You’re welcome. Yes i was pretty nervous. Of course my imagination ran away and i pictured this huge long read filled with big words that i didn’t understand and i feared if i would be able to accomplish such a task well enough for a passing grade and then use that same information in the future. Boy, did i major over exaggerate. A PLN was so much simpler than i had thought, obviously. Honestly the most difficult part was making sure that i was choosing to follow valid sites who i hoped would give me interesting helpful tips and advice. I remember one site i thought looked great so i followed it and then next thing i know, this pornish image popped up on my twitter page! I immediately un-followed that page… Then another site, i thought looked and sounded like it would have some good, info, but when i looked to make sure, it was just a bunch of random crap about this guy’s life. Not at all helpful to me :/ I am glad that we have the freedom to choose who we do and don’t want to follow.
      Skyler

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I too was worried about what a PLN was and if it was going to make any sense to me. Now I am glad that we were required to research because any time people can be connected to share ideas and knowledge is great. This will be very helpful to us as aspiring teachers!

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    1. For sure! My eyes were definitely opened here, it was great. I had no idea that there was so much professional information out there that we could have access to and use as teacher ourselves. It really brings me comfort knowing this. I have so much to learn and i really want to be the best teacher for my students, but how can i possibly learn everything before i start teaching??? I can’t, but i can be much better prepared and know that at the end of a long, unsuccessful day (because there will definitely be many of those)i can reach out to my network of pros who have had those experiences and done the research so that they can offer some support and advice for me to try the next day. I can also share my accomplishments and failures with others so that they too can learn.
      Skyler

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  3. I rely on my PLN to keep me current in the field, to share new ideas that I can incorporate into my classroom, and to challenge me with new thinking. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that I need to be sharing too. There’s just so much to learn from others!

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    1. Right. But sharing is good. If we didnt share no one would receive, so i get the importance. I just have a tendency to forget because i get so excited about what i learned! Kind of selfish, working on that lol
      Skyler

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