PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. A PLN consist of a few friends you met at college with whom you shared ideas and resources, then after adding in a few of their friends and coworkers, the PLN grows (Digital Learning Team, 2013). Having a PLN is important because it offers up an opportunity to connect with individuals or businesses that could help in developing insight and a difference of professional opinion. A PLN works through sharing experiences and knowledge amongst members within the group. Through a PLN connection, the members can get answers to questions and take advantage of opportunities provided by those within their PLN.
A Personal Learning Network (PLN) reaches its most potential online through social networking platforms, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Through these networks, professionals within a PLN can share personal and professional experiences through short status updates, blogs, photos, and videos. This information can be used as resources to followers and subscribers who have opted to stay connected with the individual or business (Digital Learning Team, 2013). PLN’s began with building relationships with the people that we meet face-to-face. It has however become most prominent in online social platforms where networks can grow tremendously by following or commenting to a friend or professional. Not having a PLN would mean missing valuable information and resources for career or personal knowledge.
Creating a Personal Learning Network
In creating a PLN, the creator must understand the audience. Once the audience is determined, the individual can decide how to create either a professional or personal brand image. In creating a PLN, it must be determined whether you are promoting yourself or your professional knowledge. In my PLN for personal use, I prefer to mention that I am married with kids, I like certain sports, my education background, what I like to do for fun, and I like to talk about religion and politics. With my professional PLN profile, I include a professional photo, and a history of my career and education. With this network, my conversations focus around my industry experience, trends, technology, and education. Each of my networks presents a friendly and inviting tone. My professional pages include selections from my resume and website. My personal profiles include information on what I like and believe.
A Personal Learning Network is a valuable resource that can be used by anyone from a friend to a stranger. A PLN is not only helpful for gaining information, but it is a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to network and share their professional knowledge and experience with those that are interested. With so many opportunities to develop skills and knowledge, having a PLN is essential to advancing and strengthening one’s understanding and education.
Digital Learning Team. (2013, April 3). What is a PLN? (and why would I want to know?).
Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://digitallearningteam.org/2013/03/14/what-is-a-pln-and-why-would-i-want-to-know/