Friday, December 11, 2009

The PLN Is Powerful...

I have had the opportunity lately to do a lot of talking about the power of Professional Learning Networks (PLN's, or you might know it as Personal Learning Community, PLC, also.) to some of my teachers and to teachers around the country. For part of my talks I asked my PLN on Twitter this question:

I really wanted to hear stories of change. I wanted to be able to share with other teacher successes, in 140 characters of how the PLN makes us better educators. I am regularly surprised at how the PLN comes through for me, and this time was no different. I was truly moved. In just over an hour I had over 200 individual responses to my questions. Here is just a taste:
  • I now feel confident that others go thru the same issues as me. value of PLN = sharing of resources.
  • I was not able to "talk" education. Doesn't happen at school, only here.
  • I can PLC on global scale - geographically, grade level, subject, . . .
  • I was floundering in ideas & questions but in need of someone 2bounce them off of. NOW I have MANY ppl to consult!
  • The value is the plethora of resources, viewpoints, & ideas I now have access to (has become an addiction and time hog :-)
  • Beyond amazing tools, love connections made w/ real people who care a lot about kids. So many perspectives
  • PLN provides resources to share w/teachers, ed tech news/info, & communication w/others in the field of ed tech.
  • With my PLN, I get ideas for technology lessons that I would have never gotten otherwise.+ confidence to try them.
  • I could not collaborate w so many teachers around the world & present on Skype & in person to their schools
  • I'm connected to a much bigger conversation than is possible within my workplace.
  • Through my PLN I was able to make an Australia-Vietnam link via a blog for my Society and Culture class
  • My PLN gives me encouragement, support, and endless resources. I am a better educator because of them!
You can read more of the responses here.

A while back I did a video about what my PLN Means To Me

Several people have also made videos about their PLN, all of them worth a look.

So if you have someone who is a "PLN Doubter" show them this list, play them a video and all the other comments then ask if they really see the value in going it alone.


  1. Thanks for this post, Steven! I agree, having a PLN and investing time in its continued development, makes us better educators.

    Here's the link to those other What My PLN Means To Me videos:

  2. To get a PLN what is the process? How do you start connecting with other educators like yourself? I wouldn't even know how to start...any tips. I believe in teacher networking! In my masters program I have read rearch-based support for the benefits of teacher collaboration/networking (Niesz, T. March 27, 2007 and Garmston, R.J. 1999)


    Garmston, R. J. Winter 1998. Becoming Expert Teachers Part I. Journal of Staff Development. Vol.19, No. 1

    Niesz, T. March 27, 2007. Phi Delta Kappa International.