Personal Learning Networks

August 23, 2010

So yeah personal learning networks, hereby known as PLNs, are pretty useful things once you know what they are.  A personal learning network is a collection of people with whom you exchange ideas and information with online. Or at least that’s what my research has lead me to believe.  Up until about an hour ago I really didn’t know what a personal learning network was, you could have told me it was  anything and I probably would have believed you. But that is not the case anymore, you missed your chance to trick me, sorry.

So now that we all know what a PLN is lets discuss mine, because this is my blog and I choose what goes on here. The main websites on my PLN are Flickr, and Deviantart for inspiration and resources, Facebook for social and networking reason, Linkedin for developing Professional relationships, and twitter for pretty much everything.  Wow that list is not that big I should probably work on expanding my PLN but that has nothing to do with this blog so lets get back on track.

The reason I use flickr is because there are an overwhelming amount of amazing photos to be seen. I usually spend about twice as much time on flickr that I originnaly intended, but that can be said about anything on my PLN. Deviantart is very similar to flickr except instead of photography deviantart is focused on every type of art. It is a great place to browse for inspiration on pretty much an medium you can think of.

One thing you should know about me is that I haven’t always been the most social person. Facebook came out when I was in high school but I purposefully avoided it until about a year after high school when it was becoming harder to keep in touch with people. I still wouldn’t call myself an avid facebook user, I only go on once every few days and I usually only spend about 5 minutes on it. Even though I barley use facebook it is still a pretty big part of my PLN because I have many contacts on facebook that would not be a part of my PLN if I were to remove it.

Linkedin is pretty new to my PLN, until recently it really served no purpose to me because I was in the food service Industry. Now that I am part of the graphic and web design industry though it is becoming an irreplaceable tool. If you are unfamiliar with linkedin think of it as facebook for professionals were you can network with other professionals in the same industry as you. Sounds pretty useful right?

So now we are onto twitter. Until recently I thought twitter was the stupidest social network I had heard of. I believed that it was just people posting what they were doing constantly, which to me sounded rather dull and useless. But boy was I wrong about that, I have only been using twitter for about 3 weeks now and I can’t believe what I have been missing out on. Twitter has become my go to place for pretty much everything now. It is almost a PLN on its own.  If you are not using twitter I highly recommend you do. Just follow people in your industry and you will have countless resources at your fingertips. Seriously. Do it.

Want to know more?

Onceateacher

Guy with almost the same name as me

Creating a PLN

Twitter as a PLN

Wikipedia

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