If I am being honest, I have never heard of Personal Learning Networks before. When I saw the name of them, my first thought was that it is a network based off of each person’s learning styles and how they prefer to learn. What I learned, however, showed me that Personal Learning Networks are created in order to share resources and ideas so that fellow educators are able to collaborate and make one another better teachers. Learning this helped me to relate this topic to myself because I am a future teacher.
I think that the idea of having a personal learning network is one that should be adapted into every classroom, so I am excited to begin working on my own. I hope to teach second grade, so I want to design my PLN based on second grade education. I learned from Teacher Challenges that the defining feature of a PLN is that it enables people to share their information and findings on teaching strategies and educational lessons. This can be very helpful because as a teacher, there are some incredible resources available out there, but they require a lot of searching. A Personal Learning Network would give teachers the opportunity to find what they are looking for all in one place. For example, if I create one based around second grade education, then any teacher could visit it and find whatever they need all in the same place.
According to Jordan Catapano in his article titled “What is a PLN? Why Do I Need One?“, Personal Learning Networks offer benefits that traditional personal development does not. One benefit is the ability to create your network solely based on what you want people to learn about. For example, if I want to specifically target the ability to read, I can create an entire PLN that is centered around reading. This PLN becomes beneficial to every teacher in the world who is looking for resources that are useful in teaching reading without having to physically meet with other teachers or attend conferences.
I believe that using a PLN will not only help me as a teacher, but it will help other educators as well. The more resources that we have to learn from, the more we can collaborate and learn the best ways to present and teach our information, and the more that our students will learn. Lynn Wilson tweeted the 10 reasons for why every teacher should have a PLN:
I think that the greatest difficulty that I will encounter when working with PLNs is the usage of technology. I am still new with working technology and manipulating it in a way to make it useful as well as appealing to the eye. The more that I research and work with PLNs, though, the more I will be able to creatively experiment with my own. I think that there are a lot of reasons that teachers should utilize PLNs, and I can’t wait to create one for my future career in education!
Thank you for reading!