A personal learning network, although often emergent and continually developing, does not just happen. It requires cultivation. To begin your thinking on how to cultivate your PLN complete the activities below.

To Do:

  1. Read Howard Rheingold’s Advice on Building a PLN. The ebook Learning in a Digital Age by Cathy L. Green of Oklahoma State University also has some great resources for how to build a digital PLN that can be used to provide additional to connect with peers, not just through social media. There is a reference list with several additional resources at the bottom of the page.
  2. Find NEW professional groups or individuals who align with your professional interests.
    • If you’re interested in connecting with groups that have a focus on education, a good place to start is to review the Twitter EdChat calendar and Inside Higher Ed’s Twitter Directory X (formerly Twitter) accounts.
    • Use the search tool in X to find virtual places that feel most comfortable and sustainable for you. Go where your people are, be strategic, and take your cues from people in your network. For example, if you notice at a conference that several presenters are posting their X account names, then X is likely the place where others will be found. Or perhaps the common gathering place for your discipline is something other than X, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or a Slack.
    • See also the X list of people and organizations related to Ontario Extend for possible accounts to follow.
  3. Represent new additions to your PLN. Now, using the EdTech Sandbox find a creative visual way to showcase/illustrate which new professional groups or new individuals align most to your professional interests. Many people create a mindmap for this activity but try to stretch your imagination and find other ways to represent your connections to these new groups or individuals.
  4. After you make your submission, save the web address to your response (found in the green confirmation box) so you can use it later for your badge submission form.


Learning in the Digital Age by Cathy L. Green, Oklahoma State University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

This activity is part of the Cultivate Your PLN section of the Collaborator Module.

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102 Responses for this Activity

  • Cultivating a PLN
    by Susan (@Susan Wilks)

    This was a very enlightening activity.  Creating a visual of my PLN enabled me to see the depth and breadth of the expertise I benefit from.  Re-establishing connections through LinkedIn was important, and learning how to use hashtags in searches was helpful.  Purposefully seeking out connections through technology – either by email or through LinkedIn more… »

  • Cultivate your PLN
    by Victoria Jackson (@victoriaj)

    This was an interesting exercise; I usually add to my networks sporadically and don’t tend to just search for new connections all at once, so I found this useful to think about what I actually want to get out of my network and what connections I might learn the most from. Some I chose because more… »

  • Cultivate your PLN Activity
    by Mary Chaktsiris (@mchaktsi)

    Learning and connecting more about academic honesty in higher educational globally and locally.   New organizations joined: @AICOIntegrity – Academic Integrity Council of Ontario @TweetCAI – International Center for Academic Integrity ICAI and ICAI Canada Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity @ENAIntegrity – European Network for Academic Integrity @STLHESAPES – Society for Teaching and Learning in more… »

  • Preliminary Research on Possible PLNs
    by Miranda Mckenzie (@mx_mckenzie)

    Since I do not use social media for professional purposes, I searched the web for associations, websites, blogs, podcasts, etc. that I could consult and/or subscribe to in order to grow my PLN. The attached PDF identifies 4 of the new resources that will help me in my job and I look forward to exploring more… »

  • Cultivating or Culling My PLN
    by Stephanie Ferguson (@stpark)

    This activity was a bit challenging for me because at the moment I have mixed feelings, especially about using Twitter and growing my PLN that way. In fact, I have been actively working to cull it more than grow it, but I also think that the ‘culling’ process does contribute to cultivating it into something more… »

  • Video Game Developers PLN
    by Mark Shannelly (@mshannelly)

    As mentioned in a previous activity, I am always telling my students about the importance of networking in the video games industry. There are many groups and organizations around Ontario and Canada for local networking, and of course many more beyond. These groups are on LinkedIn, Twitter, and a new competitor in this space: Discord. more… »

  • Refreshing my PLN
    by Jen Booth (@jen.booth)

    As you will see in the attached image, I already have a number of different ways that I connect with other groups… 6 at least. So, for this activity, I challenged myself to do a bit of a refresh and find at least one new connection in each of the channels I use for connecting more… »

  • Philosophy PLNs via Facebook Groups
    by Adam Langridge (@alangridge)

    I focused my PLN on my research interests and used Facebook Groups. I’ve used Groups in the past and found if effective, so I thought it a good way to expand my PLN here. I used Text2MindMap to create a graphic organizer of the PLN.

  • Cultivate a PLN
    by Ramandeep Kaur (@Raman)

    Please see my response

  • My PLN
    by Lucas Prestes (@Lucas Plautz Prestes)

    My PLN – Image with my workflow

    1 Resource for this Activity

    • Baby Network
      shared by Christopher Rowe (@ChristopherRowe)

      I’m just getting started of developing my personal learning network. Actively pursuing this hasn’t been a priority for me in the past, but as I’ve begun to engage in the instructional design and ed tech industry, I see that it’s becoming increasingly important.

    Creative Commons License
    This work by Ontario Extend is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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