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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Example for "Cultivate Your PLN":