To map your PLN, use a tool such as Google Draw, Coggle, Miro, a Teams Whiteboard template or even PowerPoint (see more Visual Organizer Tools in the Extend Toolkit), to create a visual diagram of the people, organizations, collectives, and others who are in your network. If creating a visual diagram presents a barrier for you, you can map your PLN by creating an audio, video, or written reflection. Whatever the format, be prepared to upload your work or provide a URL to its location in your response to this activity.

To Do:

  1. Identify a focus of your PLN. It could be your academic discipline or professional area, a topic on which you’ve already done some research or work, or a learning interest that you’re passionate about.
  2. Place your topic somewhere on your map. (You might put it in the central node, but remember, you are the centre of your learning network!)
  3. Identify a few people who already belong to your network as it relates to your interest or topic. These will be your nodes. They might be colleagues, influential educators, mentors, or people you’ve met at conferences or events. They could also be members of professional organizations. These are your existing connections.
  4. Think of a few more nodes that you may not yet know personally but who you would like to include in your network and add those nodes. Who are the noted scholars or experts in your area of interest that you might follow? (Note: you can tap into your  Cultivate your PLN activity to use some of your new connections.)
  5. Map the nodes (names) that you’ve identified onto your diagram. Your diagram should include at least 5 nodes by name (i.e., specific individuals and organizations).
  6. Add details to each of the nodes in your PLN. Review your map and identify any patterns that emerge. For example, you might categorize the following in the design of your diagram (e.g., by grouping, or by using different colours, symbols, or text labels):
    • Their role (e.g., educator, science researcher, blogger).
    • Their role in your network (e.g., collaborator, mentor, provocateur, consultant).
    • The relative weight of the connection (e.g., strong tie, weak tie).
    • The reciprocity of the connection (e.g., one-way, dialogue).
    • The technologies you use to connect to your network.
    • The relationships between the different nodes (i.e., identify clusters of nodes who may interact).
    • Anything else that helps to illustrate your interactions—past, present, or future—with your network.
  7. Export your diagram (or other) to an image format. Upload it or use a link to the image in your response to the Mapping Your PLN.
  8. 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.

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

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81 Responses for this Activity

  • Mapping my PLN
    by Heather Melo (@Heather)

    In mapping my PLN exercise, I quickly realized that I am engaged predominately with those who teach courses that I have instructed or supported as educators.  I need to expand my networks to other institutions and keep up with the leadership changes at organizations affecting my work. Lots of work ahead! Heather  

  • Content Creation and PLN Mind Mapping
    by Lorinda Seward (@Lorinda)

    Leaning into my desire to become more experienced with Canva, that is what I used to create my map.  I enjoyed weaving the creative aspect of creating a mind map with solidifying where to start my research into content creation. 

  • Mapping My PLN for Teaching Writing
    by Shiong Len Chan (@Len)

    I used MindMup to create my PLN map. I realized there are a lot of resources at my disposal to cultivate my PLN.

  • Learning Networks
    by Sarah Darling (@SDarling)

    This is a first attempt at using Miro to mind map. It was colourful and fun, and somewhat glitchy, but I believe I will return to this app because of its ease of use and aesthetic appeal. I did see some emerging patterns. Many of my nodes are input-only mediums – I am learning, but more… »

  • Mapping my PLN – ID and ED
    by Kelly Brennan (@kmbrennan)

    I used Miro to map out the different sources, groups, and people that are a part of my PLN. Upon reflection, I could have added specific web resources and technologies that I utilize as part of my “toolkit”. Opens in new window PDF Download Word Download Excel Download PowerPoint Download Document Download AudioEye.smartRemediations = []; more… »

  • My Personal Learning Network Mind Map
    by Farah Shafie (@fnshafie)

    Hello, I used MindMup to create my “Personal Learning Network” mind map. Please see attached link.

  • Mapping my PLN
    by Andrea Wappett (@wappeand)

     

  • Mapping My PLN – Future Career Goals
    by Rebecca Sullivan (@rsulli4)

    Attached is my file for the people and connections involved in my future career path. I am working towards a career as an educators (currently finishing up my post-doc) and I have mapped out my plan for who I would like to reach out to/ collaborate with in my professional career. I have areas I more… »

  • Mind Map: PLN
    by Lori Martin (@LMartin)

    My mind map grew out of the last activity! I like using Text2MindMap, but was not able to show that some of the branches are actually connected!

  • Extend Activity #4 – Mapping Your PLN – Patrick Hymus
    by Patrick Hymus (@phymus)

    The most challenging activity yet in this Module. This built nicely on the lessons learned in the previous activities and results in a useful network ready to be put to use.

    4 Resources for this Activity

    • MindMapping.org
      shared by Alan Levine (@cogdogblog@gmail.com)

      A comprehensive review site of hundreds of mind-mapping software plus a blog full of related articles.

    • PLN Mapping
      shared by Lori Strauss (@lstrauss)

      I often reflect on the value I add as I enter my winter years in teaching this program. Doing this exercise helped me see the value of the seasoned educator in the connections and quick access to resources to support the students, and their learning. Through the ever building network of friends, colleagues, community of more… »

    • Toddler Learning Network
      shared by Christopher Rowe (@ChristopherRowe)

      While my network is still young… it’s growing and maturing. I’ve now had an opportunity to connect with some more people and to analyze the nature of those connections. I have a lot of work to do here to grow the network and get more engaged… but it’s a start.

    • Visual Organizing Tools (Extend Toolkit)
      shared by Alan Levine (@cogdogblog@gmail.com)

      Find recommended tools for creating mind maps

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

    One Response to “Mapping your PLN”

    1. Mary Jayne (MJ) Brown

      This is a very interesting experience (experiment). It is good to have a visual of our connections and collaborations in our PLN. I am looking forward to adding more!

      Reply

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