PLN as it is known to educators is, in my opinion, a revolutionary aspect of learning in the 21st century. PLN (Personal Learning Network) is a way to share as well as collaborate using an internet platform. What is interesting about PLN is that many people do not realize when they are using it. A perfect example is Pinterest, a social media platform where you “pin” pictures that contain either useful information on the picture or is an icon that links you to a website. For example, one of my personal categories, motorcycles will contain “pins” to sites or infographics on how to “perform longer wheelies” or “top rated chain lubricants for bikes”. Another example can be categories such as “Cooking” with “pins” that contain recipes. This is PLN for everyday life. We share, we learn, and we can collaborate.
And with the rise of social networks, podcasts/vodcasts, wikis, and mobile applications, it has never been easier to now only share your interest and teach a subject to others but to collaborate with peers across the world. Imagine, an American student working on a research paper for school and decided to collaborate with a student in India to co-write this paper; a graduate student in London discussing political science with their peers located in the University of Florida. The opportunity for educational growth is endless but only to the limit of the technology available to the student.
And their lies the problem. Many students that do not have the financial means to have certain technological hardware capable for certain applications can be left behind. Moreover, many countries in the world have strict regulations that prohibit certain content to be shared online. We (The United States) are currently fortunate not to be one of those countries and we should not take that for granted. PLN is a fantastic way to use the internet to its fullest potential. We, as educators, must teach all our students the capabilities PLN has and make them understand how fortunate they are to have access and the means to use Personal Learning Networks.
I want to share my PLN to all of you. Please feel free to look, save, and if you ever want to collaborate, message me.