Creating Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

Welcome to learning in the 21st Century. Collaboration, whether face-to-face or online, boosts learning to a new level. This isn't your old-fashioned group work. This is creating a sustainable network of folks who are your go-to people when you want or need to learn something new. Creating a Personal Learning Network is the 21st century educator's method of choice for relevant professional development. PLNs connect you to educators around the world that are willing to share and collaborate on educational issues. You need to build a PLN so that you are connected to information that is directly relevant to your issues as a teacher.

To those whose mantra is I DON'T HAVE TIME:
The question is not really whether you have time to build a PLN, it is whether you can afford to do without one. There never is enough time to do everything. However, the time spent up front to create a PLN will give you access to information that will improve your effectiveness as an educator, which, in turn, should provide you with the time to focus on what really counts.

Teachers need a PLN. Try this one: The Educator's PLN Join this Ning and participate in the conversation about how to create the best educational opportunities for your students. There are loads of resources built into this wiki...tons of how to tips, and the opportunity to add to the conversation on how kids learn best.

Try this LiveBinder titled, "The PLN Starter Kit."

Or, if that wasn't enough for you, try this one, which is a great toolkit for developing your own PLN.

Students thrive when engaged in PLNs. So, how do you create these? Oh, let us count the ways...
(Note: many of these sites may be blocked by prepared to override.)


Set up your own group space and invite others to join.


Today's Meet


These are tools within the platform. Visit them at


Visit the BLOGS page on this wiki.


Most professional organizations have a listserv, which links members via email. You'll need to send an email message containing a special message to join.


To read more on the educational benefits of Twitter and to find out how to sign up, go here: Twitter Handbook for Teachers
Some twitter feeds to start following: web20classroom, larryferlazzo, EdTechUNCon


An RSS Feed manager can manage most blog subscriptions in one convenient location. Zite or are just two you could try. Also, try RSS Runner (free app) on the iPad or Android tablet.
Some RSS feeds to subscribe to: Free Technology for Teachers, The Innovative Educator, Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day, Big 6, Recipe for Time, Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud, Robert Marzano's Core Knowledge Blog, Teacher Reboot Camp.


Form your own, or search facebook on a topic of your choice to find a group you'd like to join. As an example, check out NWLMS Promethean Users Group. Another invaluable group is Edutopia.

WEB 3.0 TOOLS (allow for collaboration)

Google Docs

Why and How You Should Build Your Personal Learning Network

7 Easy Steps to Build Your Personal Learning Network
5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network

Presto: How to Build a PLN Using Twitter
A Quick Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Professional Development
Can Tweeting Help Your Teaching - NEA
8 Reasons an Innovative Educator Uses Twitter