(Today’s post is for the letter P in the A-Z challenge.)
Over the past few years I have developed several personal learning networks (PLN). At first I used to call them professional and personal networks but then I realized they were all personal to me.
My resources have been blogs, twitter, plurk and facebook. I also have connected with people on Linked In, Digg, nings, and wikis. Making new friends leads to making more new friends. When I do to online seminars, I start seeing my friends there too which reinforces the connections.
My PLNS include educators, knitters, spinners, and ham radio people. Depending on the mood and the need, I have instant access to new information or help when I need it. I am able to bounce new ideas or get inspiration from my connections.
I also have a PLN in my real life. I go to conferences for educators where I meet some of my online friends in real life. I also have a knitting group that meets weekly. Monthly, our ham radio club meets as well as a monthly meet and greet. I like to use others’ knowledge and expertise when I need help.
I also mentor preservice teachers who are studying to be special ed teachers. In a way, I’m part of their PLN but their new ideas and enthusiasm help me also. I also encourage those interested in electronics or radios to get their ham radio license. Of course everyone who knows me knows that my knitting goes where I go. If I’m sitting, then I’m knitting! I’m willing to talk knitting or spinning with anyone who is interested in that topic.
I think like gardening, I need to develop and nurture these relationships. If I don’t nurture them, they will die an early death. It is not good enough to just make the connections but I need to make them into networks where information can flow both ways.
Thanks to many of you who read this who are part of my PLN. And if you aren’t part of it yet, please contact me so we can connect and help each other!
Image: 'My network'