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Building a Personal Learning Network - Essay Example

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A PLN is a network that consists of people who students or learners communicate with to acquire more knowledge. Marín, Negre, Pérez and Mallorca, (2014) define a PLN…
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Building a Personal Learning Network
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Building a Personal Network The Power of Connection: Building a Personal Learning Network Creating personal learning networks (PLN) using the internet guarantees an improvement in students’ outcome. A PLN is a network that consists of people who students or learners communicate with to acquire more knowledge. Marín, Negre, Pérez and Mallorca, (2014) define a PLN as a tool existing for each person to share their knowledge and resources. For example, it is beneficial because the student learns of real world stories from other students or teachers who have created the PLNs.
To access the internet, the use of new technologies such as mobile phones, laptops or tablets is critical because a learner is able to access social networks. Accessing the social networks through the e-mail, twitter feeds blogs and linked-in is one of the best ways for a learner to share his interests with others (Grantham, 2012). To foster new connections in these social sites there are many ways that learners can consider.
Question1: Text you might include in a professional profile, which you could use on a social media site (like Twitter, or LinkedIn) to identify yourself and your interests for those who might be interested in following you or joining your PLN
The text a person may use in a professional profile on social sites may be informative, controversial or inappropriate. The best texts to use would be to include text which is informative on a learner’s professional profile. For example, posting texts containing personal updates, religious or political views and cat pictures among other forms of updates that are not related to learning is strongly discouraged. To establish stronger relationships with other people included in the PLN, it would be wise to use words that are inspirational or informative. Texts such as “learner’s guide to successful studying” or “ways of succeeding in school” are some of the examples that one can use in their professional profiles.
Another way to create new connections would be to give texts that explain what twitter is or Linked-in to the people the learner interacts with in their professional pages. Explaining the benefits of using the social sites would attract more people to create a learning network. For example, using texts such as “social profiles like Linked-in not only connect learners to other professionals, but it is also a useful tool in business” is useful.
Question 2: Annotated list of five people or groups in which you might find people to add to your PLN
a) Class Discussion Groups
b) Mentors
c) My Family Members and Friends
d) Students from Other Institutions
e) Teachers
Question 3: For each person or group, give a brief (1-2 paragraphs) rationale for why you would include the person or group in your PLN. Then, give a 1- to 2-paragraph description of the process by which you found the person or group you added to your PLN.
To create a self-identity, participating in twitter or email chats would be an effective way of getting learners to connect with other learners (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2012). There would be an exchange of ideas. Sending tweets on certain topics of interest would be a technique that would allow others to engage in conversations.
f) Class Discussion Groups
There are certain people or groups that I would want to include in my PLN though their twitter feeds or blogs. One of these groups would the people in my class discussion groups. As a learner engaging in group discussions is very critical for effective learning. I would want to communicate with the members of my class discussion groups not only when I am in school, but also when away from school. Like my friends, I would send friendly requests to everyone in the group to join my network.
g) Teachers
The other group of people I would want to add to my PLN would be the teachers because it would increase my learning opportunities. For example, starting a class blog which I would use to post interesting content would be an excellent technique. Such blogs would also be useful for making connections with other teachers from around the world and getting their advice.
h) Students from Other Institutions
Developing connections with students in my school is important. However, as a learner I would learn more if I made connections with those from other institutions. For example, I would want to engage in online blogs on how to develop helpful projects such as making donations for building schools in developing states. I would also get the chance to engage in global topics which I like.
i) My Family Members and Friends
Creating a PLN to communicate with my parents and siblings or other relatives would be helpful because I would be at ease knowing they are doing well when I am busy at school. I would add them to my Twitter and Facebook networks through requests. Having online discussions also saves time and it is one of the best tools that help students improve their communication skills and prepare for exams (Thompson, 2012). Talking about interesting or important topics on twitter or using texts would be a good way to connect with those friends who live miles away.
j) Mentors
I would want to connect with mentors as I believe they are an important part of learning. Mentors are helpful particularly when it comes to a learner’s professional evolution. Like friends, I would send requests to them, asking them to join my network.
Grantham, N. (2012, April 17). 5 steps to building a healthy PLN with Twitter [Blog post]. Retrieved from
Marín, V., Negre, F., Pérez, A., & Mallorca, P. (2014). Construction of the foundations of the PLE and PLN for collaborative learning. Media Education Research Journal, 21(42), 35-43. doi:
Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2012). Personal learning networks: Using the power of connections to transform education. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Thompson, S. (2012, July 19). Deepen your digital footprint: A beginner to intermediate guide to increasing online traffic and web presence [Blog post]. Retrieved from Read More
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