When I first heard of the term “personal learning network,” I was kind of confused. My originally thought was that it would be me researching information on what I wanted to learn about, and kind of combining it all into a file or something. Well I wasn’t quite right. According too TeachThought, a PLN is a way of describing the group of people you connect with to learn their ideas, questions,reflections, and references. While researching this topic, is started to realize that by finding experts and other people who are working in the same field of study as I am, I can create a whole new world of education for myself. As a major in Special Education, I could expand my knowledge by following people with more experience, helpful tools, and laws and information that I will need to know eventually.
I started with Twitter. I had to find 100 people to follow to help evolve my PLN, which was a task that was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. As I started finding different people and organizations that dealt with special education and education in general, I found that I started to become pretty picky with who I was going to follow. It was kind of a struggle at first, trying to find people who I thought would benefit my timeline. As soon as I found a few really great ones, then the people they followed would pop up, then suggestions came along, and then the process started becoming a lot easier and fun! On Twitter, I found so many wonderful organizations, teachers, experts, and people who have the same passion as me, and who provide me with great inspiration and information every day.
Then, I went on to researching blogs to follow. This took some time, but I found it to be pretty entertaining! I found a few of them where solely they focused on politics… Next… Don’t get my wrong, politics are important, but while creating my PLN I would rather focus on learning about how I can make education fun and fulfilling for my students. I found many great bloggers who post every day, which is great for discussion!
I found that building a PLN is kind of like putting a puzzle together. You are trying to find all of the pieces that connect together, to create something whole and wonderful! That is how I look at my personal PLN. While building and creating it, I plan to connect, contribute, and be patient with everyone that is involved with it. I want to utilize every resource that I can! To do that, I need to be active in discussion with other people that are trying to build theirs as well. I believe that building relationships in the education world is so very important, especially going into 21st century education. Personal learning networks are where these relationships begin and I believe that everyone should work towards either starting or expanding their own PLN everyday!