PLNs: An Overview

“With Web 2.0 resources and social media students can connect to share ideas, engage in inquiry, and search for additional information. Sometimes called learning communities, collaboration among students and teachers expands educational possibilities through electronic connectedness. Wagner’s (2008) suggestions for improving learning opportunities outline many types of strategies that can effectively integrate technology with learning. Wagner’s ideas that learners need to be engaged in experiences that frame their thinking can be facilitated by current Web 2.0 resources and social media. Students can now engage in critical thinking and problem solving while collaborating and communicating with others and by using curiosity and imagination to explore new ideas. The Web 2.0 tools and social media described in this chapter target those skills and provide students with many types of learning opportunities beyond simple information access” (Source).

“Building a personal learning network requires that you not only seek to learn from others, but also that you also help others in the network learn. Even when you are a novice in a field of learning, you can still make contributions.” — Daniel R. Tobin


  1. Introduction to Personal Learning Networks by Wikipedia.
  2. Personal Learning Networks by Education 2020
  3. Using Digital Technologies and Personal Learning Networks to Enhance Learning – These are the slides, resources, and video recording from my keynote presentation at the Podstock Conference. Use the following “reading prompts” to guide you as you view and reflect on the content.
    1. To what does “alphabet soup” refer?
    2. What are some of the characteristics of PLNs?
    3. Note some of the benefits of PLNs related to teaching and learning.
    4. How are the ideas presented connected to what you already know?
    5. What new ideas did you get that extended or pushed your thinking in new directions?
  4. What My PLN Means to Me – This come from a collaborative activity at a teacher professional development workshop. The virtual post-it note Web 2.0 tool, Padlet, was used for brainstorm and share.

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.