P L N
Three simple letters, more learning than I ever thought possible.
PLN. Personal Learning Network.
Before Spring 2009, I had never heard of a PLN. I knew all about PLC, Professional Learning Community. PLC describes a style of collegiality in schools that is focused on teachers (professionals) working together to improve learning. PLN is different.
A PLN is personal. It is my learning network. My PLN is entirely online. Through twitter and a number of blogs, I have gathered dozens of principals and other educators who want to share. My PLN is always sharing resources and opinions. When I have an education question, I can ask my PLN. Within minutes, I get responses from multiple perspectives. You see, this group is scattered around the country (and the world), across grade levels, and throughout the opinion spectrum.
I have two main ways to connect with my PLN. First is through Twitter. In the Spring of 2009, I signed up for twitter purely out of curiosity. At that same time, I read an article that mentioned school principals using twitter to increase communication. So, I searched for other principals who used twitter. Right away, I found a small group who wanted to converse with other principals. The learning had begun. You can follow me on Twitter: @fliegs is my user name.
My other way to connect with my PLN is through a variety of education blogs. Right now I follow 37 educational leadership blogs. Some post every day, some post just a few times each year. The great thing is that I get to read the opinions of principals on a huge range of topics. I use Google Reader to organize all of these blogs (and a bunch of non-education related blogs).
So, my PLN provides an enormous amount of information and communication and has become one of the best ways for me to stay on top of new developments, news, and opinion about education. If you are interested in starting your own PLN I can help. Just let me know.