Last year I told groups of teachers I was teaching that there were 3 little letters emerging for me in 2009 that meant a massive amount to a lot of people. In my classes, I predicted that these letters would go beyond 2009, become even more powerful, and indeed would surely become embedded as the " Top Word" of the year in 2010. I tried to impress on them how useful this short abbreviation would become for them. My PLN (Personal Learning Network) is an incredibly vital element of my daily life and I don't know where I would be without it now. Right at this very precise second, possibly feeling rather isolated, uninspired, unfulfilled and a bit bored, I reckon!! However, I hasten to add, that before I even knew the meaning of PLN, I was extemely happy with what I had around me.
My Sidebar Gurus
Many educators are spreading the word around that to be a 21st century teacher, we need to connect with other educators in our chosen fields. "Learning and sharing" has become a vital part of an emerging educational theory and practice. There is an abundance of materials that people are willing to share and you only have to click on the sidebar, to see members of my PLN who are constantly imparting their fabulous ideas. Sadly, there are too many fantastic sites and blogs to include all of them there. My sincere apologies to anyone not included. My "Sidebar Gurus" as I call them, enrich my life on a daily basis. I learn from them and I try to participate in their blogs by adding comments, whenever I feel I can add something. There are a multitude of reasons why people need and want to nurture their PLN by whatever means possible. I am very grateful to all the members of my PLN for the tremendous help and encouragement I receive and it is a great pleasure to be included in your fabulous and amazing networks.
Why Do We Connect?
Shelly Terrell, from Teacher Reboot Camp has recently undertaken a huge, global video project to help empower and to encourage people from all walks of life to connect and expand their PLN. I was thrilled to take part in this evolving video project along with many others, and you can catch me fleetingly at the very end of the brilliant and highly effective video below. You can find out more about participating in this exemplary mission from Shelly's "Why Do We Connect?" Wiki.
I recommend that you also have a look at this very interesting and insightful video post from Darren Elliot's "The Lives of Teachers" blog. The post is called " Personal Learning Networks, the what, why and how". I have learned a lot from it, and so will you, I am sure.
I would love to hear about your experience of how you are developing your very own persnalised learning network or environment. How is it enriching your life? Can you imagine a life without it? What is the alternative? Please do share your views :)