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PLN’s Redefined

In October 2008, I was introduced to Twitter as a PLN, a Personal Learning Network. From that moment on, I was convinced. My love for learning was reignited as I found other educators who thrived on conversations about learning, teaching, technology and leadership in education. I was suddenly challenged, engaged and enriched professionally and personally. My students benefited from this personal resurgence because it was contagious. My enthusiasm for my own learning translated into a renewed passion for teaching. I looked at their learning as more than something that I could offer them. It was something that I could teach them to dig deep below the surface to find in themselves. Attending NECC 09 this summer in Washington DC hands by aussiegalltook on a special personal meaning as I made face to face connections with the people in my virtual networks. Today, my view of my PLN shifted.

I will still shout from the rooftops that everyone should have a PLN, but do not compartmentalize this wonderful resource to your learning and teaching. It struck me tonight after I shared with my PLN that I was experiencing some stress in my family’s recent decision to become certified foster/adoptive parents and the stringent regulations that come with it. We may have to move because the historic home we live in now (which I love) won’t meet the strict fire codes. I was immediately bombarded with encouragement, support, sympathy and blessings. If it hadn’t already, that moment cemented for me that my PLN is not a Personal Learning Network. It’s a Personal Living Network. And who couldn’t benefit from that?!

Flickr photo by Aussiegall


6 Responses

  1. Kelly,
    I love “Personal Living Network” because it really encompasses the Personal Learning, Professional Learning and all else that the network becomes; depending on our needs at the time. Like all living things, our PLNs are constantly changing and like all living things they need to be nurtured, fed and shared. You do a great job with all of that.

    I’m so glad you’re a part of my PLN. Best of luck with your new endeavors. Things always have a way of working out. Remember that sometimes help is found in the strangest places.

  2. Kelli, I also love the Personal Living Network idea. I started my PLN journey around the same time as you and I have had the same inspiring experience. And I have also benefited from the “living” side of my network.

    I also wish you all the best in your endeavor. Remember that “If we can dream it, we can do it.” And you can always count on your PLN. I will add you to mine in a few minutes!


  3. Well said Kelly. I am still fairly new to all of this since I really didn’t become active on Twitter until April of this year. It sure didn’t take long for me to discover the wonderful benefits of a PLN. Yes the things I have learned could fill a book, but what I find more important is the human contact part of all this sharing. We get to giggle, laugh, shout out and sometimes even cry.

    I don’t have a family and when I’m at home by myself it can get lonely. Well I should say it used to be lonely. Not any more. I have so many people with whom I can connect now.

    I felt the effect yesterday when I couldn’t get on Twitter or TweetDeck and communicate. I felt so shut off from the world. It was amazing how much I missed everybody. Long “live” our PLN.

  4. I love the idea of a “living” network. I’d like to use that term in a workshop later this year if I may.

    And I’m with Paula – except my original twitter account has been suspended (and I can’t get it unsuspended – @dragonsinger57) and I’ve had to start all over again. That’s meant a very difficult 10 days without my PLN.

  5. Again, another one of your posts where I can say, “that is exactly how I feel!”. This summer has been the blooming of my PLN. I didn’t realize how crucial these connections had become to me until Twitter was attacked. Wow, I’m hooked, and my lifelong learning and teaching will never be the same (thank goodness)! Here’s to our PLN!!

  6. Hi Kelly
    I am student at University of South Alabama in the College of Education. I am experienceing the Personal learning network idea for the first time. I must say, that I am learning how for me as a future teacher,this network can help me be a better teacher and help my students learn to be connected with others more than just for personal chit-chating purposes. I liked your blog.

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