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 took 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
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