Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blog Post 5, Part A: PLNs, What Are They?

A Collage of Many Different Website Icons

According to Welcome to My PLE by Mr. H's Seventh Grade Student and Wendy Drexler

      The student refers to her PLN as her "Personal Learning Environment." First, she learned how to search for information and how to bring it to her PLN. Now that she has her PLN set up, she uses it to learn! The student visits her class site and chooses her own topics to learn about. She likes to use a note taking program that allows her to take snapshots of certain websites and saves the source of it so she can go back to it later. The student likes being able to choose how and when she learns. She thinks that having more freedom prompts her to learn more. To sum this up, this student uses her PLN to store sites that she is researching.

According to PLN - Michael Fawcett (@TeacherNZ) Offers His Insights posted by John Hadley Strange

      Michael Fawcett has a pretty cool PLN story. Before he started his PLN, all he had were teachers at his school. However, he was the only one that was using technology with his students, so there wasn't much growth available there for him. Then he went to a conference where he met many teachers that were doing the same types of things with their students. After the conference, Michael Fawcett continued on Twitter and continued to add people. From those people, he found new sites, web tools, blogs to read and comment on, and ideas for teaching and learning. All of the people in his network were very supportive, and he gives them all credit for helping him and his students. Michael Fawcett has also used Twitter to attend conferences around the world. He could even take part in the discussions. To sum this up, this teacher uses his PLN to give and receive new teaching ideas.

According to Personal Learning Networks Are Virtual Lockers for Schoolkids by Vicki Davis

      Vicki Davis states that a PLN "changes based on the student's current course work." Her students search the internet for tons of information as soon as they are assigned a new topic. All of that information goes on a PLN that is strictly for that topic. Her students have also learned how to set up RSS feeds so that they automatically get new information on their topic. I think that that is awesome! I'm looking forward to learning how to do that! Vicki Davis states that one of her students says that it helps her organize. That is the major thing that I keep seeing throughout my research for this blog post.

      I believe that having a PLN is essential. It is amazing how many doors you can open for yourself and others! I have never had one, and I ended up using some of my research time creating my own PLN!

Thanks so much for reading my blog post,
Jennifer L. Cole


  1. Very good, thorough blog post this week :)

    1. Thanks for your compliment! I try to put in a good amount of effort with my posts.

  2. Jennifer, I loved your post for this past week on PLN's! I agree that Michael Fawcett does have a great story on how he expanded his PLN. I am personally finding the same thing is happening to me while I am on my journey to expand my PLN for teaching. Feel free to follow me on twitter @candacesharris1 and I will be sure to follow back! I look forward to reading your next few blog posts! Keep up the excellent work!