Why You Need a PLN, and How to Develop One: Resources Shared at #LSCon

Speaker-Badge-LS14aAt the 2014 Learning Solutions Conference and Expo, I led a discussion titled Why You Need a PLN, and How to Develop One. Here’s a description of the session:

People are not learning exclusively from conventional sources like courses and classrooms anymore. In truth, we never did, but there’s a growing awareness of the small percentage of learning that comes from formal means as compared to informal means. More and more, people are realizing they are networked learners, with a large percentage of their learning coming via a dedicated group of chosen and trusted resources. This network of resources is commonly referred to as a personal learning network (or PLN), and it is one of the most powerful learning tools in a networked world. But how does one form a PLN, and what are the implications of PLNs to workplace learning?

In this session, you will learn about PLNs, including what they are, where they exist, and how to build one. You will also explore how an organization can leverage PLNs across their enterprise. You will leave this session with an understanding of the value of personal learning networks, as well as with the steps and tips needed to build a strong PLN.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The value of personal learning networks
  • The many ways individuals can build and strengthen a personal learning network
  • How to use social media to strategically target, connect, and engage with individuals and resources that can enhance professional development
  • How personal learning networks can be leveraged and scaled across a workforce

This blog post is being set up primarily as a follow-up resource for those that attended the session, and it may also serve as a resource for anyone that wants to learn more about PLNs.

Session Slides

What is a PLN (Personal Learning Network)?
Personal Learning Network Wikipedia entry
What is a PLN and why do I need one? by Colette Cassinelli
What is a PLN? (and why would I want to know?) via Digital Learning Team

Why Do Learning Professionals Need a PLN?
Personal Learning Networks (PLN) = An Attitude of Gratitude by Dawn Mahoney
Your Most Powerful Search Engine is Your Personal Learning Network (PLN) by David Kelly

How Can I Build and Nurture a PLN?
Nuts and Bolts: Building a Personal Learning Network (PLN) by Jane Bozarth
Using Twitter as a Professional Development Tool by David Kelly
5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network by Lisa Nielsen
Tools for Building your Personal Learning Network LiveBinder by Tim WIlhelmus
Building a PLN Pinterest board by Brian Frimel
The Social Media Guide to Growing Your Personal Learning Network by OLE
Establishing Your Professional Learning Network (PLN) by Andrea Vernola

Additional Related Resources
My Learning Styles Awakening by David Kelly
Sometimes You Just Need to Meet Your PLN Face-to-Face by Helen Blunden
Reflections on #lrnchat: Using a Conference Backchannel for Attendees and Non-Attendees by David Kelly
Eli Pariser: Beware Online Filter Bubbles TED Talk
What’s your Personal Social Media Strategy? by David Kelly