PLN; Personal Learning Network

Phone CC by Evelyn Giggles

Dr. Justin Tarte tweeted this quote by Madeline Hunter and it definitely applies to Education. As future teachers we must learn and understand that one shoe does not fit every child.

This week for one of my homework assignments, I learned about a new tool that will come in handy for me as a future teacher; it is called PLN, or Personal Learning Network. According  to, PLN “stands for Personal Learning Network. What it means is that an individual has developed their own personalized “network” of fellow educators and resources who are designed to make them a better teacher. This network exists both in their real-life relationships and online through their social media connections.” PLN

Two informational articles I read about PLN;  Why I need a PLN     and  How to cultivate a personal learning network: Tips from Howard Rheingold, has made clear that this tool can have great benefits for me as a future educator, as well as for other people in other types of careers. As long as social media is available, it is easy for us to share ideas, experiences, thoughts, information, etc. with real people in real situations. Using #PLN on Twitter, I have found many great people (educators) to follow, who also share the same interest as me. Through a PLN, we can share ideas, communicate, and keep up to date on new information about Education overall.

Howard Rheingold shares 8 key ideas on how to “cultivate” a great PLN.

1- Explore

It does not necessarily mean about knowing how to find experts or co-learners. It also means, being able to adapt to new information, and thinking how it can become useful in a classroom setting.


“Use Diigo, delicious, listorious, to find pools of expertise in the fields that interest you,” says Rheingold. Using personal references you have found, “(Diigo, a browser plug-in that enables you to capture web pages and portions of them), for sharing with others (delicious, a social sharing tool) and for finding relevant Twitter lists and subject matter experts in your areas of inquiry (listorious). Your goal is to identify people and potential sources you can add to your personal knowledge network.”

3-Follow candidates through RSS, Twitter

Ask yourself one thing, are the people you are following sharing informational material? And visa versa? “Analyze the quality of their social media posts,” if not, it is time to remove them and find people who share same interests as you.

4- Always keep tuning your network, dropping people who don’t gain sufficiently high interest; adding new candidates

The great thing about PLN is that you can control who you want to follow and who you want to remove from your list. Always keep in mind that you are looking for people who share new ideas, informational articles, etc. It is not about the amount of people you follow, but those who actually post relevant information about Education.

5 – Feed the people you follow

Always share informational stuff, don’t just wait for people to share it with you first.

6- Engage the people you follow

Always appreciate information shared by others. And when requesting for information, it’s always nice to ask politely and thank people for their collaboration.

7-Inquire of the people you follow, of the people who follow you

“Being mindful of being useful to others helps to ensure that we build mutually productive and gratifying relationships in our social channels.”

8-Respond to inquiries made to you

It’s always nice to respond to those who ask questions, never ignore others.

Having a PLN is great, especially since anyone can join it, including educators from all over the world. It’s great to be able to share ideas and information which can help us to better educate ourselves.

I have follow Dr. Justin Tarte on Twitter, and here is a great quote he shared:

     The smallest light, can light up the darkest room.

Be the spark.



//” target=”_blank”>Dr. Justin Tarte (Twitter)




2 thoughts on “PLN; Personal Learning Network

    1. Yes I enjoy his quotes too. Although I did not get to follow/add 100 people to my PLN, the few people I did follow sounded very informational and had great articles to share. I did not wanted to add 100 followers just to meet the requirements, so I made site the ones I did follow, had great things to share about education! So far I’m loving the information we get to share!!! 🙂


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