by Shelly Sanchez Terrell
"For the past 4 years, I have researched the what, who, when, how, and why of Personal/ Professional/ Passionate Learning Networks (PLNs). We have seen the benefits of the people we choose to connect, collaborate, and problem solve with through social media. The educators, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and mentors we choose to derive knowledge from help us self-reflect on our methodologies and beliefs. They support us, remember our birthdays, celebrate our accomplishments, and stir within us a passion to improve the status quo.
"Within one year of connecting with a PLN, I jump started many projects at my own institute and in the past 4 years I’ve organized many free incredible professional development events with the help of my PLN. A few examples include #Edchat, the Reform Symposium Global E-Conference, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, the Crafting the ePerfect eTextbook open online 5 week course, the Digital Storytelling EVO, #ELTChat, Virtual Round Table e-conference, the IATEFL Harlem Shake, and the ELT Techniques MOOC Lip Dub.
"A community raises a child! Yes, I do believe this, which is why I am passionate about PLNs. My PLN helps me be a better educator and prepare my students and trainees. They feed me experience, knowledge, and support 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Therefore, I hope you take time to bookmark these various resources, share them with other educators through workshops and presentations, and spread the message of PLNs."
Jim Lerman's insight:
For those just starting to build a PLN, or for lthose interested in expanding theirs, a great number of resources and how-tos appear here.