Wikipedia describes a personal learning network as an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment . In a PLN, a person makes a connection with another person
with the specific intent that some type of learning will occur because of that connection.
A PLN is a reciprocal network that you create to learn from, connect with, gather information or resources, create with and finally share what you have learned. A PLN can occur in your school, face-to-face, online, at conferences or through reading, reflecting and sharing.
Some more details:
- The Personal:
Having a PLN is about making connections and building personal relationships with teachers, school administrators, university professors, and experts around the world. No matter where you are in the world, there’s always someone online available to answer questions, share their expertise, and simply chat about what’s happening in their lives and classrooms.
- The Learning:
Having a PLN is about sharing ideas and resources, collaboration, and learning. We may share our learning, ideas and expertise in different ways; using different media and tools, but the essence is the same: the PLN is simply the best professional development you will ever participate in – and it’s available 24/7.
- The Network:
The defining feature of the PLN is that it is a global learning network, enabling people to tap into and share diverse, global perspectives on teaching strategies, educational issues, and technologies. If takes time and effort to build these connections, but it’s well worth the effort.