Thursday, April 7, 2011

Journal 6 - Grow Your Personal Learning Network (NETS-T I, III, V)

Warlick, D. (2009). Grow your personal learning network. Learning and Leading, 36(6), Retrieved from

Summary: In his article David Warlick describes the importance of creating an broad but effective Personal Learning Network, or PLN, that stretches beyond traditional methods.  In his description of Personal Learning Networks Warlick explains that there are three major types of Personal Learning Networks: personally maintained synchronous connections, personally and socially maintained semisyncronous connections and dynamically maintained asynchronous connections.  A personally maintained PLN utilizes synchronous connections and is the most traditional PLN.  Simply stated this PLN includes the people and places that one visits or corresponds with on a daily basis.  Text messaging is a tool that enhances this PLN.  The second type of PLN, a personally and socially maintained semisyncronous connections.  The key to this type of PLN is that it is semisyncronous, meaning that does not synchronize a user 24/7.  Tools that enhance this PLN include Facebook and chatrooms.  The final type of PLN, dynamically maintained asynchronous connections, gets a user in contact with sources that he or she feels is highly useful.  A person who utilizes this type of PLN uses aggregators, resources that bring information to the user.  After effectively describing the three types of PLNs Warlick describes the responsibility of a person with a strong PLN.  A person who actively utilizes their PLN both benefits for their efforts and provides an excellent learning tool for others.

Question 1: What is the importance of a PLN?

Answer 1: The importance of a PLN is indescribable.  An effective PLN allows a vast amount of learning to occur.  A user with a strong PLN is able to tap into resources that are specifically designed for users with similar qualities.  For example, I as a potential history teacher have begun to build a PLN that provides me with resources tooled for high school history teachers.  Thus my future teaching becomes more effective as I have an effective PLN.

Question 2: Of the three types of PLN which is the most important for an educator?

Answer 2: In my opinion the most important resource is personally maintained synchronous connections.  The reason I feel this to be important is because of working daily with a team of teachers.  While online resources such as Twitter and Diigo a user can find sources but in my opinion there is never any substitute for face-to-face time with a fellow educator that understands and lives your circumstances.

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