Why Have A Professional Learning Network

Wondering why a Professional Learning Network (PLN) is important? Professional or Personal Learning Network is a method used by people to connect with each other to learn ideas, reflections, questions, and references.

We all know that successful teaching and learning doesn’t occur in isolation. For a long time, teachers have relied on others for inspiration, new perspectives, guidance, and support in improving their practice. Whether you are constantly connected or only a few times a month, everyone benefits when we are sharing and discussing topics together.   

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Previously, this type of interaction took place in a school community. At that time, communicating with educators from other locations was only possible occasionally at a conference a few times a year. With social media, this has changed how and when we can have that professional dialogue.  

Just like other fields, educators have access to information at their fingertips. They are capable of getting in touch with people from across the globe at a moment’s notice. This is mostly done through social media but there are plenty of online communities and blogs as well. It has removed barriers, from geography and language to further our collaborative practice.  

What is a PLN?

Recently, a professional learning network (PLN) is not only limited just online interactions. It is the online and global interactive part that makes this type of network so special. This group is personal because you choose who is part of your professional group and learning journey. It will be up to you to decide if you just want to see what people are saying or you want to share.

It will enable you to make connections and build relationships with other teachers for sharing resources, ideas, and voicing educational concerns. It will even expose you to new practices and bring a change in the way you teach. It enables agency for not only your students but for you as well in how and when you choose to interreact and what you voice in your professional community.

Reasons to Have a PLN

Still not convinced why you should have PLN? There are several other reasons for having PLN. I have highlighted some of the most compelling ones.

  1. With the help of PLN, you can be a globally connected teacher. This will not only help you grow, but it also models being globally-minded to your students. It will enhance the learning process for students being able to share their thoughts and ideas using different applications such as Flipgrid to give voice to students.
  2. This is useful for creating a relationship and connections with the professional learning community, both nationally and internationally. Being able to gain support and insight into strategies that you may not be familiar with.
  3. There is no fixed time for learning. You get the flexibility of learning at the time that suits you the most. This will eliminate the need to wait for a conference to interact with others. You don’t have to be online all the time; you can decide the time that suits you the most.
  4. You are responsible for your own professional development. It means that you don’t have to wait to improve your professional development. One of the great things about a PLN is that you can connect and learn in a way that suits you the best.

In the end, PLN is an excellent way to improve your teaching methods and learn new ideas, resources, and much more. Where do you continue your learning? What have been the most helpful learning experiences for you? Share below!

This will enable you to get feedback on your teaching methods and how you can improve it. I hope to see you on Twitter and until next time, keep sharing your learning.

Levi

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