10 Reasons Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network

A personal learning network is a group of people you connect with to learn from through their ideas, questions, backgrounds, and references.

personal learning

Why Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network

by TeachThought Staff

What’s a professional learning network?

According to Marc-André Lalande, “a Personal Learning Network is a way of describing the group of people that you connect with to learn their ideas, their questions, their reflections, and their references.”

Of course, your PLN is not limited to online interactions, but their always-on availability makes them powerful. Further, the diversity of voices available in a truly global professional learning network makes it possible–and at times necessary–to consider divergent perspectives and thus, over time, become empathetic, connected, and prone to personal and professional growth.

As for this graphic? You can thank Sylvia Duckworth, who always does a great job sharing simple sketch notes to help teachers. (She also took our 12 Rules of Great Teaching and created a predictably wonderful graphic to supplement the text, among others.) We’ve taken the graphic and provided starting points for each ‘reason’ a teacher needs a PLN.

10 Reasons Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network

1. Find great resources, lesson plans, and conferences

Consider: OER Commons Resources

2. Share your resources & ideas

Consider: 23 Ways To Use The iPad In PBL

3. Following amazing educators and their blogs

Consider: 52 Education Blogs You Should Follow

4. Get support when needed

Consider: An example like clarifying the difference between ‘doing projects’ and PBL

5. Make international connections

Consider: Project-Based Learning in your classroom

6. Flatten your classroom walls

Consider: Why Learning Through Social Networks Is The Future

7. Collaborate globally on projects

Consider: 50 Ideas For Using Skype In The Classroom

8. Find round-the-clock inspiration

Consider: Follow your favorite blogs on instagram–edutopia or TeachThought for example.

9. Learn the latest trends in education

Consider: The most popular twitter hashtags in education

10. Never run out of ideas for new things to try with your students 

10 Reasons Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network; image attribution flickr user sylviaduckworth