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Wiki Main Page > > Personal Learning Networks


Personal Learning Networks & your online identity

Where do you go for information? Who do you turn to for help? Who are your mentors? How do you learn what you need to know? All of these resources are part of your Personal Learning Network (PLN).  A PLN is your collection of resources, colleagues - local and distant, experts, websites, books, journals, podcasts, videos, social networks – anything that you can turn to when you need help finding out about something. It's also about you sharing your expertise with others.


  • What’s your PLN look like now? We all have one!
  • What are you trying to learn? To keep up with?
  • Who do you want to be connected with?
  • What expertise can YOU share with others?



Stages of PLN Adoption

google profiles -


Expand Your PLN: Blogs


Follow Blogs

  • Reading blogs and commenting on posts that interest you is a very easy starting point. What to write? Thoughtful comments that offer your views on a topic, engage other readers, ask the writer for more information  – these are great ways to start getting connected.
  • Note who do else is commenting and read their blogs. Do these bloggers have a list of bloggers that they follow? Check out their lists. You’ll start to see names being repeated. These might be the more popular, highly followed bloggers. But don’t overlook the “little guys” either!  For a list of blogs to get you started, check out the class wiki page on blogging. 

Write a blog

  • This is your place to explore ideas and gather feedback from colleagues.  You might not get too many comments when you first start, but if you comment on other people’s blogs and post reactions to their posts on your blog, you’ll start making connections.




delicicious is a handy online bookmarking site. It allows you to access your bookmarks from any web browser, wherever you are. This is very great for people who use multiple computers and/or want to share their bookmarks with others.

delicious can also help you discover new resources and add to your Personal Learning Network. 


Build a delicious network

The goal is to find other users who share your interests. Once you’ve added them to your network, you can easily view the links they’re adding to delicious.


  • Login to your account
  • Find a link of interest by searching for topics or by browsing through your own bookmarks.
  • Click on the ‘saved by ## people’ link to find out who else saved that page and read their notes.
  • Click on a user’s name to explore the links they’ve saved.
  • If their links are of interest to you, add the user to your network by clicking on the ADD TO MY NETWORK link
  • Confirm them by clicking on OK


Other ways to add to your network

  • Explore the networks of other users. They may be following colleagues that are of interest to you.
  • Check your favorite blogs. The blogger may have their delicious identity noted on their blog.
  • Add everyone in the class today! Instant karma.


Make delicious work for you

  • Subscriptions – Are there some tags you search for all the time? Subscribe to them instead. Click on Subscriptions and Add a Subsciption.  Type a tag and it will be added to your list of subscriptions. Relevant web sites will be listed on the left.
  • Share – If you find a site that someone in your network might be interested in, share it with them by adding their delicious user name when you bookmark a site. You’ll see the names of people in your network when you tag an item.
  • Share with colleagues not using delicious – Not everyone is using delicious. (why not??) But you can still make it easy to get great resources delivered to them. Let’s say you’re collecting great sites for a Biology teacher. Tag the sites with a unique tag (eg: bio12thproject2). And choose a way to deliver the resources that works for the teacher.
    • Send them a delicious URL so they can see your links right in your delicious page. Eg:
    • Have the teacher add the RSS feed for your links to their feed reader. Where’s the RSS? Go to the link in the example above. Look at the bottom of the list of sites. The RSS feed is at the bottom of the page. Right click and copy the link location/URL. Send it to the teacher if they’re using a feed reader.
    • Send it to their email with Enter the RSS feed and their email. Whenever you add sites with that tag, the teacher will get an email update.



A very popular micro-blogging service. You post short messages of 140 character or less. These messages, known as tweets, appear in a steady stream of messages on the screen. You see messages of the people you are following. The people following you see your messages. Twitter lets you go backwards in time through many screens of older tweets.


This may sound odd at first, but once you’ve developed a good network, you just might find it very useful. It’s a great way to broadcast a question to a large group of people all at once.


You can also send private messages to people through the Direct Message feature. Longer discussions can be followed up via email.


Finding people to follow:

  • Add people from class today.
  • Use the search button at the bottom of the screen to find people talking about topics you’re interested in.
  • Found someone interesting? Explore who they follow and who’s following them.
  • These are some educators you’ll find in my network: joycevalenza, kathyschrcock, bcdtech, cathyjo, shareski, dmcordell, buffyhamilton, dwarlick, willrich45, cogdog, suewaters



  • Build your network slowly. If people see you’re following 500 people and no on follows you, they’re not likely to start following you!
  • Say hello to people when they follow you.
  • Ask questions.
  • Share ideas
  • Answer other people’s questions
  • Share a bit of yourself, it’s about getting to know people too.
  • Write a short note about yourself in your personal profile.
  • Your tweets can be kept private – only seen by your followers. Under SETTINGS, check the PROTECT MY UPDATES box.
  • Use the twitter search feature to find information on hot topics.


More Resources:



Facebook is one of the largest online communities. For many, it’s a way to keep up to date on what their friends and family are doing. Facebook makes it simple to send a status update that tells all your friends what you’re up to. And you can get updates from all your friends just as easily. 


It’s also very popular for connecting with colleagues. There are many, many librarians on Facebook. After you join, search for names of colleagues and view their public profile. Click on Add as Friend to send them a message.  If they accept your friend request, you’ll be able to see each other’s updates and start communicating. 


Look for friends and colleagues that you truly want to connect with. Better to grow your network slowly and make real connections than have 1000 ‘friends’ you don’t know and don’t care about. 


Getting Started

  • Facebook 101 - Nicole Engard's handy step by step tutorial will get you set up on Facebook in no time.


Facebook Privacy

Pay attention to privacy settings. I can't say this loudly enough! Don’t leave your account wide open so that anyone can find out all about you. As soon as you sign up, use the Settings & Privacy menu to check what is public and what isn’t.

It’s a bit of a pain to go through all the settings, but important.  For example: can your photos and notes be seen by the friends of your friends? That exposes your content to a lot of people. Do you want that? Maybe, maybe not. You need to decide.



Online communities offer members a place to share ideas, post news, share projects, have conversations around topics and more.  These are two communities geared towards educators.

  • Classroom 2.0 - Become a member, participate in discussions, share ideas, get assistance. Over 17,000 members and a very active community. Includes a weekly Live discussion at:  Classroom 2.0 LIVE!
  • TeacherLibrarianNing Joyce Valenza started this community for “those of us who connect, teach, share, and lead in new information landscapes.”


My Twitter network

This is a fun tool that creates a mosaic of your twitter followers images. Each image links back to that person's twitter account. There are tons of 3rd party tools designed to work with twitter.


Get your twitter mosaic here.

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