PLNs; why connect?

One of my goals this year is to promote the concept of PLNs (professional or personal learning networks) as a core component of future teacher learning in the connected world. These two videos take up some of the concepts around ‘why connect?’ in very different ways.

The first is from a blog I just discovered from Shelley Terrell with the great name, Teacher Reboot Camp. She’s a promoter of PLNs and now in my Google Reader feed list!  It’s a short, emotional, compelling video about the value of connection.

The second is from a blog called The Lives of Teachers by Darren Elliot. It’s a longer, more reflective piece, with audio, and sourced in some detail and talks through some of the thinking about connectivity and learning in a modern world. I recommend you watch and listen to them both!

4 thoughts on “PLNs; why connect?

  1. Thanks for the pingback… nice combination. I’ve got a lot of respect for Shelley and her cheerleading spirit, her organisational drive and promotional skills.. and this video is a quintessential distillation of a lot of that, and its expression in the blogosphere / twitterverse. The three words you’ve chosen to describe her video – compelling, emotional, short – are very interesting to me. I do worry that there is sometimes a lack of criticality, a too-short perspective, a ‘soundbite-ism’.. to a lot of the online PLN chat. I wanted to get people to think people about why they are doing it, and to be realistic about their aims. I guess we need to get people enthused, to get them to participate… but once they are there we need to get them to reflect.

  2. Hi Darren; thanks for those comments, and taking the time to share hem. The thing I liked most about your piece was that it wasn’t ‘short’, it was detailed and exploratory and reflective, sourced and considered. It’s more a scholarly article than an TV ad, but there’s room for both I think.

  3. Hello Warrick,

    Thank you for posting these two videos. I do agree with Darren about reflection and for this reason I love Darren’s video. I enjoyed the theory shared and thought it well made. In fact, I find it one of the most important videos on PLNs.

    However, I agree with you that there is room for both. I would say that both have to exist for buy-in. I hate that term but really my goal is to inspire educators into action. I think PLNs will be the saving grace of education systems around the world. Educators have been encouraged to be lifelong learners and become passionate in their participation. I have seen the power and my goal is to get every educator a PLN. I want this to be the norm and not the exception. I recently showed this video at a conference. Before showing the video I ran this by a friend who has a lot of experience presenting at this conference. My friend thought this video was too long so I cut it to 3 minutes. I believe the audience paid more attention to the video and were touched by the video. Educators who do not participate in PLNs complain about the time they have to invest. Most people will take time to watch a 2 to 3 minute video is what the research I have done continuously points out. I believe in stages of PLN adoption. I think once educators become a part of one they take the time to research the PLN. This has been my experience and the experience of several in my PLN. Now I watch videos like Darren’s and online presentations that are over an hour long. However, in the beginning I didn’t see the point in doing this. I think this is the experience of both so I would say that in a way these two videos compliment each other in the stages of PLN adoption.

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