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A Deeper Dive into PLNs

Hi! I'd like to follow up on personal learning networks (PLN) a little more this week. Last week I briefly mentioned PLNs in comparison to a professional learning community (PLC). This week I want to give some more examples because I hope that each of you will find a PLN to connect with starting this summer.

As I shared last week Schoology describes PLNs like this. “A personal learning network (PLN) is a group of colleagues, mentors, and professionals that you connect with to enhance your own personal learning and take charge of your own professional development.” So, I'd like to share some groups I connect with in hopes that you might want to connect also.

FACEBOOK - If you have a Facebook account you have probably been invited to like or follow many pages and groups. If you have never seen groups and pages related to library topics, this summer would be a great time to start looking. These groups are places you can connect with others to improve your personal learning and professional development.

You can use the search bar on Facebook to search for things you want to learn more about. Here is an example of my search for makerspace. There are a variety of groups and pages and I can read the little blurb to decide if there are any I want to look at further.

I love Facebook library groups. Typically someone moderates and keeps the environment welcoming and open for discussions. Librarians are free to ask each other questions and members add their responses in a free-flowing conversation. It's easy to follow along because all of the discussions occur underneath the original post.

Here are some of the library groups and pages I follow on Facebook.

TWITTER - Twitter operates much differently from Facebook. You can personally create a "list" of people you select. This lets you organize the people you follow into groups and then enables you to see only their Tweets when you click your list.

To get started, you would need a list of people to follow on Twitter. Then you would click on Lists and add the specific people that you want to curate Tweets from.

Some people find it harder to follow conversations in Twitter. You would need to remember the person who asked a question you want to go back and scroll to look for. Or you can visit your curated List of Tweets. Or you can search for a hashtag that reflects something you want to know more about.

It is interesting that Twitter helps you make your list. When you name the list and click the button to begin adding members, it suggests people and companies for you to add to your list based on their self-descriptions. So, if you create a makerspace list, you will see suggestions like this.

That's enough for today. Surely you'll be able to start a small PLN this summer using Facebook or Twitter. Maybe we'll look at some other platforms next week.

Reach out to me if you want some help and here is a list of some superstar librarians you can begin to follow now.

Keep Making a Difference Every Day!

Dr. Laura

Have you met Katie Nedved from the state of Washington? She shared some great tips for new librarians this week on the podcast. Click here to listen now.

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