Week 6 – Personal Online Learning Networks (#edumooc)

Week 6 – Personal Online Learning Networks (#edumooc)

This week the #edumooc topic is "Personal Online Learning Networks". The label is new to me, but the concept is not. Throughout my Master's degree I was part of a more formalized "online learning community". Now, these networks may not have been considered "personal", but the less formal networks that formed between students, whilst learning online (the entire degree was done online), would definitely qualify as personal online learning networks.

The introduction to this weeks topic says "Online learning facilitates lifelong learning in ways not possible even three years ago" (edumooc Google site). Can anyone tell me what is significant about 3 years ago that might of changed things? I completed my Master's degree from Royal Roads University back in 2005. As I mentioned above, we certainly had personal learning networks back then – we are actually encourage to create our own network of "critical friends" to help motivate us through the thesis process.

When Iook up PLN in Google Scholar, I get books and articles dating back to 1995! That is pretty impressive, since back then web browsers were still in their infancy and only geeks and academics use the Internet.

This week, if time permits, I'm going to investigate personal learning networks further. I'm going to look at the ways I cultivate my personal learning networks and how I might leverage them as I work through the Ph.D. process.

I'm curious, how to you cultivate your personal learning networks?


3 Replies to “Week 6 – Personal Online Learning Networks (#edumooc)”

  1. I wondered about the "three years" but, aside from possibly dating surgeand grassroots spread of wide spread participation in social networks, three may just be a way of emphaizing recentness. Three years ago no more than a handful of people here in the small town where I live were on Facebook. 
    It's interesting and instructive – in some ways a cautionary tale – to compare learning networks now and then. Networks are, have always been connections, people we shared information with, learned from (asking questions). The tools are different, better, faster, let us connect with more people at the same time across greater distances, seemingly collapsing time and space. 
    If way blogging your learning experience puts you on your way to developing your PLN, then once upon a time, so did keeping a journal, writing letters by hand, etc. I wonder if close examination (pulling out old journal) of how we created and tended networks over the years would show the seeds of future change in earlier practice. If those who wrote their reflections, chronicled their learning and shared information (perhaps wrote, published and distributed zines and newsletters) were better positioned, more disposed to catch the next wave when it came their. Or perhaps a wave catching frame of mind and taste for exploration were also necessary ingredients.
    Many ears later, I realized that I created my first PLN (just did not know it or the name at the time) back in 1957. No, that is not a typo.

  2. You’re well on your way to developing your PLN by blogging your learning experience and forming your own personal network of individuals that you follow and learn from informally. A PLN is only as valuable as the members that you add to your network and the level in which you engage with them. We should have a great panel discussion this week. ~ Jason

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