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How to Set Up A Personal Learning Network

10.01.13 | Classroom Tips | 1 Comment

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a learning venue that you create and that you tailor to your professional interest areas. Your PLN can include people, social media sites, resource sites, and organizations. A PLN helps you find new ideas and information to bring back to your class, school, or district. Here are a few tips for how to create a PLN:

Begin with a few tools and platforms and add others slowly. Start by adding tools such as Google Reader, DropBox, or Evernote. Consider adding a social media component such as Twitter or an image-sharing site such as Flickr.

Be consistent across all networks. Set up one consistent username across all networks. This helps you build a coherent online identity and reputation.

Take cues from those whom you respect. When you find people online you respect, look at who they follow and select some connections from their list. You may want to begin your network by adding a few well-regarded bloggers.

Step out of your comfort zone. As you build your network, include people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives. Don’t create an echo chamber. Instead, create a learning environment that will help stretch your thinking.

Educate yourself. There are several helpful books about PLNs, including this one: Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education. There is also the online “Guide to Creating Your Personal Learning Network.”

Have fun!


About Sheryl Nussbaum

Nussbaum is co-author of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age. A more detailed version of this article can be found at

Comments on How to Set Up A Personal Learning Network

  1. Susan Farber says:

    You have shared some great pointers for creating this PLN.

    Do you think that the PLN should be shared with colleagues, to create a community of learners who seek ideas to drive solutions?

    Do you agree that it is important for teachers to consider how valid or authoritative the ideas shared on the Internet may be? How do we know if what we find on the Internet will be effective and is accurate in its description?

    Looking for multiple opinions or perspectives is critical in our diverse world… we can not assume that all people or children learn, observe, think or communicate in the same way.

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