Beginning or Extending Your Digital Journey

Your personal learning network (PLN) is just that - personal - for you decide what people and what information you wish to connect with in learning. Your time is important. So, you must decide what merits your attention. You will find here resources to explore in creating a PLN supporting your interests and passions.

Once you put your toe out into the PLN digital waters, you will connect with others beyond what is offered here.

Have fun building and interacting with your PLN!

For an overview of the digital tools to create your PLN, click here.

Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

The Networked Teacher This graphic shows a comparison of what a networked teacher was in the past compared to the networked teacher of today.

Will Richardson explains personal learning networks.

Building a PLN with Web 2.0 Tools The Learning Never Stops! Voracious Learners and Tech Divas, the energetic trio of Michelle Bourgeois, Colleen Glaude, and Katie Morrow present a fun and easy meal plan for growing your Personal Learning Network using Web 2.0 Tools.

Stages of PLN Adoption

Learning to create your own PLN is critical for we must prepare for the Networked Student.! Are you a network sherpa? A learning architect?

For a collection of bookmarks on PLNs, click here.

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Coauthors Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli Share
Why PLNs Are an Essential Foundation for the 21st Century Learner
In order to create successful learning networks in the classroom, teachers must first create learning networks of their own. Don't know how? In Personal Learning Networks, the authors share step-by-step advice and real-world examples of how to form global learning networks. To help you get started, Solution Tree asked the authors why PLNs are making a difference in the classroom—and why you should consider creating your own PLN.

Q. Please define personal learning networks as they apply to educators and the world of education in general.

A. A personal learning network (PLN) consists of the people and resources that fuel our learning. During the past decade, this network is increasingly online. In a PLN, we can learn anytime, anywhere, with potentially anyone around the world who shares our passion or interest. We can literally build global classrooms of our own making on the web that include communities of learners we interact with on a regular basis.

Q. What is the link between learning networks and student achievement?

A. PLNs are an essential foundation for the 21st century learner. Students who create their own networks drive their own learning. PLNs work across all subject areas because they connect students to people and resources customized to their own learning style. PLNs transform education by making it more customized, global, real-time, and connected.

Q. Why did you decide to focus on learning networks as a means to improve student achievement?

A. Our ability to construct these types of networked connections is a fundamental part of learning in the 21st century. In this new world of learning, student achievement will be framed not so much by what a child knows, but whether or not that child has learned how to learn. In this sense, PLNs are capacity building. They enable students to go beyond their local teachers and textboooks, making the entire world their classroom.

Personal Learning Networks
Personal Learning Networks

Study Guide


the Authors
Will Richardson
Will Richardson


on Twitter
Rob Mancabelli
Rob Mancabelli


on Twitter

Q. Could you describe the research and/or real-world stories that went into Personal Learning Networks?

A. Thousands of educators are beginning to create connected learning experiences for the students in their classrooms, and there is more and more evidence every day that the interactions we can have within these networked spaces are challenging many of the traditional structures in our society. This book taps into those stories to create a compelling context for change.

Q. What do you think is the most important message from Personal Learning Networks?

A. The way we learn is changing, and this is a moment filled with both opportunities and challenges for educators and learners of all stripes. If we are to fully understand these opportunities and help our students take advantage of them, we need to form our own PLNs. Only by learning through our own networks can we work together to bring them to our classrooms and our schools in effective ways.

To learn more about this book, and how to implement a personal learning network into your professional development plans, click here

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Resources for Creating Your PLN

General Education Resources

Edutopia is funded by the George Lucas Foundation and includes articles, videos, and resources for professional development. offers practical, hands-on advice, real-world examples, lively contributions from practitioners, and invaluable tips and tools.

K12Online Conference is an annual event where the conference sessions happen virtually. Teachers from around the globe have presented sessions on topics covering virtually every curriculum area and grade level. Search the archives to see past year's presentations.

Classroom 2.0 Ning An online community of technology using teachers who share ideas and best practices.

Global Education Collaborative Ning Connect with others worldwide on learning projects.

International Society for Technology in Education Ning

Flat Classroom Project Ning

The Social Media Classroom


50 Best Blogs for Education Leaders

Howard Rheingold's Vlog (a video blog)

New Media Literacies

Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins

Always Learning by Kim Cofino

Bionic Teaching by Tom Woodward

Bud the Teacher by Bud Hunt

Free Tech for Teachers

Generation YES! by Sylvia Martinez

A Not So Different Place by N Bosch

Presentation Zen

Successful Teaching by Pat Hensley

Teachers at Risk by Elona Hartjes

Weblogg-ed by Will Richardson

Cool Cat Teacher by Vicki Davis

The Royal Treatment by Ken Royal


Here's a selection of favorite podcasts - some about education, but others that just make for enjoyable listening. Each of these links will open in iTunes. To subscribe to them, just click the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of the iTunes window. New episodes will be automatically added to iTunes each time they're available. You can find your subscribed podcasts in the Podcast link in the iTunes sidebar on the left.

Always On by Katie Morrow and Michelle Bourgeois

Conference Connections by Apple Distinguished Educators

The EdRevolution by Andy Kohl, Ben Grey, and Scott Meech

KidCast: Podcasting in the Classroom by Dan Schmit

November Learning

National Education Computing Conference 2008

iTunes University (Scoll down to the bottom of the page and explore how colleges and universities are using iTunes.)

One Minute Mac Tip by John Chambers

PRI Selected Shorts (Fictional Short Stories) by Public Radio International

Teach with Video by Steve Katz

Tech Chick Tips by Anna Adam and

This American Life by Public Radio International


Curious as to what this thing called Twitter is? Check out these resources to learn more.

Twitter in Plain English Video explains what Twitter is and how it works.

This resource ROCKS! A must read to prepare you for the Twitterverse! Twitter for Beginners//

TIME Magazine (June 15, 2009) Cover Story //How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live//

Twitter-ific Success by Bill Ferriter Great blog post on the power of Twitter and how to get started.

Twittervision A real-time geographic visualization of posts to Twitter.

Twitter Cloud Some teachers using this tool in the teaching of poetry.

12-17-07 NPR
Middle School Kids Write Story on Twitter
ALSO SEE the story in action.
"A Twitter story created by 140 Elementary and Middle School Students Across the Globe"
ALSO SEE this wiki on Twitter collaboration stories.

Recommendations for You to Follow

Howard Rheingold
Mark Benno:
Vicki Davis:
Will Richardson:
David Warlick:
Katie Morrow:
Heather Mason:
Dean Shareski:
Tim Lauer:
Karl Fisch:
Kathy Schrock:
Lucy Gray:
Steve Dembo:
Bernie Dodge:
Lee Kolbert:
Wesley Fryer:
Dan Schmit:
Global Ed Ning:

Subject Area Specialists

Heidi Targee

The Quirkle
Colin Jagoe

Want to find other teachers on Twitter specific to your content area? Take a look at Twitter4Teachers.

For a collection of bookmarks at the Twitter Freaks group at Diigo (a social bookmarking site), click here.