Personal Learning Environments and Networks
The origin of a network lies in a common interest or an interest people have for each other. The basis of a network is trust and it is important that you maintain remote networks and keep in contact with all your networks for the benefit of learning. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative to develop and build networks. The quality of personal relationships is one of the foundations of a network. If relations between members are not good, this will adversely affect cooperation and trust and therefore, the way the network operates.
How do you see yourself building networks in the future or how have you gone about building existing networks in the past that support you?
Networking opportunities come from diverse sources and you may want to talk about networking through:
- Friends and colleagues
- Attending events (e.g. training courses, conferences and work socials)
- Keeping in touch with people you meet through the course of your work
- Professional associations or unions
- Online social networking tools
Sharing experience of networking is beneficial to all because we can learn about others’ approaches and also share some of the trials associated with building and expanding our networks.
One of the key advantages for me from working in collaborative ways is the opportunity to learn from others. Individual people have different skills and know different things, and that it is important to try to tap into that individual knowledge for your own personal development and lifelong learning. Distributed knowledge is an example of the diversity and complexity that are an important part of our lives. The diversity of experience and knowledge among people is a unique strength, but only if it is utilised effectively.
To maximise your current situation you need to consider your network of contacts and what you need to do to maintain and develop them. Do you need to make new contacts? I discovered this helpful resource explaining activities on networking by the Open University
Here’s a useful video to watch on personal learning networks for educators
Please join us at the monthly Digital Learning Community of Practice, held at PROCAT. Click this link for more information.
Here’s some useful reading on the subject:
EDUCAUSE: 7 Things you should know about PLE’s (.pdf)
Scott Leslie’s PLE Diagram Compilation
Five points about PLEs and PLNs – Dave Cormier (Blog post)
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