The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Why Everyone In Education Needs a PLN

When I explain the concept behind the Professional Networked Learning Collaborative one of the biggest misconceptions I have to overcome is educators’ understanding of how a network is different than just searching the Internet. Some educators ask, “Isn’t this just a PLC using a search engine?” Or, “You mean using the Internet during a PLC meeting.”

So I thought I would try to explain why the Network is different than just using a search engine, and why, for those of us working in Professional Learning Communities, the network is so powerful.

Search Engine

The Network

The Lesson Plan
The Lesson Designer
Historical Event
Participant who experienced it
What to do
Voice of experience that tells you how to do it and why
Public information
Behind the scenes
We have to know what we are looking for
Anticipates what we need and directs or provides it for us
Co-create new knowledge
Find it
Attract it
Static information that is locked on-line
Dynamic knowledge that can cross over into touch space
Explicit Knowledge and Information
Tacit Knowledge and Know-how

It is the Network and the power of learning, sharing tacit knowledge, and co-creating new knowledge, the “network effect”, that makes a difference for the educators and the students they serve. It is the network that transforms a PLC into a PNLC through multiple PLNs.

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Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

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