Personal Learning Networks: learning through social media

The advantages of social networks are quite often underestimated. We are used to the idea that social media are mostly for entertainment. But it comes down to Uses and Gratifications Theory: «the experience and effects of media depend on the uses one is putting those media to and the gratifications one is receiving from them» (Harris, 2009). So, if the majority use social media to connect with friends and have fun, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the sole purpose of usage of social networks.

The word “PLN” stands for “Personal Learning Network”.Having a PLN is about making connections and building personal relationships with teachers, school administrators, university professors, and experts around the world. No matter where you are in the world, there’s always someone online available to answer questions, share their expertise, and simply chat about what’s happening in their lives and classrooms.You are able to collaborate with others, teach or learn, share ideas by using various tools and media.

Mostly PLNs are used by teachers to share their experience or learn some new methods of teaching. In two further posts I will discuss how educators use social media both to teach and to learn.

Here is a video, whereWill Richardson (an educator, blogger and author) talks about what PLN is:Will Richardson


Harris. (2009). A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication (5 edition). New York: Routledge, p. 37


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