A simple list of steps, this guide will help you "grow your PLN in as little as two weeks." Of course, a deep and substantial personal learning network will take longer than two weeks to develop, but we all have to start somewhere, right? I found step four practical and helpful: "Making Time to Build Your PLN."
This blog post from Miss L's Whole Brain Teaching does a good job of explaining the difference between professional development and a personal learning network. It also explains that each individual teacher's personal learning network will be different, based on the teacher's interest, her students' needs, and evolving technology. This blog post was written in 2013 but is still insightful and relevant.
Tech Coordinator and former English teacher Mark Wagner explains his ideas behind using Google Plus and other social media in maintaining his personal learning network, in this 2014 presentation at the 'Iaolani School (Hawaii) Google Summit 2014. Mark answers questions from his audience of teachers, contrasting how his personal learning network has changed over the years.
Education blogger Becky Krill explains the evolution of her PLN from becoming active on Twitter to eventually creating online courses on using Twitter for her PLN colleagues. She believes that teachers teaching other teachers will "catch on" and grow in 2015 and beyond.
George Siemens wrote this influential article, introducing the theory of "connectivism" (not to be confused with constructivism), to articulate the way learning has changed in the past ten years. Here's a quote from the article for you to ponder: "The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe." Connectivism, as discussed by Siemens, is the theoretical foundation for the PLN.
You can subscribe to this podcast in iTunes, or simply listen on your computer. Ed Tech professional and former teacher Adam Bellow gives an overview of his idea that learning through PLNs should be a kind of "infection," with teachers being "infected" by helpful ideas that spread through their PLN. This is a short podcast that doesn't go into much detail, so it's worth a quick listen. There are several other podcasts in the Connected Educator Series, most dealing with learning networks.
Ever wanted your own radio show? On Pulse, a "social radio network focused exclusively on the education community," you can record and upload your own radio show to share with your colleagues and anyone else who wants to listen. For show ideas, click "Options" on the main menu.
Although this collection is aimed at PLNs for teachers, our students can obviously benefit from developing learning networks. This article outlines the ways that PLNs can help students learn, and learn how to share their ideas using various media. I liked the suggestion that students should be taught to follow and learn from those they disagree with, not only those who share their views. PLNs shouldn't result in our students (or us) only being exposed to opinions from those who are "like us."