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Growing My Personal Learning Network

Everyone is in charge of their own personal learning journey. As someone who considers myself a life-long learner, curious, and self-motivated, my Personal Learning Network (PLN) has become a large part of my learning journey, particularly in the instructional design field.

What are PLNs?

PLNs are networks of people and resources that support ongoing learning in particular areas of interest (Haas et al., 2020). In my personal life, I have incorporated platforms like Facebook and an Alaska Native beading group that meets on a weekly basis into my PLNs. Since entering the field of Instructional Design (ID) last fall, I have sought to expand my PLNs as it relates to the ID and technology fields.

Growing my Personal Learning Network

In an effort to continue my personal learning journey and professional development, I would like to continue to grow my PLN to include more formal, informal, and social networking opportunities.

Dr. Luke Hobson is a Sr. Instructional Designer in higher education and has written a book titled What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Instructional Designer. I have read his book twice and have become interested in following him more through blog posts and podcasts available on his website, and joining his Instructional Design Institute (IDI) for a more formal learning experience. I am particularly interested in his lessons on Backwards Design and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The next round of courses in the IDI begin in late August. Due to the fact that I am currently enrolled in and committed to a formal education plan in the form of my Masters program, I will probably hold off on the IDI until next year, but that will not stop me from immersing myself in the blogs and podcasts.

I have been invited to, but have yet to take the plunge and participate in, an informal gathering of instructional designers called The ID Salon. The ID Salon is a group of talented women in the ID field who meet monthly to share best practices, discuss trends and research, and crowd-source solutions to real-world challenges. The term “salon” is an homage to the movement in the 17th and 18th centuries where well-educated guests would gather in parlors to exchange ideas. The next meeting is coming up in mid-August and I have plans to join at that point.

LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the internet. LinkedIn has the potential to connect me with new job opportunities, grow and strengthen professional relationships, and learn new skills that will be useful to me in my career. I have established a LinkedIn profile, but have never built it out or started connecting with others via the site. As part of my efforts to grow my PLN, I would like to start using LinkedIn on a regular basis to connect with experts in the field both locally and across the globe. I feel like this is something that I can start doing within the next couple months.

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Resources:

Haas, M. R. C., Haley, K., Nagappan, B. S., Ankel, F., Swaminathan, A., & Santen, S. A. (2020). The connected educator: Personal learning networks. Clinical Teacher, 17(4), 373–377. https://doi.org/10.1111/tct.13146


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