While embarking on this quest for collaboration and shared knowledge, I have come to realize the importance of professional learning networks. With all the data and knowledge available to everyone anywhere at anytime, it would seem nearly impossible to organize and access this knowledge in a simple and effective way. Professional learning networks act as a supplement for in-person networking (say at your university or program). The benefits of participating and maintaining a professional learning network (PLN) seem infinite, all depending on how the network is accessed and used.
I am no expert on PLNs, but I hope to continue to engage and explore their role in my own professional development as an ESL teacher. I think teachers often end up working in isolation or with a small group of peers at the institution in which they teach, but I don’t think that necessarily has to be the case. There is a vast knowledge pool of experience online just waiting to be tapped into.
Here are some valuable articles and resources for building and engaging with your own personal learning network:
Teachers, Here’s Why You Need to Network by Andrianes Pinantoan
The Best Ways ESL Teachers Can Develop Personal Learning Networks by Larry Ferlazzo