Personal Learning Network (PLN) – what does that mean to you? At the Learning Solutions conference (#LSCon) I discussed and explored this concept with attendees and took away a couple of “aha’s”. First, social learning is really just social media (SoMe) and not about just learning, learning is a byproduct of the process used in communicating, collaborating, and working together to meet the need and solve the problem at the speed of now.
Second, it becomes a personal network because at the time of need it is my problem and honestly, I just want the right solution, how I get there doesn’t really matter. Jane Bozarth (@JaneBozarth) shared an PLN experience she had at work (serving the State of North Carolina). Asked for help by a colleague assisting a visually impaired person needing to interact with a web conference Jane chose to send the request out via Twitter instead of Googling, conducting research, or calling vendors. She shared that within 5 minutes the solution came from someone she did not know and it did solve the problem. This is a personal learning network with all its power of speed of now and expertise.
But wait you ask, how can I do this where I work where security it all the rage? Go take a look at the conference’s “back channel”, this could be a model for an internal support network you could use to foster and grow an organization’s personal learning network. Mashed up together are feeds from users “tweeting” (or Yammering perhaps), blogging, posting media, and collecting resources and sharing them (check out this example the community “sourced”).
Can you see how this could connect people and help you find an answer to a problem you might encounter at work? Do you have an experience where you have tapped into a PLN? I would like to hear how others have tapped into the wisdom of the community and found answers at the speed of now!