I am honored to feature a special guest post by David Kapuler, Media & Technology Specialist for the Greendale School District in Wisconsin. David has been working with technology and education for over 10 years in a school setting. He hopes to incorporate 21st century & multi-media technologies into students’ learning experiences while preparing them for future learning. He is currently looking to get his Mac OS/Repair Certification as well as a Masters in Technology Integration. In addition, he has a strong background in web design as well as network/server support.On a personal note, he is the proud father of three boys and has been married for 5 years.   I encourage you to check out his wonderful blog!

First off, I’d like to thank Buffy for the opportunity to post on such an impressive forum.  The Unquiet Librarian is anything but that in the online community, and she is a force to be taken seriously.  That being said, I’d like to explain what a Personal Learning Network is and why it is so important.

A Personal Learning Network or PLN is a dedicated learning environment unique to each individual.  What does that mean?  It means that this is a place where people create their own environment which helps them to grow/learn.  This can be done in many different ways through collaborating, blogging, social networking, etc.  What makes PLN’s so great is that they are different for everybody but their goals are usually the same.  That goal is to learn and share knowledge and to find a passion and follow it to the best of your ability.

So, when looking at these networks I like to refer to Sue Waters who compiled an excellent list to create a Personal Learning Network.  The funny thing is, after I read the list I did the exact same thing when I created my own PLN and I didn’t even know it.  It’s this commonality that makes Personal Learning Networks so special.

5 tools to creating a PLN (Sue Waters)

  • Setup your own Twitter account
  • Start your own blog
  • Subscribe to blogs
  • Start using a social bookmarking tool
  • Join a Ning Community

If it wasn’t for my PLN I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today professionally.  It has helped me grow so much as an educator and really find my true passion.

Finally, I’d like to share this excellent video on why Personal Learning Networks are such a valuable tool for educators alike.

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