Tools and information for gaining knowledge are easier to access than ever before. Consequently, conducting research and gathering the best information for your own needs is nearly impossible without developing a system to find and retain it. This is where your personal learning network comes in to play. In my own words, I would define a PLN as whatever tools an individual finds necessary to accomplish their learning goals. A PLN can include, but is not limited to, a person, a group, a magazine subscription, blogging methods, the list is endless. The key is developing a system that is tailored specifically to my needs. No one system should ever match another because we all learn differently.
I learned that retaining information is extremely key in the learning process. The more information retained, the more ways your mind can create to solve a problem. Nowadays, storage devices are cheap, transportabable, and nearly always accessible. From my desktop at home, to my phone during lunch, to a computer while im conducting research in the library, my PLN is with always with me. With that being said, it is important for me to manage storage space, backup options, and access points to my PLN effectively. Lots of clutter causes me to lose track information very quickly and every bit of that information is potential knowledge.
Blogging, I have finally discovered, is an efficient and slightly fun way of, both, finding new information and socializing. Information is shared by experts and people who are learning just like me. I found myself arguing about whether “The Dream Team” would beat this year’s Olympic Squad with some brainless teen and quickly realized you can find, both right and wrong, information about any and everything on blogsites. Tools and applications to find, manage, and view this these avenues of information are abundant. Choosing which ones to use or not use is simply a matter of exploring them and finding out which when’s fit my personal preferences.