This week the #edumooc topic is "Personal Online Learning Networks". The label is new to me, but the concept is not. Throughout my Master's degree I was part of a more formalized "online learning community". Now, these networks may not have been considered "personal", but the less formal networks that formed between students, whilst learning online (the entire degree was done online), would definitely qualify as personal online learning networks.
The introduction to this weeks topic says "Online learning facilitates lifelong learning in ways not possible even three years ago" (edumooc Google site). Can anyone tell me what is significant about 3 years ago that might of changed things? I completed my Master's degree from Royal Roads University back in 2005. As I mentioned above, we certainly had personal learning networks back then – we are actually encourage to create our own network of "critical friends" to help motivate us through the thesis process.
When Iook up PLN in Google Scholar, I get books and articles dating back to 1995! That is pretty impressive, since back then web browsers were still in their infancy and only geeks and academics use the Internet.
This week, if time permits, I'm going to investigate personal learning networks further. I'm going to look at the ways I cultivate my personal learning networks and how I might leverage them as I work through the Ph.D. process.
I'm curious, how to you cultivate your personal learning networks?