Sunday, February 1, 2009

More on DLN's...

After yesterday’s post, we had a lively conversation on Twitter about a DLN (Digital Learning Network) and a PLN (Professional or Personal Learning Network.)

There’s no doubt that both are useful and necessary, but where do you start, and which is the most important? I thought a lot about this yesterday afternoon, because right now I’m more interested in my DLN as it offers so much to me at this moment.  A PLN would be in addition to the Digital Network, whereas I know that others value their PLN first and to branch it out digitally is overwhelming.

One of the things that I’m saying over and over to teachers is that it’s never about the tool.  It’s about collaboration and connections.  For many, that needs to be real time, real people.  For others, a virtual network is adequate—even preferred.

Which do you prefer, and why?


  1. I think that personal learning networks existed long before they were named and the net was in existence. I think tech-savvy folks view a DLN and a PLN as one in the same, because for them, they are. Others may not though, and you're right--it can be overwhelming for some to consider adding a digital layer to their personal learning network. I think it makes sense to define your interests, needs, and expertise and then consider which types of connections might enrich your life most. In my experience, the return on my investment here in cyberspace is such that I've been focused far more on appreciating the rewards than sweating the effort. I'm learning how to learn better and meeting incredible people who support me along the way. It's a no-brainer.

  2. I was completely ready to post my response until I read Angela's, in which she spoke my mind. Honestly, I had no idea what a PLN was prior to jumping in to my DLN (that's a new one for me, too!). In reflection, my PLN changes depending on the topic I'm learning, researching, and experimenting with. My DLN offered me the opportunity to venture in completely new directions than my PLN (This is the first year I heard the phrase 21st century schools spoken aloud in my district). Currently, I am more apt to share about my experiments with with my on-line cohorts long before I'm ready to discuss them with my local colleagues. In part, I'm afraid I'll get the same "oh, but she's the techy teacher" response/look when talking in real life to community partners. On some level, I am also afraid to admit when I face challenges locally because of the differential in years of experience at my grade level. I'm still at a point I feel I need to prove myself. I feel I am learning to share here, so when my community embraces sharing...WE can begin share together.

  3. While I can see the benefits of a DLN, I still first go to those in my DLN that are also part of my PLN.


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