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10 Reasons Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network

by TeachThought Staff

What’s a professional learning network?

According to Marc-André Lalande,  “a Personal Learning Network is a way of describing the group of people that you connect with to learn their ideas, their questions, their reflections, and their references.

Your PLN is not limited to online interactions, but it is that online, global interactive part that really makes it special. It is personal because you choose who’s part of that group; you choose if you want to lurk–just check out what people are saying–or if you share; because you choose when to do so, and how to do so.”

As for this graphic? You can thank Sylvia Duckworth, who always does a great job sharing simple sketch notes to help teachers. (She also took our 12 Rules of Great Teaching and created a predictably wonderful graphic to supplement the text, among others.) We’ve taken her graphic and provided starting points for each ‘reason’ a teacher need a PLN.

Let us know in the comments if you have other suggestions!

10 Reasons Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network

1. Find great resources, lesson plans, and conferences

Consider: OER Commons Resources

2. Share your resources & ideas

Consider: 23 Ways To Use The iPad In PBL

3. Following amazing educators and their blogs

Consider: 52 Education Blogs You Should Follow

4. Get support when needed

Consider: An example like clarifying the difference between ‘doing projects’ and PBL

5. Make international connections

Consider: Project-Based Learning in your classroom

6. Flatten your classroom walls

Consider: Why Learning Through Social Networks Is The Future

7. Collaborate globally on projects

Consider: 50 Ideas For Using Skype In The Classroom

8. Find round-the-clock inspiration

Consider: Follow your favorite blogs on instagram–edutopia or TeachThought for example.

9. Learn the latest trends in education

Consider: The most popular twitter hashtags in education

10. Never run out of ideas for new things to try with your students 

Consider: Shameless plug, but TeachThought Professional Development is built for exactly this kind of support.

image attribution flickr user syvliaduckworthpreviously published at


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