Network of networks = your very own PLN
Today, there’s no problem finding information – the challenge is sifting through and locating the right information at the right time. And not just the right information at the right time – it’s also about access to tools and ideas that you never even knew you needed until you saw them. That’s where PLNs come in.
In the olden days before the advent of online academic journals and research databases, I always made at least one serendipitous discovery while browsing library holdings or leafing through print materials. I would be scanning a row of books looking for a particular call number, and suddenly notice a different book that was a great fit for some other topic I was researching. It’s hard to replicate that kind of happenstance when digital searches yield a specific document or information source with laser-like precision.
Plus, learning is not just about acquiring information – paragogy (a.k.a. the new andragogy) views learning as inherently non-linear and socially constructed via networks/peers. So PLNs – because they’re naturally hyper-textual and social – fit beautifully within a paragogical frame.
This article about PLNs at edudemic.com gives a great overview and rationale for the functions of various social media tools in building, customizing and contributing to your own composite, ongoing knowledge stream. Your very own PLN.