Tagged: W10A16

Week 10 – Activity 16: Examining a definition

Timing: 3 hours

Now you have a definition of PLN, the question you need to answer is:

  • ‘Does this offer anything new?’

In terms of innovation, can we say a PLN is truly innovative, or merely a rebadging of existing practice? As with many new terms in educational technology, some people find a PLN usefully captures a new development, while others say it is simply a new term for an old practice.

In considering this, take into account the scale and possibilities offered by new technologies, past networking practice and any of the references you found when constructing your definition.

Now do the following:

  • Create a visual representation of the tools, resources and people in your PLN. Post this on your blog.Scott Leslie has a collection of PLE diagrams (they tend to focus on tools so do not include people and resources), which you may find useful.


I tend to think that PLNs do offer a useful distinction between something old and something relatively new. If one considers my diagram linked below, it is clear that a vast majority of the connections that make up my PLN are technologies that even 15 years ago would not have existed. This expansion of the personal network through social networking tools, and other means of web communication, are expanding the ease and size of our networks, allowing for PLNs to be something to consider as a separate entity to the smaller scale and physical networks that existed before. It is believed that with wearables, virtual reality, MOOCs and other means, the PLN will further become an entity that can be seen as distinct in nature.