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Transforming professional learning with Personal Learning Networks


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The pecha kucha style short presentation I shared at the Networked Learning Conference 2018 in Zagreb Croatia.

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Transforming professional learning with Personal Learning Networks

  1. 1. Transforming professional learning through Personal Learning Networks Kay Oddone PhD Candidate, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology
  2. 2. • An online network • Connections with people, information & resources • Strategically developed by an individual • Providing access to informal learning She’s talking about a PLN – a Personal Learning Network!
  3. 3. I interviewed thirteen teachers based in different countries. They also created visualisations of their PLNs. “How do teachers experience professional learning through personal learning networks?” Switzerland Vietnam China New Zealand Russia Australia My question:
  4. 4. You talk a little… You drink a little… Contribute You network a little… Connect Consume “It’s like a good cocktail party!” * Says one research participant… *
  5. 5. Theoretical lens • Networked learning (Harasim, Hiltz et al., 1995; Haythornthwaite, 2000; Jones, 2008) • Connectivism (Downes, 2007; Siemens, 2005) • Connected learning (Ito, Gutiérrez et al., 2013)
  6. 6. Learning as a Connected Professional Informed by connectivist principles Informed by networked and connected learning public personal pedagogical Arenas of professional learning Driven by autonomy Diverse connections Participatory approach Embedded in social software The PLN Social network literacy Active self directed learners Social learning The learner A conceptual model…
  7. 7. The PLN may offer learning in different arenas public personal pedagogical
  8. 8. Enhancing content knowledge and practice. Pedagogical arena– Stays up to date with implementation of pedagogical & curricula changes Seeks advice and inspiration to design or redesign pedagogical approach or curricula Exploratory
  9. 9. Enhancing knowledge of self as a professional. Personal arena- Confidence and empathy grows through reciprocity, feedback and advice Expanding sense of self as educator informed through interactions mediated by PLN Exploratory
  10. 10. Enhancing professional recognition. Public arena- Develops reputation within the PLN through increased interactions and contributions Exploratory
  11. 11. PLNs can have similar ingredients… Participatory approach Diverse connections Driven by autonomy
  12. 12. Driven by autonomy Expression of self as teacher/learner Takes advantage of capacity to tailor learning to professional interests Exploratory While the notion of autonomy within PLNs is accepted, a key finding of this research is how this autonomy is demonstrated, and the way this relates to the experience of professional learning through the PLN.
  13. 13. Diverse connections Connections associated with any aspect of teaching/learning Support, feedback, encouragement in personal interest areas and general teaching experience Exploratory The teachers who participated in this research also valued their capacity to engage with diverse voices through their PLNs, even if some did not do so on a regular basis.
  14. 14. Participatory approach Most participation based in consuming resources and information shared. Realises benefits of contributing, and is building confidence to share more. Exploratory Research participants in this study demonstrated a participatory approach when they described their professional learning as an outcome of actively and openly connecting and interacting with others.
  15. 15. I learnt… Learners may share similar capacities… Social network literacy Active self directed learning Networked learning
  16. 16. Networked learning Shares information through an increasing number of modes and channels. Recognises dialogue and interaction as methods of learning. Exploratory Initiating and developing an online personal learning network necessitates skills and strategies to understand how informal learning might occur within a loosely configured, uneven and continually changing social structure.
  17. 17. Active self directed learning Increasing engagement with others through PLN to explore personal professional interests not addressed by school. Developing confidence to share own resources, advice and feedback in dialogue with others. Exploratory Engaging with professional learning through a PLN requires learners to be active and self- directed. Being able to take control of when and where learning takes place, and what is learnt is one of the advantages that almost all participants highlighted through this research.
  18. 18. Social network literacy Expanding interactions across different platforms and creating diversity within PLN. Developing an understanding of strategies to leverage opportunities to collaborative co-construct knowledge. Exploratory Participants in this research who experienced learning as a connected professional demonstrated a strategic understanding of social networking, and used the affordances available to them to enhance their learning so that it became transformative across all three arenas – pedagogical, personal and public.
  19. 19. The PLN offers teachers the opportunity to learn as a connected professional.
  20. 20. REFERENCES Anderson, T. (2016). Theories for learning with emerging technologies. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.), Emergence and IBaker- Doyle, K. J. (2017). Transformative teachers: teacher leadership and learning in a connected world. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press. Calvert, L. (2016). Moving from compliance to agency: what teachers need to make professional learning work. L. Forward & NCTAF. Retrieved from Learning-Work.pdf Castells, M. (2000). The rise of the network society (Vol. 1.). Malden, MA;Oxford;: Blackwell Publishers. Downes, S. (2010). Learning networks and connective knowledge. In H. H. Yang (Ed.), Collective intelligence and e-learning 2.0: Implications of web-based communities and networking (pp. 1-26). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-729-4 Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching crowds: Learning and social media. Edmonton, Canada: AU Press. Ito, M., Gutiérrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K., . . . Watkins, S. C. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. Retrieved from research-and-design/ Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2005(January). Retrieved from