Developing Personal Professional Online Learning Networks


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As part of the Leadership Learning Community's Webinar Series, Debra Askanase goes deep into how to develop PLNs.

December 9, 2013

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Developing Personal Professional Online Learning Networks

  1. 1. Developing Personal Professional Online Learning Networks Presented by Debra Askanase, Community Organizer 2.0
  2. 2. About the presenter Former executive director, community organizer, business consultant “Engage, create trust, move people to action” Digital Engagement Strategist 2 2
  3. 3. Today’s conversation I: Making Sense of PLNs – Definition – Stages of growth (Thought pause: Creating PLN learning objectives) – Role of network weavers – Integrating small world network theory (Thought pause: role of weavers in Learning Networks) II: Creating Your PLN – Developing your own PLN: An action plan – Practical tips
  4. 4. Part One: Making Sense of PLNs
  5. 5. A Personal Professional Learning Network is..? “ a network set up by an individual specifically in the context of her professional activities through online platforms to support her professional nonformal learning needs.” It is YOU, using social media, to connect and learn
  6. 6. PLNs and Leaders
  7. 7. Your footer here 7
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  9. 9. Leaders and PLNs Leaders Lifetime learners Bridgers Creative problem-solvers Understands people Leverages others’ knowledge and skills Personal/Professional Learning Networks Supports individual learning needs Connects people and networks Facilitate problem-solving Enable collaboration Expands resources
  10. 10. Stages of PLN growth Maintaining Building Activating connections for purpose of learning
  11. 11. Factors influencing choice in building a PLN Communality Organization of the contact Network of a contact Reputation *Benevolence *Like-mindedness *Real potential for collaboration *Real potential for learning *play important roles in the building phase
  12. 12. What are your PLN objectives? Consider: – What do you want to learn? – What is the value to you of learning this? Take a moment and submit your PLN objectives in the chat box.
  13. 13. “A Network Weaver is aware of the networks around them and explicitly works to make them healthier, more inclusive, bridging divides.” – June Holley The Network Weaver 13
  14. 14. Major components of network weaving Builds relationships Learns to facilitate collaborations for mutual benefit
  15. 15. * A NETWORK WEAVER… * • Reaches out to any and all who are interested, primarily online • Considers themselves part of a larger network of individuals, organizations, and communities • Is a collaborator at heart • Has fluency with social media tools and culture • Embraces transparency (even when failing) • Gives control over to the group easily • Gives more credit than they take • Is more interested in others’ ideas than their own
  16. 16. Weaving people and networks
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  18. 18. Organizational network weavers
  19. 19. Is generous
  20. 20. Interested in others’ ideas
  21. 21. Is a collaborator at heart
  22. 22. Considers him/herself part of a network
  23. 23. How important is a network weaver to your PLN? Considerations when assessing network weavers: • • • • Who does this person speak with regularly? Which networks does this weaver bridge? What is the intention of this network weaver? Is this person really generous?
  24. 24. Online influence and PLNs 24
  25. 25. One more note: The Small World Network “A small world network cheats by providing a better-than-random trade-off between the number of links required to connect a network, and that network’s effectiveness in relaying messages.” - Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody, p. 216
  26. 26. Network Weavers and Small Worlds “In a healthy community, the network weaver forms relationships with many small clusters, and eventually connects individuals and clusters who may help each other.” - Holly and Krebs, Understanding Personal Learning Networks
  27. 27. Be aware! Homophily When left unmanaged, birds of a feather flock together and those close by, form a tie. - Network Theory [Many small and dense nodes with little to no diversity]
  28. 28. What is the role of weavers in any Learning Network?
  29. 29. Making Sense of PLNs: How networks are built Role of network weavers Role of influence Small World Networks Homiphily
  30. 30. Part Two: Creating Your PLN
  31. 31. Develop a plan Your PLN objective(s) What types of networks and people do you need to meet your objectives? Where will you find them? How should you connect?
  32. 32. Redux: What are your PLN objectives? Consider: – What do you want to learn? – What is the value to you of learning this? Take a moment and submit your PLN objectives in the chat box.
  33. 33. My PLN Objectives 1. To learn as much as I can about community management, social media tech, and social media marketing. 1. To become part of an active learning network of trusted nonprofit technology social media colleagues.
  34. 34. Objective 2: Finding my learning network Who is publishing on this that I value? Who is speaking about this at conferences? Where are they online? Who is teaching this online? What conferences do they attend?
  35. 35. Searching for your PLN online (1/2) General: – Search for keywords & keyword phrases: – Google Alerts, Twitter: – Search bios: – Twitter search by keyword, # or name: – Hashtags: Find people and look at the hashtags they are using – Twitter directories (Twellow, among others)
  36. 36. Searching for your PLN online (2/2) Facebook: – Search for groups online by keyword, phrase LinkedIn: – Search for groups by keyword, phrase – Use “Advanced Search” within LinkedIn – Follow Interests on LinkedIn Instagram: – Use to search By topic: – Search by keyword, topic, follow scoops
  37. 37. Exercise: Finding your PLN online Who do you want to find? How will you find them? How do you know if they are ideal PLN members for you?
  38. 38. Using tech to learn Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Groups Find twitter lists Search connections Find topics People to friend Create my own lists Find groups Find hashtags People to follow Manage with TweetDeck Follow interest Find contributors
  39. 39. How should you connect Transparent Trustworthy Value-added Conversational Willingness to be YOU
  40. 40. Exactly how personal?? You entirely Your interests + your professional voice Your professional voice + your interests The distanced professional Would your mom read it and cringe? Are you able to truly converse? © 2013 Community Organizer 2.0 40
  41. 41. 10 practical tips for developing a PLN 1. 2. Clearly defined objectives Start with one to three social media channels, not more (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) 3. Use the social media channels you enjoy the most 4. Post content you think your network will value 5. Share from others more than you post 6. Give a lot of credit to others 7. Comment on blogs generously 8. Don’t be afraid to jump into a conversation if it is public 9. Don’t be afraid to take conversations “offline” or into a private realm 10. Practice, practice, practice!
  42. 42. Don’t forget to have fun!
  43. 43. I’m always available to answer Don’t forget to have fun! follow-up questions! Email: Website: Blog: Linkedin: Twitter: @askdebra Other slides: Telephone: (617) 682-2977