Why are PLN’s useful?

What is a PLN first of all? That’s an easy question to answer. It stands for Personal Learning Network I had not heard about such a thing until I entered the IDS program here in Plymouth. I learned that it was something that I would create myself that would help me expand my mind through using the internet and social networking. We live in an interesting time as students and that’s because we are surrounded by social media and networking and part of the reason to have a PLN is because it opens up a new door for students. I thought at first that it might be weird being on twitter and using it to tweet different things in my field I found interesting but as the semester went on I began to enjoy sharing what I love with students. However I did not go on twitter much because I did not want to be overwhelmed with notifications, so I kept my tweeting reserved for important information and whenever we worked on things in class. Parts of my PLN included my own information related to IDS and my program. I would tweet updates on how I am advancing in IDS with what I am choosing to do and that included sharing information relating to the approval of my program. I also followed certain pages that were interesting to me so I could share new and interesting information with my peers and the IDS department. This included re-tweeting posts about the weather, changes in our planet relating to the climate and how weather and environmental science are related and how they affect each other. I got a great amount of engagement from students and from the IDS department on twitter. With all these things I shared, I felt it was building up a great PLN and I am excited to see where my PLN takes me in the future.

My PLN has a positive effect on my career as a student and my education. It has allowed me to learn about new topics that arise in my field of study and lets me think of how we can solve issues relating to the environment and climate we have now on earth. One thing that was very interesting to me was the hurricane season we had in 2017. It consisted of very strong hurricanes that were record breakers for places like Barbuda and Puerto Rico. It has allowed me to see the effects of such devastation and helps me relate it back to climate change that is taking place on earth. It has helped me understand more about my major and made me realize why I was so interested in learning about the sciences in my IDS program. It will probably help me in the future, especially once I land my first career. I will be contributing to my PLN by sharing new information and data that I find in my professional career. Perhaps one day students will also be interested in what I study and will want to add my tweets to their PLN. It would be amazing to one day inspire young minds just as I have been inspired by those before me.

If you would like to see my PLN here is a link to my storify:  https://storify.com/jwilk96/mypln

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