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Nurturing your online personal learning network: tips for teachers

First published 18 July 2019

If you’re a teacher or educator, a personal learning network can sustain and nurture your practice in many ways.

Whether it's coming up with fresh ideas to deliver content, seeking mentorship or sharing strategies for behaviour management, teachers need one another's expertise and support.

In Podclass, a fascinating podcast series for teachers hosted by award-winning journalist Madonna King, QUT researcher Dr Kay Oddone discusses how PLNs are rapidly growing online.

“Traditionally, teachers are involved in networks that are associated with their school or a local cluster of schools,” Dr Oddone said.

“But they may not be connecting with people beyond their geographic area – and that’s where online networks can be really valuable.”

Madonna King with Dr Kay Oddone

“Social media, online forums and other platforms have broken down the barriers for teachers’ professional development. Teachers can now readily access information and connect with colleagues around the world.

“Online PLNs give teachers the flexibility to get information in their own time and beyond the confines of where they live.”

In the podcast episode, Dr Oddone shares tips on how to teachers can establish an online PLN.

“My first advice is to sit down and have a real think about why you want a PLN and what you want to get out of it.

“Do you want to enrich the way you teach with new ideas and resources, or do you want to interact and discuss education topics with other teachers?

“Then think about your areas of professional interest and where you want to expand your skills.

“Honing in on your goals and interests will help you decide on the right channels and platforms to build your PLN.”

“If you spend a little bit of time on one of these platforms I guarantee there’ll be something or someone out there that will add value to your practice.”

Listen to Personal learning networks now with Dr Kay Oddone.

This episode is part of Podclass, a fascinating interview series that’s all about supporting teachers, brought to you by QUT’s Faculty of Education and hosted by Madonna King. Listen to more Podclass episodes.