Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) are not a new idea. It’s just the network of individuals and resources you use to develop your knowledge base. What is new is how you cope with the exponential increase in information and where you go to keep up to date.
Once upon a time I used to use a search engine to look for stuff. It was akin to browsing the magazine racks in W H Smith. After a while I got to know what I wanted and would call back at the same sites on the offchance there might be something new. Frustrating. If you’ve ever dashed through the rain to the shops only to discover that the latest edition of your favourite magazine was delayed you’ll know what I mean. And so I progressed to the digital version of subscription.
I’ve kept mine very simple although there are many more that lurk in the background like online communities. The diagram below illustrates my main sources of inspiration in yellow and the method of delivery in red.
Twitter is something that really comes into its own when you follow experts and organisations.
This is what my iGoogle page looks like. Not all websites will be suitable but if it has an RSS feed click on that and then ‘Add stuff’. At the bottom left is a place to paste it. Of course you need a Google account first but sign up is easy and you get Googlemail and Googlesites and all the other stuff if you want it. The point is that now I need only look at one page to see if my favourite sources have updated.
If it’s a podcast paste the URL into iTunes and you’ll get updates delivered to you as they happen.