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The Power of Connection Building a Personal Learning Network

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The Power of Connection: Building a Personal Learning Network

Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals who can go it alone.
—Margaret Wheatley, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future

The rise of social media and its power to instantaneously connect people to others is a testament to just how interconnected the world has become. Social media has become an important way to form and maintain relationships. Many people use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Businesses search for new ways to connect with current and future customers. How many people, however, have recognized the potential of social media as a powerful learning tool?

Forward-thinking educators have begun purposefully building online social networks, known as Personal Learning Networks (PLN)s, of colleagues and experts in the field. Rather than see social networks as an annoyance or way of wasting time, these educators have made them an invaluable means of personal and professional growth. Business professionals can benefit from following their lead. Creating a PLN often is a guide for professionals and committed lifelong learners to help build relationships with others from all over the world. With careful work and commitment to building and maintaining a PLN, the possibilities for connection are endless.

To prepare for this Assignment, review the materials in the Learning Resources and consider novel ways in which you might use technology to foster new connections and seek information and advice.


Learning resources:







Submit a 4- to 5-page paper in which you create the plan for your PLN. Your paper should include the following:

  • A description of what networks and tools you will use to create your PLN, including a brief rationale for each
  • Information you will present in your professional profile (which may be placed on one or more social media platforms), including specific text you will use to identify yourself and your interests for those who might be interested in following you or joining your PLN
  • A categorized, annotated list of at least 5 people or groups that you might add to your PLN (through their Twitter feed, blog, LinkedIn page, etc.), including the following for each person or group:
    • A brief (1–2 paragraphs) rationale for why you would include the person or group in your PLN
    • A brief (1 paragraph) description of the process by which you found the person or group you added to your PLN, e.g., by browsing a group's Twitter feed and then deciding to add it to your own PLN, by locating another person the group's feed follows, by finding a group on Facebook and deciding to send a friend request to an individual within that group, etc.
  • Support your work with a minimum of two specific citations per page from this week's Learning Resources and/or additional scholarly sources.

Be sure to use the APA Course Paper Template (6th Ed.) to complete this Assignment.Please Note: For each page of your paper, you must include a minimum of two APA-formatted scholarly citations. 


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