OLJ Activity Personal Learning Networks: Reflections

Based on Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption, identify which stage you currently see yourself experiencing and how this impacts on your personal and working lives. Also identify any ‘gaps’ in your existing PLN (ie. areas which you feel you would like to develop further/in the future). Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 400 words in your OLJ).


I think we all have a personal learning network (PLN). Whether we use it in our personal or professional lives, our PLN is the group of people or organisations that we trust to provide us with useful information, fresh ideas, inspiration or advice. I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you if I said Web 2.0 has radically changed how we interact in a socially connected world of ICT. Social networking has revolutionised how we interact with our PLNs.

My PLN grown from my work colleagues; cherished personal mentor or workplace champions; sporadic professional development opportunities; and professional contacts at conferences to the new social networking applications and tools of the Web 2.0. Using Web 2.0 I  can connect and collaborate using a range of social media such as blogs, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Skype, Secondlife, Podcasts, Delicious, wikis, ning …

Looking at Jeff Utecht’s PLN adoption stages I think I am between 2 and 3.

Stage 2 Evaluation: Evaluate your networks and start to focus in on which networks you really want to focus your time on. You begin feeling a sense of urgency and try to figure out a way to “Know it all.”

Stage 3 Know it all: Find that you are spending many hours trying to learn everything you can. Realize there is much you do not know and feel like you can’t disconnect. This usually comes with spending every waking minutes trying to be connected to the point that you give up sleep and contact with others around you to be connected to your networks of knowledge.

I am still exploring and finding the networks that will I want to focus my time on. I seem to find a new one every so often that I want to explore. Sometimes I think I should just jump to Stage 5 as I think you should learn when you need to and you don’t need to know right it all right now. There are few things especially for this course that I have any urgency to learn and use in my work. But some I think I can get by and hope to visit later as I need to find a balance between learning, working full-time and living. Knowing when to disconnect is an important attribute in this game. So me to keep abreast of technological changes PLN is a lifelong learning experience.

I want to focus on a few tools and get to know them well. I like to experiment with the blog as I see their value and social bookmarking tools especially Delicious. Having a presence and making a contribution on useful social networks is another thing I would like to focus on. The figure below summarises my interactions with my PLN’s.


Utecht, Jeff. (2008). Stages of PLN adoption, available at The Thinking Stick.


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