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Which came first: Twitter or the PLN?

March 28, 2011

Going through some of the interviews and have been shaking some threads around in my head. One thing I have noticed in two of the interviews that I have coded so far is that the phrase Personal Learning Network or acronym PLN did not appear on these participants radar until after they started using Twitter and connecting with other educators. I think – if memory serves (I haven’t coded all the interviews yet) but this was also the case with at least 2 other participants.

The reason I bring this up is that it sometimes feels like among educators who engage in PLN activity and use Twitter, there seems to be a belief among some that Twitter IS the PLN. It is a point of view that was articualted by at least 2 other participants in the study – that they are somewhat frustrated with the thought that, for many educators who use Twitter, Twitter and PLN are synonymous. That for them, Twitter IS the PLN.

This confusion seems logical to me, considering that Twitter appears to be where new educators using Twitter first come in contact with the term. Let’s say you are an educators and you start using Twitter – hear about it from a friend and get into using it. Then you start connecting with other educators, and notice these educators on Twitter are using this strange unknown acronym – PLN – in their tweets. It’s the first time you have seen this, so you begin to investigate what this term means and discover that it means connecting with others for the purpose of learning – exactly what you signed up on Twitter to do. So it would only make sense that you would equate Twitter with the PLN. Perhaps this could explain why some who begin to use Twitter immediately identify with it as their PLN – it’s where they discover the term.

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From → Thesis Research

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