What’s in the N…

ImageI’ve been thinking about Benjamin Wilkoff’s vlob post called From Network to Neighborhood: A New Definition for PLNs.  I really like how he challenges the viewer to think differently about what the (N) stands for in PLN and want to extend this discussion a little further.   I think creating an acronym is relatively easy, but clearly defining one is much harder.  For me the whole idea of having a Personal Learning Network is new, so I needed to create a game to better understand the concept.   The game was simple.  I wanted to find new words beginning with the letter N, but still accurately defined a Personal Learning Network.  Here is what I came up with.  How’d you play?




“An interconnected system of things and people.”  A good place to start considering it’s the original definition.


“A district or community forming within a city or town.”  Although it does not occupy a physical city or town it’s definitely creates a virtual sense of community.



“A structure in which animals give birth to their young.”  We humans are animals and in this context it’s our ideas that have of a safe place to grow.



“The writing point of a pen.”  Thoughts are just thoughts unless they are put down on paper.  It’s the act that connects us.



“A large hard-shelled seed.”  This ones kinda stretch, however a tree does grow up from a single seed.



“A slight push into action.”  Our thoughts and idea beget more thoughts and ideas.  I’d say this MOOC has been the slight push I needed to get going. 


“The means of connection between things.”  I like this one a lot.  If there is only one connection from this experience it’s the connections between the people we meet.


“The positively charged dense center of an atom.”  It’s been amazing how welcome and open people have been in this community.  It’d say that’s positive. 


“An organized body of people under a single government.”  There is a clear group of leaders putting this MOOC together and standards have been set for its citizens.


“Tortilla chips topped with yummy goodness.”  Has absolutely nothing to do with a learning network, but happens to be my favorite food. 

2 thoughts on “What’s in the N…

  1. I love the way in which you are stretching what a network can be and become. Nib really does get across the idea that we are responsible for writing and creating something. Our network really cannot be a passive thing if we want it to move forward.

    I also have felt the nudge a whole bunch during the #etmooc. The nudge to continue the conversation has been most apparent. I want it to keep going. Thank you for this comment.

    • Thanks for commenting, Ben. I like how you continue to express the importance of conversations. Although my PLN is just starting out I’d like to contribute to and keep the chatter going. Talk soon.

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