Professional Learning Networks
Professional learning networks (PLNs) are uniquely crafted and dynamic learning ecosystems, consisting of people, spaces, and tools that meet an educator’s professional needs, interests, and goals (Trust et al., 2016). They serve as a means through which people grow in aspects of their professions. The people within a PLN are individuals who provide career-based feedback, advice, ideas, emotional support, and/or mentoring (Krutka et al., 2017; Trust et al., 2016). The spaces within a PLN are physical, digital, and hybrid places that support or enable professional knowledge building with and from others, such as conferences, workshops, webinars, Twitter chats, unconferences, Reddit forums, and massive open online courses (Trust & Prestridge, 2021). The tools within a PLN are physical resources (e.g., books, curriculum materials) and digital technologies (e.g., Internet search databases, social bookmarking tools, blogs) that are used to access, curate, construct, and disseminate professional knowledge (Trust et al., 2018). Taken together, the people, spaces, and tools within a PLN can support ongoing professional learning and growth for individuals in any academic or organizational context.