In Howard Rheingold’s article about building a Personal Learning Network he refers to Shelly Terrell who is an English teacher that is a strong advocate of helping students develop their own “passionate learning networks.” She instills in her students the idea that within a virtual learning community any question they have can be answered by an expert in the subject. Rather than just having the peers sitting next to them in class they have an entire web of people to go to for help.

When I started developing my personal learning network it was with the basics by posting blogs and commenting on my peers’ blogs. Then I opened up in twitter and start following people who were big advocators of technology integration. Through twitter I was discovering blogs, videos, and articles of local educators, education advocators like Sir Ken Robinson, George Siemens, Daniel Pink, and so many more. I am following the classroom 2.0 twitter, I have joined google alerts, groups, and reader. My peers are posting relevant links where I am getting even more relevant links and resources and my personal learning network is no longer that but it is instead a passionate learning network. Here is what my PLN looks like today.

This is what needs to be taught to students. The resources that they use and the people they choose to communicate with are personal to them because they got to choose them. That is what also makes those same resources passionate to the students.

Shelly Terrell does a great job of explaining the importance of passionate learning networks and how to introduce them to students and even administrators in this video:

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