Personal learning networks have always existed. A person begins their life with their parents, siblings and extended family as their personal learning network, then teachers and classmates, Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders and fellow troop members, followed by bosses and co-workers. It's not really a new concept. It's just that the volume of potential contacts has exploded through the use of Web 2.0. As one who has always enjoyed researching and utilizing resources to develop workshops for Girl Scouts, I am enthralled with the possibilities of sharing and finding information from such a huge network. There are so many individuals out there with so much knowledge.
I want to share one interesting resource that I came across in a blog through the School Library Journal. Principal Barbara Barreda from Van Nuys California recommended utilizing this tool: TouchGraph Check it out at www.touchgraph.com It basically is a tool for older students to use to when researching a particular topic. Type in the topic and you get a visual representation of resources for the particular topic. It includes related topics. I think it would help narrow searches. Coming across this is a prime example of the power of personal learning networks.