PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. A PLN can serve multiple purposes and varies for each individual. There are many different platforms you could use to create a PLN. They include Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. One of the main purposes is to help connect you to a large network in you field of interest. This network allows you to engage with other people in which you share common interests with. You can discover new ideas, spread new ideas, make professional connections, find information, and more. As you can see, the ideas are almost endless. The important thing is to use the PLN to better yourself and others in your educational and professional endeavors.
The network that I wanted to connect with was human performance and physical therapy. I intend on applying to physical therapy programs this summer. I hope to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at some point in the near future. I wanted to use my PLN to better understand what topics are relevant in this field. I also wanted to discover popular physical therapists that I can look to for guidance in my education.
Twitter has been my platform of choice in the creation of my PLN. I chose Twitter for two main reasons. First, I had never used Twitter before, whereas I did already have accounts through Facebook and Instagram. I could already connect with people within my field of interest using those platforms. I have found Instagram to be highly beneficial for connecting with therapists. For my PLN, I wanted use something different so I could expand my resources, gain the most amount of insight, and connect with the largest amount of people. Using Twitter has enabled me to delve further into the field and meet new people.
The second reason that I chose Twitter is due to the high volume of physical therapists that use it. Initially, I did some research on the most popular ways physical therapists share information and ideas. What I found was that Twitter was one of the most popular platforms. Not only are there many therapists using Twitter, but many of them tend to share information almost daily. The information they share reaches large audiences and receives an abundance of replies. This nature creates a spectacular learning environment and invites many opportunities to connect with people to learn from.
I have mostly utilized my Personal Learning Network to help me gain a better understanding of what topics are revalent in the world of physical therapy. I have liked and re-tweeted many of my favorite topics to help share what I have found. I have also made some connections that helped guide me in gaining further insight on topics. One topic that I was able to gain a better understanding of is non-surgical treatment of a condition called Spondylolisthesis. This condition is common in the field of physical therapy and the information will likely help me in my education. Something I was made aware through my PLN is the burden of student loan debt. I was led to a resource that aids students in the process of taking out and paying off student loans. All of these connections and information I’ve learned through my PLN should prove to be highly beneficial for me as I continue through school and into the workforce.