Students Talk About Developing Their PLN

In both “Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies” and “Senior Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies,” students work to develop Personal Learning Networks. Here are some reflections from these students on this process.

Makenna Franklin

In the beginning, I was a bit overwhelmed, and maybe even a little bored, but as I continued to build my PLN I found that it was actually beneficial towards my education, my specific major, and my future as a Patient Advocate and aspiring Social Worker. I noticed while using my PLN that I became more engaged in my field and education, it gave me access to rich discussions and resources, and allowed me to share my thoughts on important issues surrounding healthcare. I had access to a countless number of articles that expanded my knowledge on specific topics that I probably wouldn’t have read or even found without my PLN. It is extremely important to make connections with others within your field, and outside of, and having a Personal Learning Network is a great way to do exactly that. As I move forward in my education and career, I plan to keep my PLN and utilize it to stay up to date on important matters, expand my knowledge, and connect with others. Overall, it is definitely challenging and takes time to build an active Personal Learning Network but I believe that it is something that all students, and professionals,  from all fields should have and use. Take a look at my storify for an annotated outline of what my Personal Learning Network consists of!

Madisen Giordano

Having a PLN for the rest of my education career is going to be more beneficial than I had originally had planned.  The articles, stories, pictures and advice posted by various accounts will aid in my learnings as a future graduate student in a competitive, fast-paced athletic training graduate program. There is more ‘need to know’ information hidden in some of these articles than I could find in a text book.  Being able to see situations that current athletic trainers, sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, and certified strength and conditioning specialists is proving to be a vital part of my education.  In my future career the ability to connect so easily with experts and national organizations in my field will be a great experience.  There are so many accounts that are so active and willing to offer help to those who ask.  My PLN has changed the way I look at this social media platform and is starting to change the way I learn. Check out some great tweets from various accounts on my Storify: 

Brianna Groleau

I have found so many professionals who have shared so many great pieces of information that it’s like Twitter has become my own personal university. I am seeing relevancy in all sorts of ways that I never would have seen within the walls of Plymouth State. I am also able to share my own thoughts and discoveries and works so that those professionals with whom I interact can see what I have to say. The best thing that could come from this? That I end up with some relationships that lead to a great job after graduation. The worst that could come from it? Nothing, assuming I don’t turn Twitter into my own personal soap box and become a tyrannical lunatic (……..). This PLN is also easily maintainable throughout my time in graduate school and after I’ve left school and moved on to a career. I can continue to expand my network for as long as I choose, and there’s nothing that isn’t great about that. When you have these kinds of social connections, you have the possibility of one heck of a future!

(CC BY 2.0) Austin Community College

For a snap shot of my Twitter network and the things I’ve been up to, check out my Storify!






Kennedy Mang

What I gained from my PLN was not just a twitter feed filled with articles, but a twitter feed filled with enriching literature that will help me have a more interdisciplinary view of my field. Being able to understand all aspects of the mind and body is extremely important to one’s rehabilitation and being able to see experts in all fields release their research and have the most up to date research is extremely beneficial. One of the most beneficial aspects of my PLN is having an insight on today’s biggest issues and how they are being dealt with such as the Flint Water Crisis and global warming. There is so much research being done on topics like these such as the effect climate change is having on both the mental and physical health of humans. As I built my PLN and continue to build my PLN, I am able to be at the forefront of this research to better understand my current and future studies. By following the link ( you are able to see all of the knowledge I was able to gain from this semester as well as organizations I can learn more from and hopefully use to help guide me in the future.

Ashley Hichborn

My PLN is built from my professional twitter and my website where I regularly blog and talk about my educational path. To build this PLN I started with seeing what was out there. I researched other graphic designers, followed ecofriendly and social issues twitter accounts, and used articles in my papers. This covered the gaining knowledge of what is out there part of the PLN. I used other resources to increase my learning but there is so much more to it. Slowly I started feeling comfortable with putting myself out there and interacting online. Here I would tweet at other people, reblog/ message people who were posting similar things as me or just interesting topics, and tagging others in posts they might like. On the ePort I would link up articles or reference people in academic fields and then share the papers with them. This builds a connection in the professional world and has expanded not only my knowledge but my awareness of involvement.

Shayla Murphy

To be honest, I wasn’t always sure whether or not I would truly learn through this PLN experience. However, my mind has been completley changed. I have learned so much, and grow my knowledge in the health care field. When I graduate in May 2018 with a Health Sciences degree and a Psychology minor, that is not the end for me. I plan to continue my eduation at MCPHS, where I will enter into the 16 month accelerated RN program. By Decemeber 2019, I will be graduating as a Registered Nurse, and I couldn’t be more excited to accomplish that goal. I think the best part of my PLN, is the fact that I feel more passionate and more excited than ever about where my future is leading me and my path to becoming a Mental Health Nurse. Take a look at this Storify that I have created to show my PLN experience;

Mackenzie Palmer

My Personal Learning Network affects my plans for the future greatly. Being able to tweet and view accounts that share the information I am learning on a daily basis helps me connect to bigger aspects in my life. Considering education and life are one in the same, being able to create brochures and flyers in order to promote events is great practice for a future position in the work force. Another area that was opened this semester was the area of Mental Health.

Photo By: Cabinet Office

After this semester, I might choose to minor in psychology because of the knowledge and interest I gained from the NAMI organization, as well as the suicide prevention training I attended. This is a great example of how interdisciplinarity truly works; I am able to gain knowledge throughout my daily life and if it changes my path of education, that is okay. The idea behind always living an active life in your education is what will lead an individual directly into their future.