Exploring Continuity and Change in Educators’ Professional Learning Networks
Abstract: Recent years have seen many educators leverage social media to develop professional learning networks (PLNs) that extend beyond their individual schools and districts. There is, however, limited knowledge regarding how these PLNs change over time. In this research, we followed up on a 2014 survey in which educators described their PLNs. We investigated changes in PLN experiences through the analysis of data from a 2018 survey in which 192 participants were asked to reflect on their 2014 PLN descriptions and identify continuity and change in their PLNs. Analysis indicated respondents overwhelmingly expressed that their PLNs had changed over the four years between the two surveys. They identified a variety of types of changes, and factors contributing to those changes. We discuss the significance of the findings of this research and their implications for educator professional learning and teacher preparation.