Who Needs To Know About Your PLN

Reflect on your experience in the course, your development of PLN, your use of social media platforms and networked publics.

I feel positive in EDCI-338. EDCI-338 is the most special class I have ever taken in UVic, and I can’t even find this class in BrightSpace. Because of the above reasons, I am always afraid that I will miss some assignment deadlines. In this class, for the first time, I use Mattermost as the carrier of the class. On this open-source website, I actively share what we have learned with other students. We read each other’s blogs and leave comments about our feelings. In such frequent exchanges, we have all gained growth. Especially in the final project, my team and I cooperated well and communicated smoothly. Our team finally chose to use Powtoon for our final project. Although I have never used Powtoon, with the friendly help of my team members, we finished the animation production. I never thought that I could make such an animation, which is also the result of the help of PLN. I hope I can make progress with my PLN after graduation.

Note any changes in your perspective of social media in professional settings and personal use.

Through this lesson, I learned the importance of making my own digital identity. I didn’t really like spending time on social media before, I think it’s a waste of time. Now I have changed my mindset, and building my own digital identity will benefit both study and work. Not only that, a good digital identity will have a positive impact on people. Even if you are not as good at a digital identity, you will become better in that direction in real life.

How you can pivot your PLN into your next steps

I will graduate after this semester, so I will return to China and build a new PLN. I will use what I learned in this lesson to enrich my PLN. I hope that my PLN will be connected with my work, so that I can better record my work experience. I will communicate and learn with other people through the new PLN, and hope that my new PLN will also be in China smoothly.

Engaging your PLN

What does it mean to have a digital identity in your industry of choice and can your current PLN be used to help professional development post-course?

After I graduate, I should go back to China and do an internship. My digital identity should give the employee a chance to get to know me. Although I am not completely myself, I will show the best in my digital identity. At the same time, I will actively build my own personal learning network and learn from the experience of my peers. I hope that building my personal learning network can become a part of my life. I am used to spending some time every day perfecting the personal learning network, which becomes a habit. As my working age increases, this record will become a record of my growth.

As you progress through the steps of your career, can your PLN be relied on to open professional opportunities?

This is difficult to say, I can only say that I try my best to maintain my personal learning network. If I am unfortunately fired, this personal learning network can serve as an opportunity for me to reflect and increase the number of choices for the next job. If I am at work and get better job opportunities because of my personal learning network, I should choose to change jobs, which can also enrich my own experience and give my personal learning network more content.


Digital Identity of Researchers and Their Personal Learning Network – Digital Identity, PLN, & Conclusion pp. 469-475 Oliveira N.R., Morgado L. (2014) UVIC LIBRARY https://tinyurl.com/yz82x2ly 


Why Media Literacy matters in your PLN

What is media literacy?

“Media literacy encompasses the practices that allow people to access, critically evaluate, and create or manipulate media”. In other words, media literacy is the ability to understand and analyze the information from social media, then you can retell it to other people.

Why is it important?

This is a very basic skill that can help you better understand the main points of the news, and at the same time increase your ability to analyze the news. If we do not have this ability, then all social platforms may be fake news. Many times we need to use this ability to think independently in order to get correct conclusions.

Why is it dismissed?

We often dismissed media literacy as not the result we expect, for these reasons. First of all, we have to deal with too much information every day, we can not analyze one by one, it will take too much time. We can only scan it roughly, and then come to a conclusion. Second, the information we have is not enough to draw correct conclusions. We can’t get a complete event process in the first place. We lack key information that can be analyzed, so we cannot get the correct conclusions.

PLN & Education

How does a PLN give power to messaging for an individual or community?

First of all, PLN is an open-source platform. The information you posted above will be displayed to the public, and you can also send messages to and from a user individually. These actions will become your digital identity. Based on these functions, PLN gives the power to message for an individual or community.

How does the use of PLN raise awareness opportunities in education?

On PLN, because people share knowledge and ideas, they also promote ideology. PLN can increase educational awareness because they are a platform for raising and solving problems. At the same time, they are knowledge-sharing activities in which different people such as professionals in different fields share their skills and knowledge.

What is the role of social media in education?

Although the role of social media in education is becoming more and more important, it is still at an imperfect stage. Even if there are sufficient educational resources on social media, their management is not perfect enough. Compared with traditional education methods, many times the resources we find cannot guarantee their correctness.


Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open and Social Learning / Alec Couros- Chapter 6 – Page 128-129 & Page 137-138 in the PDF – (Page.114-115 & Page 123-124 in original text) 


Public PLN – Balancing PLN & Public Discourse

1.How do notable individuals use social media?

I think some notable individuals use social media to show the public their way of life, but most of them gain more benefits by operating their digital identities. In general, notable individuals have two ways to use social media, publish some content by themselves or hire professional people. Compare with other people create a perfect digital for these notable individuals, the first way will make people feel more real, then shorten the distance between the followers and notable individuals. In either case, these people have a strong influence on social media, especially to their followers.

2.What are the benefits of being in the public eye and having a PLN?

When I in the public eye and having a PLN, it means there have more chance that people could notice me. If I perform well on my PLN, someone who be interest to me may contact me. I think this is more important for a working person. Having a good PLN may mean more job opportunities.

3.Building a community with online tools provided by the employer can be limiting, what are the perceived restrictions and benefits?

In my opinion, there have more restrictions on building a community with online tools provided by the employer. First of all, you must make your PLN in accordance with the requirements of your boss. Many of your ideas that do not meet the requirements cannot be published in this community, even though it is great. Secondly, after you leave your job, the PLN you made may not be suitable for your new job. You have to create a new one, which means there are additional works. On the other hand, building a community with online tools provided by the employer will help you get in contact with people who work related to you. Then you can learn relevant work experience from the PLN they made.

4.How do those, who are veteran storytellers, minimize the risk of sharing misinformation?

After they publish the news, let the administrators review them as soon as possible. Open the comment area to make it easier for others to point out mistakes or make suggestions for improvement. Open the report function, delete the information if you receive too many reports. Block the veteran storytellers’ page to prevent the spread of false news.



Navigating Social Journalism: A Handbook for Media Literacy and Citizen Journalism by Martin Hirst
Chapter 6. Social Journalism and the Gig Economy pp.142


PLN in Practice

  1. How does social media engage in advocacy communications?

With the rapid development of Internet technology, social media has gradually become an important tool for people to communicate, interact and share information. The accounts record people’s activities on social media, and these accounts play an important role in sending, disseminating, and receiving information. In my opinion, these points help social media engage in advocacy communication. For example, I didn’t pay attention to this policy before, but I got the information of “BC indoor dining shutdown” from my favorite restaurant’s Twitter. From my personal experience, I feel that social media is playing an increasingly important role.

2. How does social media use in public discourse potentially challenge advocacy communications?

This question reminds me of the former US President, Donald Trump. In my opinion, he is a good example to answer this question. Although Trump’s account was blocked by Twitter, we still could learn something from his social media experience. In the 33 months of his career, the number of posts on social media Twitter reached 11,887. Although his tweets contain a lot of unimportant content, these tweets also involve important news and policies, such as “The death of ISIS leader Baghdadi, the U.S. announcement on recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and the firing of Bolton, the president’s national security affairs assistant”. On the other hand, Trump’s Twitter policy may not necessarily be passed, but many people blindly believe his news when they don’t understand the situation. For someone who followed Donald Trump, social media use in public discourse potentially challenges advocacy communications.



Blog 5# Building Your Own PLN

As Woods described at the beginning, people’s self-improvement at work may not have substantive progress, because they are likely to repeat the same work. Everyone has a different thinking mode, so sharing your opinions in the personal learning network can give you a lot of room for improvement. Their different approaches can help us to check our works with new eyes. “A PLN is simply an informal group of people who you learn things from on a regular basis. And if you’re doing it right, they learn things from you too.” Nowadays, it is not difficult to create your own PLN with the help of the Internet, both Zooms, Skype, Google Drive, or Youtube are good platforms.  As a student, I think it is very important to listen to the opinions of experienced people on PLN. Their advice will give me some career advice for people with no work experience. Meanwhile, PLN should also be a way for you to help others. The more you contribute to PLN, the more others will want to help you.


Woods, Bianca. “Building your own PLN: seeking new insights and ideas? Expand your personal learning network.” T+D, vol. 67, no. 11, Nov. 2013, p. 70+. Gale OneFile: Business, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A348998538/ITBC?u=uvictoria&sid=ITBC&xid=1010abdf. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Q&A for PLN in EDCI learning

How diverse is your existing PLN?

As an undergraduate, I created my PLN for learning EDCI course this term. In my opinion, I have never had any experience in PLN production, so it is my first time getting into PLN. Honestly, my PLN is not very diverse, because I just learning from my classmates and EDCI professors. Based on the define of PLN, “A Personal Learning Network is a way of describing the group of people that you connect with to learn their ideas, their questions, their reflections, and their references. Your PLN is not limited to online interactions, but it is that online, global interactive part that really makes it special. It is personal because you choose who’s part of that group; you choose if you want to lurk–just check out what people are saying–or if you share; because you choose when to do so, and how to do so.” Everyone in PLN could be a teacher or a student. Nowadays, PLN is becoming more and more important because of the impact of COVID-19. People have to spend more time on PLN whatever they want. For example, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Bright Space, and Mattermost are efficient choices.

In your PLN, are you learning from a variety of voices or are you the loudest in the room?

Yes, I learned a lot from a variety of voices in my PLN. My classmates and I have different backgrounds, so the way we think about problems has its limitations. To avoid that, I learned other people’s opinions from reading other people’s blogs and comments, such as the difference between Chinese digital wallets and other countries. We may come up with different answers from different angles,then both of us learned from PLN. Secondly, I am not the loudest in the room, and I do not care who is the loudest in the room now. My skills are not proficient enough, so I will think about it when I improved my skills.


Do you participate in a silo of information sharing?

Based on the definition of information silo, “An information silo is an information management system that is unable to freely communicate with other information management systems. Communication within an information silo is always vertical, making it difficult or impossible for the system to work with unrelated systems. Information silos can exist within a variety of businesses,” I do not think I am participating in a  silo of information sharing. If I have a chance to participate in it, I would like to do it.


How can you use a diverse PLN to broaden your views of inclusion?

Although it is more efficient to analyze other people’s arguments from their background, it may lead to unfair conclusions. In my opinion, I think a diverse PLN is really helpful to broaden my views of inclusion. Compare with communication by face to face, people sharing their opinions on PLN will not let some irrelevant information (gender, age, job, or nationality) interfere with their thinking. After I broaden my views of inclusion, I can think about problems from a broader perspective.





Five Moore Minutes. The Evolution of Inclusion: The past and future of education. 2 Oct 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQgXBhPh5Zo&feature=youtu.be.

Schoology. (2019, April 18). Personal Learning Network (PLN) benefits, tools, and tactics. Retrieved February 15, 2021, from https://www.schoology.com/blog/personal-learning-network-pln-benefits-tools-and-tactics#:~:text=A%20personal%20learning%20network%20(PLN,of%20your%20own%20professional%20development.

Chen, J. (2020, November 02). What is an information silo? Retrieved February 15, 2021, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/information-silo.asp

Personal Digital Identity vs Professional Digital Identity


What digital platforms are students currently using to develop their professional network?

In recent years, there has been a vast increase in the number of students who choose to develop their professional networks, such as Mattermost, Brightspace, and Zoom. From my own experience, I study from several different digital platforms which I never tried before.
BrightSpace: UVic chooses BrightSpace to replaced the original D2L in the last term. Compare with the last D2L, BrightSpace has higher efficiency and a more intuitive interface. Students can easily find the materials they need to complete their homework. In my opinion, “upcoming events” remind me of the important event in the next few days.
Zoom: a common video communication for most teachers. Compare with Skype. Zoom does better on help the interaction between teachers and students.
Mattermost: “is an open-source, self-hostable online chat service with file sharing, search, and integrations”. Mattermost is mostly regarded as an alternative to the more popular Slack.


What could the student consider in expanding their professional learning network?

As a student, I had signed up on different platforms to expand my professional learning network. In China, consider the update frequency and scope of use, I prefer to use an online platform called “EduSoho” to learn Math, English, and Physics. “EduSoho” not only supports graphic, audio, and video teaching but also supports OBS remote screen recording live broadcast, WeChat voice interactive live broadcast, video live broadcast teaching, etc.

After I came to Canada, the platform which I used usually is “Chegg”. Chegg is a membership platform. After people pay for membership on Chegg, they could get help from teachers online. These teachers not only give you the answers but also explain every step. This platform helped me a lot in calculus and passed the calculus course.


In your network, how can you create a digital identity/reputation?

In fact, I tried to create a digital identity to show the best face of myself. I always use my photo with a smile as my profile picture, It seems that I am very friendly and shorten the distance from others. In addition, I never post unnecessary information on the network. Sometimes, leaking too much private information on the Internet will cause unnecessary trouble. All in all, I created a digital identity to leave a good impression to communicate with others more efficiently.


Consider what a local employer would do if you applied for a job with them – can they search the content, is it of benefit to the career path, does it hinder the opportunity of employment?

When I applied for a job, I do not think it will hinder the opportunity of employment, because I showed the best of myself in public networks. Moreover, the local employers might more focus on my ability rather than the result of searching.

Digital Identity

1.  What is a digital identity?

In short, a digital ID is a way to protect personal information and can safely verify our online identity.

In a common situation, the digital identity is composed of the sum of digital traces related to an individual or a community, such as the online profile, social software and online shopping. To be specific, digital identity can be defined as both the collection of traces (writings, audio/video content, forum messages, sign-in details, etc.) that we leave behind us, consciously or unconsciously, as we browse the network and the reflection of this mass of traces as it appears after being “remixed” by search engines (Ertzscheid, Olivier. 2016).


2.  How do personal versus professional approaches to digital identity affect social media use?

For most people, the personal approach to social media should be communication. From my point of view,  Social media is a convenient way of communicating, but it lessens the quality of the connection. Almost two-thirds of U.S. adults admit they use social medial to connect. Its rise to prominence changes our ability to interact with others on a meaningful level (Stacey, Hanke. 2018). Based on social media software that is popular, people have a trend to post themselves online to communicate with family, friends even stranger. In addition, recording daily life is an important function of social media in personal use.


On the other hand, professional approaches to digital identity are much different from personal digital identity. In my opinion, the professional approaches to digital identity are kinds of name cards.  One professional digital identity has multiple managers to publish information and collect feedback. Meanwhile, they have to keep the interaction with their followers and be careful with their words. If you post any controversial content, your digital identity might receive a negative voice immediately.





3. Can a digital wallet provides trust in networked publics?

From my point of view, I might say no to the safety of the digital wallet now. If you are afraid of revealing any personal information, you might do not try the digital wallet.  Even though using the digital wallet might be convenient and high-efficiency, data breaches are still a serious problem for digital wallets. Data transmission across mobile networks is the least secure method, and transactions using a digital wallet will be subject to the risks inherent in any mobile transaction (Stacey, Hanke. 2018). On the other hand, some people worry about using digital wallets is personal liability in the event of fraud, I do not agree with this point. At least in China, fraud insurance will cover the loss of consumers using digital wallets, as same as credit cards. In addition, Davos gives a positive answer to the digital wallet. Based on Davos’ data, there have more than 60% of the global GDP expected to be digitized in 2022. With the increasing number of people choosing to use digital wallets, the criminals might put more attention to attack our systems. We have to take precautions to ensure our property.





Ertzscheid, Olivier. “Identity logics”. What is digital identity? Issues, tools, methodologies. By Ertzscheid. Marseille: OpenEdition Press, 2016. Web. <http://books.openedition.org/oep/1379>

Stacey, Hanke. “How Social Media Affects Our Ability to Communicate”. Thriveglobal, 2018. Web <https://.com/stories/how-social-media-affects-our-ability-to-communicate>

Davos.“Press Conference The Value of Digital Identity for the Global Economy and Society.” uploaded by World Economic Forum, 5 Feb. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-V7yxrOmw

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