There are numerous benefits to developing and participating in you own personal learning network:
- the ability to poll a wide audience - quick answers to questions - sense of community - great resources, tips and tricks
However one of the best may not be recognized by many people. When you take the time to post a useful link or help someone else out they will often reply with thanks or a compliment. This recognition makes you feel great and boosts your self-esteem. Being told that you are awesome or that you rock makes you want to involve yourself more with your network.
People who believe they can make a difference, that they have something of value to pass along begin to move from being tentative to confident. They are more likely to try new ways of doing things. I think they become better teachers. We often work to build our students' achievement by working on their self-esteem. Why not put those same techniques to work for yourself.
Image used under Flickr Creative Commons License by Man_Monkey at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lalitium/2923011615/sizes/s/