The thumbnail web above and the larger image below were created with a free online app called "Gliffy," which easily creates flow-charts and diagrams that can be saved using Google or Facebook accounts. The user interface is seamless and very intuitive.
The diagram shows my interpretation of how PLNs work at the theoretical level. Each individual is at the center of his or her own learning environment. We are influenced by different theories of learning, from Behaviorism to Cognitivism to Constructivism. How we learn is unique to each individual. As digital learners, we have various inputs and outputs. For our inputs, we choose whose feeds we will follow on Twitter, we filter whose opinions and ideas we internalize at staff meetings, and we choose which news stations we tune into and which we refuse to even mention. Our outputs reflect our inputs - we post, pontificate and discuss in myriad online environments a filtered version of what we have read, listened to and processed. These inputs and outputs are constantly changing and evolving as we add, delete and go back to our network sources again and again (thus the double-sided arrows in the diagram).
By connecting with sources outside of ourselves and then using our own unique processing abilities to synthesize the information that we take in, we see that even our own learning styles and approaches change. We are choosing how we learn and with whom we learn, because "nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning," (Siemens, 2004).