e-Learning for Educators
Course Information

Creating Your Personal Learning Network (PLN) for Active WV Educators
Course Description

As educators you already have some type of a Personal Learning Network or PLN in place. It could be your family, students, co-teachers/administrators or firends. During this course you will be gudied trough the steps to continue to grow and build your PLN with the addition of the technology, social media to connect, collect and collaborate.

Course Syllabus

As educators you already have some type of a Personal Learning Network or PLN in place. It could be your family, students, co-teachers/administrators or firends. During this course you will be gudied trough the steps to continue to grow and build your PLN with the addition of the technology, social media to connect, collect and collaborate.By the end of this course, participants will:


  • understand what a PLN is and why educators would create a PLN,
  • understand who creates PLNs,
  • understand what resources and/or tools might be inherent to a PLN,
  • understand who might be part of a PLN network,
  • understad the meaning of "connected" educator,
  • explain the benefits of using Twitter as part of a PLN,
  • learn how Twitter is used effectively for education for teaching and learning,
  • understand how to build a PLN via Twitter,
  • create a Twitter account,
  • participate in a Twitter chat,
  • identify components of a PLN that may be in place currently,
  • set goals and plan for the development or continued development of a PLN,
  • identify tools to help organize their PLN resources,
  • understand how blogs and webinars can become part of a PLN,
  • recognize the benefits of particpating in and/or developing or contributing to blogs and webinars,
  • join educators nationally, internationally and throughout West Virginia via PLN networks,
  • become a member and contribute to the WVDE Yammer network,
  • Explore and become versed in the resources provided by the Microsoft Educator Network,
  • understand content curration and how to initiate the process,
  • identify the benefits of content curation,
  • identify key components of the curation process and
  • develop a resource curation using a curation tool that can be shared with others.


This professional development course is designed for currently employed K-12 teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists and administrators. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience. Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet and navigating through computer files. Access to Microsoft Office, Office365 and WVDE Yammer is a course requirement. 

Format And Requirements

This workshop is divided into six one-week sessions which each include readings, activities, and an online discussion among workshop participants. The time necessary to complete each session is estimated to be 6.5 to 7 hours.

The outline for the workshop is as follows:

Session One

What is a PLN?

Session Two

Your PLN--Twitter

Session Three

Building Your PLN

Session Four

Your PLN--Blogs and Webinars

Session Five

Your PLN--Making "Network" Connections

Session Six

Your PLN--Curation Tools

Session One: What is a PLN?
During this session you will learn about PLNs (Personal/Professional Learning Networks) and initiating a PLN. You will learn about tools and resources that may be accessed to build PLNs in such a way that you develop a "connected" educator network. You join the WVDE Yammer communication/collaboration network and create a PLN Wordle.

Session Two: Your PLN--Twitter
Twitter is the number one way that teachers connect with their PLN. Twitter is a place, for the purpose of this course, where teachers/educators can read tweets from other educators, contribute to tweets, and send out their own tweets to colleagues. During this session you will establish a twitter account, choose at least 20 teachers/educators/education organizations to follow, participate in a twitter chat and develop a Twitter infographic.

Session Three: Building Your PLN
Building a PLN is a process that takes place over time. During this session you will learn how other educators have created their PLNs, the PLN tools/resources they found helpful, the tips to other educators have developed to avoid PLN overload and how to customize your PLN. You will complete a PLN Planning Form, review two colleague's PLN Planning Forms, receive feedback regarding your PLN Planning Form from at least two colleagues and then, upon revision, submit your PLN Planning Form to the dropbox for facilitator feedback.

Session Four: Your PLN--Blogs and Webinars
Blogs and webinars provide methods by which educators can share information, collaborate, reflect upon their learning and their teaching practices as they continue to build their PLN. During this session participants will be introduced to several blogs as well as information regarding educational webinars. Participants will select an RSS feed and implement the feed to follow at least 5 blogs specific to their identified PLN goals. The discussion topics for this session will focus upon the sharing of information: blogs, webinars and RSS feeds. 

Session Five: Your PLN--Making "Network" Connections
The following questions will guide participants this session:

Who is in your learning network?
Who do you learn from on a regular basis? 
Who do you turn to for your own professional development? 

In response to the session activities, course participants will explore and/or join statewide, national and international PLN networks.

Session Six: Your PLN--Curation Tools
Organizing information and resources to be included in a PLN can be a daunting task. The information from this session has been developed to assist participants with the process of finding, organizing and managing information and resources on specific topics. Participants will learn the difference been simply collecting and developing a curation of resources. The curation process will be explained and several curation tools will be featured. Participants will select one curation tool and then develop a curation of resources to meet their PLN goals established during Session Three. Participants will share their curations with course colleagues.


Each session includes readings, activities, and a discussion assignment, which participants are required to complete weekly. This is a three-hour graduate level course and will require 30 - 45 hours to successfully complete the tasks. Participants should plan to spend 6.5 - 7 hours weekly to read assignments, complete activities including and participate actively in the weekly discussions.

Orientation Quiz: During the Orientation Session, participants are expected to complete the Orientation Quiz. The quiz may be completed as many times as necessary to score at least a 90% accuracy. 

Readings and Activities: Participants are expected to complete the required course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Optional readings may also be completed, but are not mandatory.

Course Products/Assignments:
Session One: 
Create a PLN Wordle that references information from this sesson's readings and activities.
Session Two: Create a Twitter Infographic that references information from this sesson's readings and activities.
Session Three: PLN Planning Form Instructions
1. Review the PLN Planning Form Rubric
2. Complete the PLN Planning Form*
Note: In addtion to the collaboartive educational groups/tools you are investigating for use in your PLN, you may wish to include WVDE Yammer (Yammer groups), and/or your school PLC and other collaborative educational groups to which you belong as you complete your PLC Planning Form. 
3. Attach the PLN Planning Form to the Session Three Discussion #Two discussion topic by Sunday evening
4. Complete PQP reviews of two colleague's PLN Planning Forms by Monday evening. Reference the PLN Planning Form Rubric and PQP Help Guide prior to writing and posting your reviews.
5. Make revisions and/or additions to your PLN Planning form based upon your PQP reviews
6. Upload your PLN Planning form to the Session Three dropbox by Tuesday evening
*The Readings and Activities from this session provide an abundance of resources from which you may explore and possibly select for inclusion when completing your PLN Planning form.
Session Four: Subscribe to an RSS feed in order to follow at least 5 blogs related to PLN goals and locate at least four upcoming or previously recorded webinars that apply to the PLN goals
Session Five: Locate and join a PLN "network"
Session Six: Curation of PLN Resources*

Copyright: Copyright guidelines are to be observed throughout the course project and all course activities. All work associated with the course project is to be the original work of the course participant. Fair use does not apply to the course project.

Discussion Forum: Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. Participants are required to post a minimum of one substantial original posting each session in response to the discussion prompt for that session by Sunday evening. Participants are to respond thoughtfully to a minimum of two colleagues' original postings each session by Monday evening. They are to read all original messages by course participants and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session by Tuesday evening. Postings will be evaluated on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited and overall quality.

Grades: All grades in the course gradebook must be a "C" for successful course completion. A grade of "C" indicates that all work has been completed and the work meets the expectations for that assignment.

 Pre and Post Workshop Surveys: Participants are expected to complete both surveys. The Orientation Survey is to be completed by Sunday during the Orientation Session and the Final Survey is to be completed by Sunday during Session Six. 

Certificate Of Completion

Upon successful completion of this course, Classroom Management, participants will receive a Certificate of Completiondocumenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant via email and will be placed into the Final Course Project Dropbox shortly after the completion of the course.

Graduate Credit Information

Participants in this course are eligible to receive non-degree graduate credits from either West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University or Concord University. Credits will be awarded at the end of the semester in which the course occurs. Additional information is available on the course News/Welcome Page.

Content And Technology Standards

This course, Classroom Management, will help participants meet the ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers (http://edtechleaders.org/documents/NETSAdminTeachers.pdf), especially Standards II, III, IV, and V. For more information about Technology Integration visit: http://www.iste.org

In addition, participants will identify specific WV NxG Standards (http://wveis.k12.wv.us/Teach21/public/ng_cso/NG_CSO.cfm) or if the NxG Standards have not been adopted for a specific content area, the WV Content Standards and Objectives (http://wvde.state.wv.us/csos/), as they engage in course content.

About This Course

This course was developed by the West Virginia Department of Education.

Original design (before format modifications) by EdTech Leaders Online (http://www.edtechleaders.org), a project of Education Development Center, Inc, © 2007.  All rights reserved.