What My PLN Means to Me

Yesterday, I shared with you how I built my Personal Learning Network (PLN) using Twitter. Now, I want to share with you what my PLN means to me. This post was inspired by Joyce Seitzinger’s (@Catspyjamasnz) wiki project in which you can contribute! My PLN did not always consist of my online community. Most educator PLNs will begin in a school with educators they connect with who will provide them with support and inspire them to improve their instructional practices.

I met such a special person while teaching at a Texas high school. I was the only person in the ESL department and Sister Luz Moreno took me under her wing. Sister Luz noticed that the English language learners were struggling in their mainstream classes and that they rarely interacted with native speaking students so she sought my help in creating an International Society. Before this, I kept to myself and was quite shy. To read more about Sister Luz and her amazing impact on poor children visit my guest post about her in Karenne Sylvester’s blog.

In the meantime, feel free to watch this video about what you mean to me, because you are part of my Personal Learning Network! Everyday, educators share resources with me on Twitter, nings, Google reader, LinkedIn, Facebook, Delicious, Second Life, blogs, and other social networks. I feel fortunate to have continuous thought-provoking conversations with educators who inspire me to continually reflect upon my practices!

Join Catspyjamasnz’s project by posting your video on this wiki or you can watch the previous videos!

You may want to subscribe to receive regular updates, leave a quick comment of how one of these tools helped you, tweet this, or share this series with your Personal Learning Network (PLN) through your RSS reader or Delicious account.

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.


  1. What a touching story, Shelly. You do an excellent job of showing how having an online PLN can help teachers around the world feel less isolated.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I don’t normally double up comments, but what I wrote on Facebook I feel would be great here… so apologies for cross-posting

    Nice to see you on video – yes, the tools help spark more passion and make a difference to us as educators and therefore on our impact. I think just being able to see such a variety of uses, contexts and views increases awareness and reflection. My PLN is like a light bulb, bright ideas, shining light in dark areas, glowing comfort and warmth as well as new sun rays shining everyday. Your video just added to that! Thanks Shelly 🙂

    I’ll add video soon, just let me get out of my pyjamas…

    • Valentina,
      No need to apologize! Your words touched me. I liked what you said about your PLN being a lightbulb. I feel the same, which is a reason I’m passionate about social media. However, like you stated it’s how you use the tools. I can’t wait to see your video on Joyce’s ning!

    • Karenne,
      I must really thank you! You’re my online & offline supporter who continually encourages me. I’ve learned a lot from you, the BELTFree ning, your blog and the several recommendations you make! You’ve also given me passion to tale charge of my own professional development because of your relentless passion for the profession! I’m very fortunate to have you as a friend!

  3. Shelly,

    Great post, particularly the connection to the bigger picture. Our jobs as ESL EFL teachers is so much more than ensuring students acquire the language. Our influence impacts each student in many more ways. A PLN is so important in this regard.

    Glad you’re part of my network.

    Chris Cotter
    Heads Up English

    • Chris Cotter,

      I’m glad to have you in my PLN! Your Heads Up Newsletters are always filled with useful tips! I think that by sharing links, tips, and info through various media then we make ourselves better educators. I like reflection and evaluating how I am teaching an objective versus how others teach it!

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