PLNs- Be A Mentor

Many of us have experienced the benefits of Personal Learning Networks (PLN), which include

  • access to a 24/7 network of resource-sharers, SMEs (subject matter experts), supporters, and friends
  • access to resources when we need it
  • extended professional development in the learning style we like best wheter it is a video, blog post, podcast, webinar, or slideshow
  • connections with educators, classrooms, and
  • the ability to ask our favorite authors questions and receive responses
  • the ability to share our expertise and research to a global audience who can use it
  • establishing relationships with other educators that creates a richer experience at conferences we attend
  • immediate feedback on our presentations, teaching methodologies, and projects
  • collaborative problem-solving with challenges we face in our schools

For these reasons and several more, it is important to encourage other educators to build a PLN. Often, introducing educators to a tool is not enough. Educators new to PLNs need some guidance and mentorship along the way. With this in mind, we have developed the European Union project, Autonomous ‘Personal Learning Networks’ for Language Teachers (APLaNet) For Language Educators and Users of Internet Language Resources.

You Can Participate as a Mentor

Do you have slideshows, blog posts, videos, wikis, podcasts, and other materials you have developed about PLNs? How about passing these materials along to help an educator in Romania, Poland, Turkey, or other places around the world develop their own PLNs? Would you be interested in skyping a group of educators in another country and sharing your experiences with PLNs? You do NOT have to be a language teacher. We are looking for members of nings, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites who would like to help educators build their own PLNs. If you have been participating in these forums or have your own blog, then please help us help other educators. If this project is approved we will not start for many months. Therefore, do not worry if you don’t have too much experience now and are just starting. By the time we ask you to help, you probably will have plenty experience in building PLNs.

About the Project

The APLaNet project will be showing and helping language educators how to join existing and create their own PLNs on existing social networks. The project will show you how to join and use the resources that are daily being created, shared, tested and talked about.

Using a PLN language educators will be able to find their way through the jungle of ICT resources on the net and find language teachers, just like themselves, that will help them use the resources.

We are looking for two types of Associate Partners:

1. Teachers of languages – interested in piloting the project

2. Existing users of Social Networks

Click here to sign-up. This form is due by Mon., Feb. 9th.

Thank you for your participation!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


  1. Shelly, another excellent initiative! My PLN (you included) have become so important to my teaching and my growth as an educator, everyone deserves access to such an amazing resource. Please let me know how I can help. I’m happy to be of help anywhere you need me!

  2. I don’t know Shelly, do you guys have a wiki or something where those of us who would like to contribute these things could just add them – without having to be directly involved and without having to join yet another community?

    I know that quite a lot of us in BELTfree and other important groups, like Webheads along with the significant authors /leaders in the creation of online communities of practice have already written extensively both in the blogosphere and in magazines and books.

    All of us have a huge amount of experience and expertise to share with others, however most of us are incredibly busy people who can’t really take on the care of 100,000 people or whatever the number was I saw on the video on Marisa’s site! Daunting! 🙂

    Perhaps, if a site was set up where we could simply list posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc or the numerous articles, wiki-entries, slideshares, videos we’ve all written or bookmarked into Diigo and Delicious could be created: it’d surely be a great service.


    • Karenne,

      That is a great idea about adding these materials on one site. There is a wiki and website but the other sources like Delicious and Diigo are great ideas. You’re right that there are many who are busy and resources like ones you have already written in your blog are great resources.

  3. I think this is such a great idea. Helping teachers outside of my building was one reason I started my blog and this project is WAY outside of my building. I would love to help a handful of teachers sort through the craziness of the internet to create powerful PLN’s like the ones I’m using. Thanks for passing this on. Let me know how I can help. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *