Personal Learning Network Course

Stay Current with Tools of the Web: Create a Personal Learning Network 

With so many resources available on the Internet, it is easy to become overwhelmed.  How do you know which tools will work for you?  How do you keep current on advances in your area of interest without spending hours and hours reading and researching?  How do you know which technology innovations are a fad and which ones are here to stay?

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The COAT Personal Learning Network (PLN) course will teach you how to sort through all the fluff and identify the resources that will provide you with what you want, when you want it.  Using Scoop.It, Diigo, and Twitter free Internet tools you will learn how to easily curate current information on specific topics, identify and communicate with experienced educators who are willing to share their expertise, and identify and use selected free Internet tools.

Here are some ways that Personal Learning Networks can be used:

  1. Locate resources for your classroom, such as free websites and software.
  2. Professional development – learn from content-area specialists.
  3. Get lesson plan ideas from master teachers.
  4. Learn about new technology and how to integrate it into your teaching.
  5.  Find collaborative solutions to teaching challenges.
  6. Find interesting links to education news.
  7. Do all of the above by bringing the content directly to you, without having to do extensive searching.

Personal Learning Network image


By establishing a personal learning network of expert educators, ideas become more practical and help is readily available. Once you master the skill of communicating with experts and curating your selections, you will discover opportunities to pass these skills on to your students!

This courses uses  "Scoop.It," "Diigo" and Twitter to help you establish your own personal learning network and then put it to use!

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

    • Become a member of a community of learners and collaborate with experts and content-area specialists across the United States and beyond.
    • Locate resources for teaching, such as free websites and software, that are applicable to your curriculum.
    • Apply techniques to manage and curate ideas so as not to become overwhelmed by too many resources.
    • Find collaborative solutions to encourage learning opportunities.
    • Understand and apply evaluation techniques to Internet resources for professional development and classroom use.
    • Understand and identify the advantages and dangers of social networking.
    • Demonstrate effective online communication skills with colleagues through discussion forum participation.

View the detailed course and module objectives.


  • This course is delivered using the Canvas learning management system by Instructure.  Many educators are curious about this popular new learning management system.  This is a great opportunity to try it out!
  • The course is taught fully online.
  • The course is between 4 and 6 weeks long, depending upon whether you choose to complete the final independent project.  If you choose not to complete the independent project you may exit the course after week 4. 
    • If you are a Maryland K-12 educator you may receive 3 CPD credits to apply to your K-12 teaching license recertification requirements.  In order to receive the 3 CPD credits you must complete the entire 6 weeks, including the final independent project.  The final independent project requires you to apply the skills learned in weeks 1-4 to an independent project that is related to your own course.
    • If you are not a Maryland K-12 educator (or do not wish to earn CPD credit), the last 2 weeks of the course are optional. 

What is Scoop It?

"Scoop It" is a program that allows you to create a "magazine" of Internet resources important to you.  You may want to view this video for a brief overview of what Scoop It is and what it can do.

What is Diigo?

Diigo is an interesting site because it can be used in a very simple way to keep, store and organize your bookmarks or it can be used in a slightly more complex way to keep lists or folders for your sites. It can also be a way to keep up with all the new sites and ideas on the web by belonging to groups and accepting emails from educators all over the world. Diigo can also be used with a teacher console for your students. The way you decide to use it during the course will be determined by your needs and skills.

Why Use Twitter?

There are many ways that Twitter can be used as an educational tool.  You may want to consider Twitter for building your personal learning network.  Some teachers have used Twitter to allow their students to ask experts questions.  (They are frequently thrilled when they get replies!)  Some educators use it as an "in class" activity, where planning and tweeting to experts occurs as a whole class or a group.  (Even younger students can enjoy and learn from this experience.)  Yet others use it to allow experts or guest speakers to "speak" in their course as students tweet responses and questions.  

Course Prerequisites

  • Comfort with technology and ability to independently problem solve, understand and use basic web tools. This class is for those already comfortable in a technology environment. You must be able to follow tutorials to complete tasks.

Carole Redline          
Dr. Carole Redline

Meet the instructor!

Get to know Dr. Carole Redline, the energetic and enthusiastic facilitator for this innovative course.  Participants love her, and she loves participants!  Visit her teaching blog to learn more about her teaching philosophy.


Rate:  $195


The course is graded pass/fail. Pass requires satisfactory completion of all assignments by the due date as well as regular interaction in discussion forums.  If the final independent project is attempted, it must be turned in by the due date.


The expectation for this online course is that participants will work asynchronously on the course website at least 3 days each week for the first 4 weeks and independently for the last 2 weeks to complete the final independent project (If you wish to receive CPD credit). 



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View the PLN Course and Module Objectives


Looking for other courses? 

Consider our Certificate for Online Adjunct Teaching flagship course. 

Learn to teach online (or improve your online teaching skills)!