University of the West of Scotland


aPLaNet (Autonomous 'Personal Learning Networks' for Language Teachers)

Principal investigators : Professor Thomas M Connolly

Funding Body : EU LLP, KA2 Languages

Value : €431,850

Project Partners :

aPLaNet will target the majority of language educators who are failing to use the wealth of ICT resources and Internet social networks that are aimed specifically at language educators. The project will help them join and use Internet Personal Learning etwork (PLN) on social networks (SNs). A PLN is a virtual staff room .

Today PLNs are helping 1,000s of educators in their teaching practice and by showing language educators how to use a PLN, this project will aim to bring about a sea-change in the way language educators use ICT.

The project aims to answer 3 questions that language educators will ask:

  • What is a PLN?
  • What is the added value and meaning of a PLN?
  • How to introduce a new teacher to a PLN to become a full autonomous member?

These questions will be answered by showing language educators:

  • What and how to use identified SNs (technical & teacher guides, videos).
  • What resources and support is available within a PLN (resource templates, workshops, guides, diaries).
  • How they can make their own PLN through a mentoring system, provided by existing expert users who are language educators just like themselves (Websites, mentoring system, workshops, guides).

In addition, the project will produce:

  • A systematic review of the use of SNs in education.
  • A methodology.
  • Case studies.
  • An ICT resource filtering application to build an ever growing repository of resources.

Project Website: