Are you down with PLCs and CoPs?

Are you down with PLCs and CoPs?

This week in EDU 520, we learned about Communities of Practice and Personal Learning Communities. Below are some thoughts I’d like to share about these communities.

Communities of Practice and Professional Learning Communities support learning by fostering a supportive, learning relationship within the group. It creates a learning structure where all members of the group have educational goals and an education vision (Adams, 2009). Gunawardena and his colleagues discuss distributed cognition (Socio-cultural, Socio-economic, experience, knowledge and expertise) in support of learning through a CoP. The distributed cognition that the learners in a CoP share helps to reach a common goal and everyone learns from each other despite knowledge or lack of knowledge they possess (Gunawardena, Hermans, Sanchez, Richmond, Bohley, & Tuttle, 2009, p. 9).

CoPs and PLCs support teaching by providing support, exchanging best teaching practices and sharing ideas. (Bouchard, 2012). CoPs and PLCs also create motivation, and desire for improvement through collaboration. Adams discusses the concept of collaborative intelligence, which creates a camaraderie among the teachers which therefore boosts morale and supports teaching (Adams, 2009).

I believe technology enhances these communities it creates a sense of closeness for learners despite the lack of physical proximity. Technology creates many avenues for collaborate learning. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and blogs provide interactions, contributions and the exchange of ideas from people with different backgrounds (Gunawardena, Hermans, Sanchez, Richmond, Bohley, & Tuttle, 2009). These site creates host many topics concerning education and users have the opportunity to be drawn to what interests them in the format learners are most comfortable.

In my opinion, EDU 520 would classify as a PLC or CoP. We all have similar education goals, the discussion posts allow us to share ideas with one another. I believe we are also developing a camaraderie amongst each other as we are all here to learn and would like to see each other succeed. Using blogs further illustrates my point as we will read each other blogs and gain knowledge, ideas and insight. Blogs also help bring a better sense of community. We discover our personalities and academia intertwine within these blogs.

I think the picture below sums up what I am saying:

COPs and PLCs

Dr. Mark Wagner over at posted a interesting article about PLCs. He refers to it as PLNs ( Personal Learning Networks). Please check it out.  I also discovered a hilarious but informative video that describes PLCs and how they are beneficial to educators. The video is below. Lastly, I would like to know if any of my readers have had any experiences with PLCs or CoPs and if it was beneficial or detrimental to their work and/or learning.


Adams, C. (2009). The power of collaboration. Instructor , 119 (1), pp. 28-31.

Bouchard, J. (2012). EDU520 unit 3 cop, plc. Retrieved  November 2014, from

Gunawardena, C. N., Hermans, M. B., Sanchez, D., Richmond, C., Bohley, M., & Tuttle, R. (2009). A theoretical framework for building online communities of practice with social networking tools . Educational Media International , 46 (1), 3-16

Marklein, K. (2011). We are your plc. Retrieved from

Mind Map and Reflections

Mind Map and Reflections

Please follow the link to my Mind Map

As I look at the Mind Map I created the first week of the module, I realize how ill-informed I was about education. The font in black I believe is reflection of myself as I work in higher education but not critically thinking or observing it. Honestly, I believe I used a lot of buzz words to that look good but I did not have the knowledge as to why choose these terms. After reading the materials from the first unit, I engaged in a better critical analysis of my interpretation of “What is learning?”

I still think that terms I used can be included in learning but now I have a deeper understanding of what education is and where it is going and the potential of what it can become.  For example, learning can be creative but its methods can be political, trendy or outdated. The way we learn is also relative to one’s environment. A technology trend like learning through gaming may work in one region but not so in another. I also note as I review this mind map as to how I have attained some much information about learning in short amount of time. It is amazing what eight weeks will do.

FVE Case Study

FVE Case Study

Engaging in this futuring case study was a really interesting and eye opening process working on this. I have had inspiration, I have had doubts but as I reach the end of this paper, it feels good to accomplish project. Through this project, I realized that Africana Studies as a discipline can be viewed as antiquated and perhaps unable to keep up with educational technology at the rate its moving. However, using the futuring tools I have learned through this course, I believe Africana Studies definitely has a future and can create better relevancy in Higher Education today. You can read my case study here. I also have presentation to accompany my case study which you can find here.





Welcome to Amanda Cannada’s Personal Learning Environment (PLE). Please consider this website as the hub for my learning experience as a M.Ed student at Post University. My goal is to learn more about the field of Higher Education Administration.. One of my aspirations is to become a academic advisor in my department and I believe that Post University will provide the skills for me to do that.

Throughout this website you will what I am learning and my reflections on education. You will also see my Future Vision of Education Case Study which focuses on broadening the online presence of the Africana Studies Institute. I welcome you to join me on this journey and I look forward to connecting with all of you along the way.