Our Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is a way to explain an individual’s learning space. It includes the way they gather, maintain, reflect, and share the knowledge they have acquired. While looking for more information on PLEs, I found myself plagued by finding a lot of information on Personal Learning Networks (PLN). A PLE is closely related to the PLN with a subtle difference. From the various articles and blogs I read to clarify the two, the difference appears to come down to people. In a PLE it is about an individual’s personally created environment and when discussing a PLN, it is referring to the personal and professional connections and how they interact within the PLE
LaSota points out that while PLE’s have their roots in apps and networks, the most important parts of the PLE are the metacognitive processes, human connection and the daily routines that it involves. It is important to remember that a PLN shouldn’t be static, but should remain fluid. LaSota reminds us that when our PLN is no longer working for us we can augment it. I believe it is easy to forget about adding to and expanding our network. We can all just become comfortable in what we are doing and it can take time and effort to find those new connections and resources to support us.
A PLE should be an ongoing evolution of inputs and outputs that we reflect upon and possibly change to ensure that we are utilizing it for our own betterment. It is important to keep this environment fluid in order to maintain its viability and its effectiveness in our lives.
I decided to use Canva to create my PLE. This is my first time using it, but I saw many amazing end products in my other ONID classes and decided to give it a chance. I was also inspired by all the pictures in the PLN gallery and decided to take that approach. I hope the lack of details doesn’t make it too challenging to understand.
This is my third time (plus a revisit at the end of a class) creating a PLE in less than a year, but every time I do it, I get more comfortable with it. While the content hasn’t varied much since my last visit to it, I did change my presentation, instead of sticking to Microsoft Word and using the graphics provided in in the program, I used Canva. I believe this demonstrates me putting my PLE into action by using a new resource I learned from previous students to execute my product!
When I am connecting information, I tend to gather it from all over. It just depends where I am and what the circumstances are. If it pertains to finding material to support a lesson, I am a big one for talking to my co-workers and searching online for information/resources. Unfortunately, random online hunts are sometimes unproductive. Thankfully I have a few tried and true resources to help such as Common Sense Media and Read, Write Teach. If I am looking to technology resources, I tend to look online/Twitter. Many groups which I follow also have website that I use. Sources like EDTech weekly, and Cult of Pedagogy have proven to be helpful in the past. I am finding that a lot of the extra “drama” of Twitter gets in the way of Twitter as a resource. To help circumvent that I have started to slowly alter who I am following. This seems to have helped. I have considered creating a separate account for my personal Twitter and another for my education Twitter, but since I have limited personal Twitter connections, I believe I will just continue to weed it out.
Collecting is probably the area I find most challenging. I tend to like things on Twitter, add a bookmark, and to create and save things to Google Drive. The downside is that I remember something, but can’t always find it. Collecting is an area which I have re-evaluated since my last visit to my PLE. I’m not sure where the disconnect happened, but I was interpreting collect as gathering the information, not storing it for future use. However, LaSota classified it by asking “Where does one store it?” I have changed my visuals to demonstrate this new understanding of collecting.
When I am reflecting, I do a lot of thinking. Simply by myself. This sometimes involves writing things down. I have extended this to include reading our discussion boards in class and talking with others. I feel like I am getting better at reflecting through the process of writing my blog posts. I find I reflect at the quiet times that I have to myself, such as driving in the car, or sitting in my favorite chair with a blanket. However, I also spend time reflecting with others at staff meetings, grade level meeting, class discussions (UAF), and with family.
I believe that sharing is really a crucial component of the PLE. It is what helps to maintain the human connection. In theory, the others could be accomplished without anyone else. Sharing, however, reminds us that we are not alone. Through the sharing process we receive feedback and encouragement from others, and they from us. This sharing and feedback is integrated into the other components of the PLN. Through sharing, we get more information and are provided opportunities to reflect with one another.
Goria, C.,Konstantindis, A., Kilvinski, B., & Dogan, B.E.. (2019)Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks for Language Teachers’ Professional Development. In Research-publishing.net. Research-publishing.net.
Gutierrez, K. (2016, June 21). What are Personal Learning Networks? Retrieved January 16, 2021, from https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/personal-learning-networks
Oddone, K., Hughes,H., & Lupton,M. (2019) Teachers as Connected Professionals: A Model to Support Professional Learning Through Personal Learning Networks. International Review of Research in Open & Distant Learning, 20(3), 102-120. https://doi.org/10.10173irrodl.v20i4.4082