I enjoyed the process of creating this representation of my PLE. I usually shy away from artistic projects, feeling inadequate. However, the use and exploration of digital tools gets my creative juices flowing. This assignment, rightly so, turned into an extremely self-reflective activity.
While creating my PLE, I learned that I have come a long way. It wasn’t that long ago that none of these tools was around. And now look at the learning, networking and connections that have been formed. In creating the “Guide to My PLE” I found there were a lot of connections I have made and at differing levels of success.
I decided to divide my PLE into four main categories all of which are interconnected. I questioned putting the same icons into multiple circles then decided to place them where they fit by definition and then connect each category as they really can go between all categories.
I learned that there were a few tools that I use or taught I used well. For example, Diigo has been my go to bookmarking app for a few years personally, but the social aspect was new to me for this class. While I have been on Twitter for a year professionally, Twitter chats were new to me for this Module. I learned that I can keep honing my skills in most all of my PLE tools. That is one of the reasons I am pursuing a Masters in Educational Technology, to focus really on my skills and continue to learn and research in directed areas.
I also learned that while I am getting better, I definitely continue to be a lurker more than I want in many areas. I will read online resources from a whole host of people for hours, but contribute far less. This is a pattern I need to work on. Reflecting on this is a great step to being a more active member in my personal learning network.
Having the opportunity to explore my course PLN’s PLE posts, as well as other classmates creations, I come away feeling positive and that I am doing the right things to build my PLN. There are so many similarities that I noticed throughout our representations. Differences were mostly program specific, not different in the idea itself. We all find it important to communicate/share, organize, learn and collaborate. The tools we use may be different, but the reasons for using the tools are universal.
There were definitely tools that I utilize, however, forgot to include in my own PLE. Reviewing my classmates representations reminded me of these resources as well. A big one that I left off was Tweetdeck. I think a major reason I hadn’t been successful with Twitter in the past, was the lack of organization I had made around hashtags or ways to follow a Twitter chat. This tool should have made my diagram for example.
This might be a good process to use with teachers at my school when I work with them as a coach. We could explore their PLN and areas they want to grow. This would be a work in progress, but this process was definitely beneficial to reflect on my PLE, what it is and what I want it to be.