Archive for October, 2012


Personal Learning Environment Graphic and Reflection

October 29th, 2012 Comments off

My Personal Learning Environment

When I first sat down to complete this PLE graphic, I was a little overwhelmed. I’ve never really thought about how I go about learning. Even in a classroom, I didn’t think about how I learned, I just showed up and learned. As I pondered this, I realized that it doesn’t matter if I’m in a classroom or learning on my own, I go about it in the same way. I tend to have a starting point in which I always begin. Most of the time this is a simple Google search and at other times, I begin by asking someone I know that I know that knows more than me. Either way, once I begin, I tend to take rapid amounts of information in and let it all jumble together until something significant comes out. It’s controlled chaos. Often, what I end up learning only vaguely resembles what I intended to learn in the first place. For example, I wanted to know more about storyboards for my course that I’m designing for EDTECH 512. I searched and found some good information but them something caught my eye and before I knew it (and I’m not quite sure I could follow the path again) I was on a page for Leap Motion. Leap Motion is a small company that is pioneering a new type of input device for PCs and Macs that revolves round gestures in the air. It’s similar to the Xbox Kinnect but much more sensitive and advanced. This fascinated me and took up several hours or reading and watching videos. To make a long story short, my initial search for ideas about story boards led me to pre-ordering a new and exciting piece of tech. I spent a great deal of time learning through my various channels which included Wikipedia, Apple, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Google, Microsoft, and others.

This is how I learn. I follow the trails to what interests me. If what I set out to learn is important and I get sidetracked (which is quite often) then I eventually come back to it, but not until after I learned something else which usually captures my imagination or interest. I’m obsessive. When I decide to learn, I find as much information as possible and absorb it. None of it makes sense at first, but eventually, and at unexpected times, it all fits and makes sense.

This is chaos I guess. Like I said, I’ve never really analyzed it. I’ve always just done it and it’s always worked for me. Sure, I’m always pushing my due dates and deadlines because of my propensity to get side-tracked and even sometimes back-tracked, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It keeps my thinking processes running even when I’m filling out the monotonous corporate paperwork (usually triple tracked rosters and reports) for my current batch of agents.

With all of that out of the way, I found that many of the online communities that I belong to are usually part of my search. I find useful information in wide range of places like Facebook and Twitter, Google and YouTube, Apple and Microsoft. I also find good places to get general information from Wikipedia, Google searches and believe it or not Siri. Corporate sites have some good information but can’t always be trusted to be unbiased. I tend to gravitate towards sites like Youtube, Voicethread, and WordPress. These sites are user generated and cannot always be relied upon, but they can also provide a wealth of information and eventually I learn who is accurate and who is not. Sites like Classroom 2.0 can house great ideas and information as well.

Basically, my PLE is the web. I use what is there and sift until I find what I need or until I understand. I’ve always been an independent learner and the web has made it even easier for me to continue in this process. I’ve found that the key is healthy skepticism. Just because someone sounds credible, if there is no corroboration of more trustworthy sites, then the information is probably not trustworthy.

Looking at my classmates PLEs I notice that many include the major social networking sites like Facebook Linkedin, and Twitter. This is good. This is how people connect. This is how people ask others for help and information when they can’t go to them in person. Email is used for this as well.

I noticed that many PLEs seem somewhat chaotic with arrows or lines going to and from every icon or community. This is natural. The learner is taken on a path that can have many different roads leading to the same goal. This is the web. Information is sent out and left to find it’s own way to it’s destination. This is also how the human brain functions. It’s no surprise that PLE operate this way as well. The brain is complex and learns what it needs to in any way that is efficient. I noticed that many of my classmates PLEs cluster sites together into different groupings like personal, professional, and academic. MIne does this as well. Certain sites are given more credibility based upon their function and reason for existence. I put more credibility into information that comes from BSUs website than I do for information that comes from a random WordPress blog. However if that blog is a blog that I’ve read often and for a while, I can get a sense of the level of credibility.

All of the representations of PLEs are similar in that they represent where we all get our information from. Many include other people in their environment and this is natural. Others have been a source of learning since the beginning of time. Many include social sites and search sites. This is how we start our learning quest. They differ somewhat in the sense that not all have the same sites. There are commonalities but not any two contain all of the same sites and communities.

We are all different and we all learn differently. For some it is a very logical, step by step, process. For others it is a iterative and circular process. The PLEs exemplify this. We all are different and all learn differently, but we share commonalities. It’s natural for our PLEs differ as well, but share similarities.


Evaluation and Concurrent Design Planning Reflection

October 1st, 2012 Comments off

Evaluation and Concurrent Design Planning Reflection

This phase was, at first, overwhelming to me. After reading the material from the textbooks, I was scared. The tasks seemed daunting and hard to achieve in a mock setting. However, once I began, I realized that it was going pretty smoothly. The evaluation planning was easier than it looked since I had already been thinking about it and devising it as I worried about how to do it. Some of the tasks seemed like they might be a little out-of-place for the course that I’m designing, but I went with it and produced a good plan.

The concurrent design planning was even easier. I had already determined much of my assessment methods when I had created the original TOAB for the last module. All that was left was including performance objectives. At first the idea of objective clustering stumped me. I didn’t know where to start, but I soon realized that as I created my LTMs and my TOAB, I designed with this in mind. The objectives fell into nice categories that will be appropriate for learners.

Overall, this phase of the project was much more enlightening and valuable than I initially thought it would be.