Archive for July, 2009
I recently came across a text that, after scanning it initially, I feel as though I should have encountered it before now. It surfaced in the reading and blogging I’ve been doing focused on personal learning environments, and the publication date, to me, is astounding given some of the ideas.
The educational institutions I will propose, however, are meant to serve a society which does not now exist . . . A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and, finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known.– Ivan Ilich, Deschooling Society, 1971
The internet enables each and every aspect of that. So, the question I’ll be reading for will be, “How should that theoretically transform the way education happens?”
Continuing the thought from my three previous posts regarding personal learning environments . . .
The thought process has been to consider what exactly a personal learning environment is; reading through some of the literature (journals and blogs), the implicit consensus is a PLE is a collection of applications that enable three types of activities: managing information, generating content, and connecting with others. Of course, there’s overlap between the three activities; if I’m sharing links, I’m managing information and connecting with others. If I’m writing a blog post, I’m at least generating content and likely connecting with others as well. In some instances, depending upon on how I’m using a particular tool, I may be generating content, managing information and connecting with others all at the same time.
With that framework in mind, I decided to place the icons of the various tools I use for each activity. More >
Following the two previous posts (here and here), I’m interested in what your experience may be with this model and diagram. It would be a learning experience for me to see how your personal learning environment looks when placed on this same type of model, and perhaps we can crowd source improvements to the model.
First, placing each tool required more reflection than I thought. By the time I was done, I had moved most of the icons around more than a few times. Trying to estimate the percentage of each activity for which a tool is used was interesting.
Preparing for a couple of presentations in mid-August, I’ve been reading literature – journal articles, blogs, research reports etc – focused on personal learning environments. My primary intent and expectation was to validate my understanding and definition of PLEs. What I’ve found thus far achieves that, but it’s also become clear that specific definitions may vary as much as individual PLEs do. One particularly useful resource is Scott Leslie’s EdTechPost listing of PLE diagrams; all of the resources I’ve bookmarked are available below.
Considering all of the definitions I’ve come across, my definition has become more general in nature. Generally, there appears to be consensus regarding the types of activities a PLE should support: More >
I’m wanting to blog a few more ideas than what I have been lately and to find a way to bring in more of the ideas I generate and consider as I’m reading other blogs; I’ve always shared items I’m reading (typically in the sidebar), but I haven’t commented on as many of them as I could or perhaps should.
To that end, I’m hoping to do more “formative” blogging – getting more raw thoughts and ideas “on paper” rather than waiting until there’s a more fully formed summative argument to be made or idea to be expressed.
- comment more and find a way to bring some of those into this space easily; unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a tool to accomplish that, and
- hopefully blog more frequently about some of the specific blog entries I’m reading and considering; for that I’m going to be using Diigo’s “Send to Blog” feature.
Take 1. More >
Here’s a question I’ve been pondering for some time now, “As an educational technologist, if you had one chance to reframe general faculty’s understanding of what educational technology is or can or should be, what would you say?” Or perhaps, to borrow from Educause Learning Initiative, what are the “7 Things Faculty Need to Know About EdTech?”
I do believe that educational technology, as a field and discipline, has not positioned itself very well within most institutions, K-20; I blogged about it almost two full years ago and recently noticed a similar conversation in the blogosphere. I have a few ideas but am interested in what the community might suggest thoughts before I dig further into the idea.
An idea for your thoughts and input.
When asked by a colleague about Twitter, my most frequent comment is that it is “the most indispensable professional development tool” I have and use. The network of educational technology colleagues I’ve developed through twitter provides a range of opportunities for professional development:
- links to news and relevant articles
- a resource capable of answering most any edtech related questions
- links to blog posts, ideas and new applications
- vicarious conference experiences through tweet observation
- more direct, at-a-distance conference experiences with notices regarding streaming events/presos
The question I’ve been considering is how to leverage that network to benefit others in my organization. As director of training for our educational technology group, I’d like to find a way for our faculty to notice and experience some of these opportunities in a way that avoids the process of helping them develop and use Twitter on their own. More >
Have a quick Drupal vs WordPress question for those that may have the knowledge and experience. And, I’ve limited the conversation to just those two because there are external constraints on the project in question; as far as a I know at the moment, I’m limited to one of those two.
One functionality or feature I know the project will need is what I’ll refer to as a “Front Page / Section Structure.” More >