Personal Learning Environments (PLE)

PLE – Define

PLE – Top 10 Tools

In this first article, Michelle Martin goes through her personal learning environment and what it looks like.  She discusses various applications and techniques that are helpful to her and define her PLE.  At the bottom of her blog, there was a link to her Top 10 Tools.  In there I found a terrific tool called Stumbleupon.  You check off what you are interested in and it randomly sends you to various sites.

After reading Martin’s blog, it helped me to better understand what a PLE is for starters and then got me to thinking about what my PLE would look like and what it would contain.  What types of tools and applications would be of the biggest use to me in forming my PLE?  I also liked that Martin also uses pen and journal for her PLE – it doesn’t all have to be online.

PLE – Corporate

This article was interesting in that it described the use of a PLE in the job arena.  Gina Minks briefly outlines a PLE that was developed for employees that would help them with their work performance, development, and advancement.  This article definitely expanded my thoughts on the use of PLE’s and I think this would be an excellent use of a PLE.  It incorporates both formal education with informal and would greatly help the employee to see what job skills and knowledge they would need to have to advance in their career as well as encourage a life-long learning attitude.  This type of PLE would be a huge benefit to the employer as well as the employees collaborate, continue to learn, and become better employees.

PLE – Considerations

I really like this article. It broke down PLE’s into five areas and then asked an important question for the reader to ponder.  While all the questions brought up good things to think about, I was especially struck by the concept of “learning snacks.”  Using a portable handheld device like an iPhone for small bits of learning throughout the day as your schedule dictates.  I certainly have downtime during my day, and as I would usually read a book or a trashy magazine that was in the waiting room, I would be better served if I took the time to read something on my phone or PDA that pertained to something I was actually interested in.  I now take the idea of learning as an everyday, throughout the day occurrence as opposed to learning only at certain set times of the day or week.

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Web 2.0 – Thoughts

The first article I read was on “bantamweight publishing.”

Web 2.0 Publishing

Mark Drapeau brought up some interesting points on attribution, or lack thereof, of quotes and hashtags and how the line of what is considered plagiarism on social networking sites is undefined at this time.  Drapeau asks the question, “Who owns your sentences once you publish them?”  I had to stop and think about this. Do I still own them, does the site on which I publish own them, or are the witty remarks I make now public domain?  This certainly makes me pause and think about what I post.  If, by some rare alignment of the stars, I post some pithy and witty comment, will it stay mine?  How can I make sure it stays attributed to me?

These questions will definitely need to be answered in the near future as the Web 2.0 expands, especially if money becomes involved.  As Drapeau pointed out, what if someone gets a macropublishing deal based on someone else’s comments.  How can someone prove the comments were theirs to begin with?  The legal ramifications of are mind-boggling to say the least.

The second article I read was regarding how Web 2.0 has changed how information is disseminated.

Web 2.0 Response

The article pointed out to me how the dissemination of information has changed in the last few years due to Web 2.0.  Even though I rarely watch the news, I know what is going on from posts on my social networking sites.  People can now instantly exchange up-to-date information to a group of people, including a whole country in the case of this article, in a nanosecond.  The recent success of so many of the Tea Parties around the country is a testament to this. The traditional news outlets have not been advertising the Parties, but this does not seem to be a problem as most people are finding out about them via Twitter, Facebook, etc. A friend of mine recently went to a Tea Party march on Washington in September.  Because of hand held Web 2.0 devices, the crowd was very much aware of the myriad of changes in the plan that had to occur because of the higher turn out of people attending the march.  This made me reflect that no longer can one person or body be able to control the dissemination of information.  Web 2.0 has changed how the masses receive their information and the speed at which it is received.  I think that this will greatly impact our society.   People will see that there are many versions of the truth out there – not just the “official” line.  Socially closed countries such as Iran and Pakistan will feel the impact more acutely.

The final article I read was on education and Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 Education

This article made me think about the way we communicate today and how that has changed so rapidly in the last few years.  Web 2.0 has its own language and syntax.  The use of letters and numbers to shorten words and not using complete sentences are some examples of this.  It has almost become a “foreign language.”  This creates a language barrier between generations that has not been there before.  I personally still have some difficulty deciphering some text messages and some abbreviations on social networking sites, but I am quickly learning.  My mother on the other hand, is totally lost and she is just 20 years older than me.  So what impact is this “foreign” language – the language of Web 2.0 going to have on our society?  Will the accepted rules change or will the English professors hang on tooth and nail to “correct” language grammar, spelling and syntax?  I can already see the impact Web 2.0 has had on our language.  I am currently taking Writing 1 online through CCCCD.  We have to post every week in response to questions posted by our instructor.  Those students who are in my age bracket use very traditional English, punctuation, and capitalization.  The students who are just out of high school rarely capitalize or punctuate, and the syntax is a little “off.”  I also believe that as time progresses we are going to see a widening of the generational gap which will make communication with our elders that much more difficult.

I also want to add, that after reading several other articles on Web 2.0, it occurred to me that Web 2.0 is causing a blurring of the public self and the private self.  In other words, to quote George Costanza on Seinfeld, “worlds are colliding!”  The persona you present at work may be different than the one you present at church or with your football buddies.  Through social networking sites, those worlds are merging.  I think that this is going to either change people into having only one persona, or a more likely outcome is that people are going to be very cautious who they “friend” and what they post.  Who knows what a prospective employer might find if they decide to look you up on Facebook!