Monday, July 14, 2014

Examining your PLE

In this wired (wireless?) age, every educator can and should have their own personalized professional development plan. The sources of information you turn to--whether a colleague down the hall, or a colleague half a world away that you only meet up with online, or a library full of resources, or any online resources you rely upon--make up what might best be termed your personal learning environment (PLE.)
Your PLE is not the same as my PLE. We are unique individuals. We have different needs, different specific interests, different strengths and weaknesses.
That said, we might connect using the same tools, and you might share resources I find valuable, and vice-versa.
In the online learning space, there are a great many sources of information that can make up your PLE. You probably use a wide variety of tools as elements of your own personalize learning, right? Here is how I mapped out my own online PLE:

My personal learning environment, mapped as a Venn diagram

In the Venn diagram above, I have identified three main ways I use online tools as part of my PLE:
  1. Sources of information
  2. Collaboration tools
  3. Content creation tools
There are a variety of ways I use these tools, and that is why I find the Venn diagram a helpful way to map them out--some don't neatly fit into just one of these categories. Additionally, I have tried to show the importance of each of these tools by adjusting the relative size of the logo in the diagram. Twitter and Blogger and Google are large parts of my online PLE; Pinterest and LinkedIn and Prezi are relatively small parts, though they still have a role to play.
If you were to map out your PLE, it would probably not look the same as mine. (In fact, I'd be shocked if they looked the same!) And that is the point: this is a personal learning environment.
How would you illustrate your own PLE?

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