I was very interested in the readings in week #8 as they are providing me with much needed information for my LT#3. For LT#3, I am creating a personal learning environment (PLE) with the help of my colleagues. The PLE will be created with the intention of helping teachers integrate a new technology tool, the iPad2, into their teaching.
Atwell opens with a good question when discussing PLEs. How do we learn? This is crucial for me to understand where my learners, the teachers, are coming from and how to best approach the support and learning environment I want to create. Most people will learn 80% of what they know and understand in an informal learning environment (Atwell, 2007). This tells me the website I want to create must have an informal component to it. This is very well modeled in one of the greatest informal learning environment ever created, Facebook. I intend to model this environment by allowing teachers to interact with one another in an informal way to share ideas and ask questions of whomever they choose. Why should the only person they have access to for support be me or the technology mentor teacher (TMT)? Personally, I know that in an online learning environment, such as the one for this course, I learn best when I am able to interact with my classmates and I see their comments and reflect on what they have to say.
Communication is the key to any PLE. This may entail blogging, instant messaging, file sharing or simple email. In this way, we learn from each other in an informal way and this is how most of us prefer to learn. This is not based on an outcome or a goal derived by someone else but is rather something we may need an answer to in order to move forward with the formal goal or outcome. It is also important to share our successes with one another. In one way it shows attainment of a formal outcome but in a much more meaningful way, it shows our fellow learners a successful approach they may want to use in their own way. In LT#3, we are going to ask teachers to post a video of a lesson or an assignment they feel was successful when using the iPad for this very reason.
In the Youtube video, Personal Learning Networks, Will Richardson explains everyone learns in their own way online. Many turn to social media to learn informally and we should not ignore the potential seen here. This reinforces the idea the PLE I intend to create must have these components. Instant messaging, posts, blogs, media imports, etc. must be included for my PLE to be successful.
Attwell, G. (2007). Personal learning environments – the future of eLearning? eLearning Papers, 2(1). Retrieved from http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:ptS3B7qa2z4J:scholar.google.com/+personal+learning+networks&hl=en&as_sdt 0,5&as_vis=1