PLE… or Personal Learning Environment

I was requested to ponder on my PLE… I have had a post earlier on the topic, although it was called PLN, back then (that is less than a year ago)…

PLE is the environment I use to convert information to knowledge… thus learn. I notice that my PLE has evolved tremendously, from being book based, to eBook based, to Google bases (i.e. random research) to more eCommunity based. When I reflect on how I evolved in the last 5 years, I am amazed. The evolution was smooth.

5 Years ago, I used to read a paper book everyday. I had a shelved room that kept my books. 4 Years ago, when I moved to a new house, I packed all my books tenderly in neat boxes so they should be shelved in a new book stacks in the new house. For the first time… I did not open my boxes. They are still stored in the Garage… I did not feel the need to have them… because I was able to get all of them from the Internet… I noticed I haven’s read a book for a long time… I mean a paper book… however, I read tonnes of articles, novels, researches off the Internet directly… Is it because my reading habit evolved or because my eye sight got worse (since you can increase the font on the screen?) God knows (I asked an optometrist and he did not give me a good answer!)

This assignment made me ponder more: when I am reading tonnes of information over the internet, what environment make me really learn, in a sense the activity that influences behavioral or paradigm change in me! It was an eye opener soul search… and here are the list of environments that really influence change in me:

(1) I have experienced the highest paradigm shifts when I interact in a virtual world with real people… SecondLife had the most impact. My learning through it was phenomenal. Learning about myself. It is still my favorite learning network.

(2) Virtual Games still impact me. Internet Spades still makes me discover weaknesses in thinking strategies. Epic Games forces me to discover new thinking realms in my brain.

(3) Wikipedia comes third. It had a massive impact on my value sets. It still does changes me constantly. It made me shift from “competitive” mindset to “collaborative”. Wikipedia plays two roles: it constantly challenges me to push my collaboration to the limit. At the same time, offers me wealth of information (not knowledge) that I find useful. For example, my recent involvement in the HealthSpeaks, made me appreciate collaboration for the sake of charity, while it offered me the chance to learn in depth about medical concepts that were alien to me.

The above 3 are true learning experiences. Still, there are few other Internet based PLE’s that I use to gain information or I can tap on when I am in trouble. It is a group of virtual individual who jump to my help when I scream… for example, FaceBook has been an excellent medium for my travel… better than TripAdvisor or Expedia. My Facebook friends offered me valuable advices that made my travels an enjoyable adventures. On the Education side, I rely heavily on POD, Educause, CIDER and CANITDIRS beside few other.

Recently, I started jotting my PLE’s on map mapping tools like Bubbl.us. Check out my latest PLE: