After reading the PLENK10 sources for this week I get this nagging feeling that my simple view of the world of PLE is not going to produce the best results. I am impressed by the range and depth of discussion about the roles that LMS and PLE can play in formal study – this discussion has flowed along for several years and opens up aspects and complexities of PLE use that I have never thought of.However for one who engages primarily in informal study I much prefer to keep it simple.
My view of learning and computer use adopts the simple pattern that you add possibilities to your learning as you find a need for them or think they are worth a try. Hence I add an RSS feed to my Google Reader if I think it will provide me with up to the minute information – note however I will remove an RSS feed from my Reader just as readily because I find more than 6-8 feeds leads to me being swamped with information I lack the time and inclination to consider. (Firmly believing in the need for consideration in depth I don’t want this aspect of PLE power to lead me to superficial views of new ideas. I am convinced that even if I miss some news/information flows they will reappear, if important and significant, because of the collective networking of the internet)
Keep in mind that as an informal learner I have numerous personal interests that I follow in varying degrees of intensity and they absorb attention in my PLE by occupying part of my attention time.
Coming back to simplicity – Niall Sciatar made the point in his 2008 Web 2, PLE and LMS about how in fact your computer is in fact the core of your PLE – Microsoft’s use of My Computer as a basic term could just as easily be MY PLE. Add to this use of MY and go to the internet and application of the term My Internet immediately confirms you have a PLE built around the shape of how you use the internet and connect with others across it. (After all we each have our own way of using the internet’s capability.)
A question that needs to be considered though is how as users of My Computer and My Internet we are inclined to become content with what we have and not keep an “inquiring frame of mind”. Should we educators spend 8 hours a month exploring our informal education processes? In NZ the advance of “fibre to the door” is going ot bring unheard of internet speeds to schools and yet most educators still say what will I do with it?
Perhaps I have been too simplistic in my view of PLE’s and need to include some injections of more powerful ways to make for PLE producitivity?