How do you do

For me it started with a diagram. After a decades worth of dulling down, the horizons of my educational web landscape suddenly broadened with Scott Wilsons’ Future VLE illustration. While I struggled to understand the ramifications of this shift from the funnel model for my teaching, I saw in these diagrams,  the possibility of re-creating a new owned but distributed space where we were all learner, encouraged to take responsibility for the configuration and direction.

After starting my blog, creating my image gallery, selecting my bookmarks etc … I posted and collected and started to wonder if this was what learning was.  While my online environment stopped being centralized, my learning remained solitary and much like the zen question about hearing trees falling in forests, I started wondering if I posted on my latest web 2.0 platform nobody read it, would it exist?

At the end of 2008, while attempting to put a PGCE course, I stumbled upon Alec Couros blog and his research and teaching materials from University of Regina. Here he demonstrated the PLE in action, but linked it strongly with networked communities, participation and collaboration. Excited about this idea, I reactivated my Twitter account and started building a network.   Steve Wheeler (aka @timbuckteeth) helped me gel the two concepts together and articulated the Personal Space concept and I was lucky enough to be able to engage with him and Alec, who both walked their talk and connected with me as I took my time about putting the concepts together.

Now, I’m trying out my learning paramaters and have joined George Siemens, Stephen Downes et al at #PLENK2010. This is my attempt to say hello to fellow learners. Look forward to learning together

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  1. Hi Derek! Lovely (although unsurprising) to bump into you on my #plenk2010 meanderings 🙂

    I was also initiated into the world of the PLE through the work of Scott Wilson and Alec Couros (Scott sent me a Scott’s Number One Fan award once – I must try to find it)…

    I remember you said you were also engaged in teacher education; have you tried encouraging PLE use with your course participants?

    1. Yes, well remembered. I was engaged in Teacher education, but have recently shifted towns and jobs and I’ve been employed by Wits university as a member of their elearning unit. The unit is still in the LMS phase of things and are not really considering the possibilities of a PLE. I’m hoping to intersect with the folk at the Education faculty and explore the concept of a PLE/N further. Really appreciated the chance to look in at things on your PG Cert course. Here at Wits, there has been a lot of interest in the concept amongst colleagues and academics when I’ve talked about the idea. The challenge for me at the moment is to ramp up the concept so that a whole class could use the concept.

      I remember you said you were also engaged in teacher education; have you tried encouraging PLE use with your course participants?

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