Personal Learning Environments

I am now coming towards the final stages of H800 so in order to get the most out of the course and my learning experiences I feel that I really should start to make more use of some of the Web 2.0 tools, which includes blogging.

One of the activities for this week is to look at personal learning environments and the way we think they are heading. Having looked at various mind maps which have given me some ideas, I have created my own ‘PLE’. I am a bit short of time so unfortunately haven’t created anything too elaborate, so my PLE has been produced as a table:

Resource search Google Online articles, websites and information on anything.
  OU Library Online library available to OU students
  Civil Service Learning Online training available to civil servants
  Twitter A quick and easy method of keeping up-to-date with issues of personal interest, the latest themes and ideas around technology, news and current affairs.
Communication Skype Keep in touch with family
  Elluminate Communicate with OU students
Peer networking Facebook Family and friends
  Linked-In Work colleagues
Leisure Blogs Informal learning
  Websites Informal learning
  You Tube  
Blog WordPress  

Within my online H800 forum and from reading various papers, the general feeling is that PLE’s offer more functionality, greater flexibility and are more intuitive to use than the Web 2.0 tools available on institutional learning management systems. In addition, it seems that many young people use Web 2.0 technology instinctively whereas teachers and tutors are not encouraged or do not have time to learn how they may make effective use of such tools for teaching and learning.

Therefore, I feel that PLE’s are changing the dynamics of learning. They are allowing students to undertake a greater amount of informal learning, both individually (learning from others) and collaboratively. In addition, it is easier for students to supplement their formal learning with such a vast amount of information available to them.

Even if teachers are not familiar with Web 2.0 tools, it would be helpful if they at least had an appreciation of the power of such tools and an understanding of the way they are used to enhance learning in order to design their lessons plans accordingly and really exploit the benefits.

It would also be helpful for institutions to ensure teachers and tutors have enough time available to undertake regular research or training in this field to expand their knowledge.

 

Reasons for studying H800

I have been studying the Open University’s H800 ‘Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates’ course since 4th February 2012. The main reason for my study is to develop the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to enable me to deliver a first class e-learning facility for my organisation.

The OU provides the opportunity for high quality distance learning which can be combined with a full time job. I am learning new skills and techniques every week which I believe is having a direct impact on the quality of my work. Studying with the OU and personally using advanced learning technology is providing me with the necessary experience to ensure e-learning is developed to its maximum potential within my organisation, with the current resources available.

The photograph below illustrates the freedom of e-learning and the ability for flexible study anywhere in the world.

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