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Personal learning environments (PLE) and social media (1)

June 8, 2013

[I’ve been thinking about a post regarding the above subject for a long time. I keep postponing it for no good reason, apart from thinking it is still not clear in my head. Today, I decided that the beauty of internet is that I can make it an ongoing task, updating it as needed. So, there it is the first try.]

The mix of computers, apps and internet makes it possible for every one that can afford the cost the building of a personalized interface reflecting the interests and including the means to further one’s self education. It goes a little further than e-learning because it is duly personal and adaptable ad infinitum to changes in perspective and external suggestions. No (institutional) inertia here!

Following an organized course (online or other) has advantages: there is some kind of pacing that makes things go forward, overcoming personal inertia, because (self) education is also a little bit about (self) discipline. How does one pace himself if there is no aim?

I think that it is here that social media come handy. With a reasoned choice of people to “offer” you suggestions, it becomes possible to evolve in a kind of “paced” way (I’m thinking Twitter here, as it is my social media of choice for this specific point). Somehow, I feel that the people I follow fill the place of teachers /instructors from a formal organized education environment.

One of the special characteristics of social media is that they act as filters in several ways. They mainly “filter” the huge amount of information available in the internet at large, in a way that no one is able to do (no one human, of course; Google can rest assured, 😉 ). And there are other filters acting on information, the main one being the choice one makes of people to follow.

Of course there is a danger involved in such an endeavour, as one may choose just what/whom “fits” one’s ideas, in fact shrinking perspective instead of enlarging it. But that’s something that every one can take care, by being aware of the problem and choosing also some not so “orthodox” people to follow.

These are the main points for the moment. Comments are welcome.

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