Sunday, February 27, 2011


Having some difficulty describing a my PLE. Compared to the submissions already entered here it seems erratic, undirected and certainly no rational method for assembling knowledge.


What is learning?

Is it a form of discovery? Works for the model of the internet as place where all knowledge is available to anyone with the right search strategy. The right search term fed into Google and all will be revealed (almost a magic spell) but how would you know if the result is learning without passing it through your brain? Is learning passive accumulation without intervention? Surely learning has to change something somewhere inside of us in a notable way? Yet there is the repeated claim of learning being almost an innevitable artifact of information as if properly concentrated information of any type will throw off learning particles that pass up the chain from sub-knowable to recognizable category to sensible assembly. All this without intervention of thinking; spontaneous.

I’m unresolved on learning.

Purpose of PLE:

To collect and store information comes first. An intellectual material store and retrieval facility. From here we might move on to trading information and a kind of collaboration gas station. Interacting and sharing are important to the learning process now. Claiming propriatary information and being a data hog are not just bad form, it shows an allegiance to an outdated model of knowledge as “belonging” to an individual rather than as a property of the social universe. Of course we have yet to explain how people who share-all will actually put food on the table…

Under the purpose banner I’d like to propose the PLE as a tool for tracking and liberating information. As an attitude the PLE assumes things are knowable with effort. This includes a certain looseness in the rules of access where free is best, sourcing by other means is fair game and finally locked-in-journals information is taken to be unusable, therefore without value. Today’s equivilant of sorcerers, witches, trolls and educators in the pay of weapons manufacturers can keep their precious jems of wisdom, spells and incantations to impress boards of governors and country club membership committees. Anyway, a PLE can express a way of being, almost a lifestyle? (What a powerless word lifestyle is).

Friday, February 25, 2011

outside the fence

Today's CCK11 discussion apparently focused on PLEs. Traveling and having sporadic access to a crash prone computer I'll have to pick up the actual discussion when I get home. For now some points:

My PLE contains mostly non-institutional content. I'd guess that its being mostly self-assembled means I "own" it more than, say, were it also to contain content built by others. This is a fine thing but of course worthless in a world where things are measured by third party licenses, diplomas, degrees, certificates and etc. So what if my urge to life-long-learning enables me to participate from outside the fence? It seems to be a persistent myth of education that mastering learning is the core goal when really it's about certain learning paths arranged in certain ways that lead to certain permissions. All the rest is unqualified activity. The inability to see this is kind of sad but natural in a course full of people who already have the permissions and have forgotten their pre-permission lives.

Something not mentioned in the PLE discussions is the power of learning that comes from out of the blue. Serendipity is one word for it, chance encounter might cover it too. The point is not all learning springs from deliberate effort, some of it ambushes you through the kindness of others or the reverberations from an accidental encounter or crisis. A person's PLE isn't all professional development or something that can be translated into a more spendable marker like the "transferable skills" employment councillors go on about. Some of it is yours for you that doesn't need recognition from others to be valuable.


Monday, February 21, 2011

What is this for?

To have a digital identity one needs a blog or a URL. It's a home for the ghost that is yourself on the net. A resting place. When wandering and commenting at the blogs of others needs reflection it becomes a space that is yours. Other voices are welcome here but they become guests. Here I am the different being-ness of my own place. The host not the guest.

To quote (and not have to explain because this is my place): >"It happened at a meeting between an Indiancommunity in northwest British Columbia and some government officials. The officials claimed the land for the government. The natives were astonished by thye claim. They couldn't understand what these reletive newcomers were talking about. Finally one of the elders put what was bothering them in in the form of a question. "If this is your land," he asked, "where are your stories?" He spoke in English, but then moved into Gitksan, the Tsimshian language of his people--and told a story."<

If I hold myself here long enough a presence will emerge? Maybe, the presence of being just ever slightly less temporary.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

distance learning

As directed, I've moved my connectivist studies working site away from the U of Manitoba / MOOC gathering place. This site is useful as it was designed for PLE mapping and still contains some of that work.

Next assignment is on the Changing roles of Educators so it's time to collect information on what learning will look like in the next while. Not being an educator myself (but close to those who are and also an avid life-long-learner) I'm already developing a sorting mechanism for understanding future speculations that might be useful to work on. There's a huge amount of gee-whiz which almost always starts with "secrets of engaging the 21st century (genration y, digital native, self-empowering techno-wonderchild) student." Most of this material is not thought out and just repeats a few assumptions about young learners. Old habits of generalization of client to simplify and limit service models used by institutions everywhere and always. The process creates a model client, builds a theory of delivery to this imaginary model then declares the model to be that actual client. Defficiencies noted when the theory is applied to real clients and those clients fail to respond as predicted are then laid at the feet of the clients absolving the institution of responsibility. (This is different than theory which is the test of an idea about the world against worldly evidence or response. Here, the idea is to come up with a simplified model to build a simplified strategy and then ignore or dismiss the evidence [feed forward I think])

Useful reads:
Posted class readings
McArthur / MIT series especially "Growing Up Digital" and "Rule Set for the Future" where "I will return to the question of methodology at this essay's close, but, for now, suffice it to say that grand, one-size-fits-all theories are probably of little use in helping assess the potential outcomes and affordances of the digital era."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mentor sub-map

Ultimately this incomplete PLE fragment will be filled out, edited down and form a part of a single image map of my Gasfitting Trade learning space. Placing it here in chunks as they are created because:
nature of net content to release versions (functional or not) to stay "on radar" in a short attention span environment (See Dreaming in Code) [no links, please look it up yourself]
want to feel like I'm making progress by publishing Something frequently for the purpose of both keeping it flowing and to not have an impossible single image to wrestle with in the final week. Tempted to speculate on the whole notion of Completion: someone else can do that

As for the web as a learning space. I don't do well here in these little windows. They are too constricted and "nowhere" when they scroll off screen. I like to see the whole of a notebook or text I'm trading so I can locate myself. I have a terrible sense of direction and living on the Prairie means I have none of the above-the-horizon landmarks I navigate by.

Back with more map ASAP.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pers Learn v2

First time out on this will be the Personal Learning Environment created in C Map.

Definatley in-progress and incomplete--as I would hope anyone's PLE would be!


sizing to text eliminates SOME of the obligation to be careful with size emphasizing unintended importance (important thing are bigger, more prominent) (assumes readers know this from using any program that wraps text)
arrows and lines can force certain paths and might build structure into the fluid space between "island" learning categories. how else to represent the whole neural space except by at least naming its parts and known connections. this thing has to be readable and convey meaning to others as a text-based visible object. communicate with minimal ambiguity. (yes, my tool for my use but private notions and insights that are inexplicable are really a cop out for anyone in the learning about learning "business". obligation to reach out and be understood or at least offer something that can be responded to allow dialog, and hopefully discovery, to emerge)

Who would have thought a simple diagram could be so complicated?

Some of the added features didn't cross over to this page, have to find out why.