Sunday, November 25, 2012

But What Do You Do With It?

I have spent a lot of time over the past month developing my Personal Learning Environment (PLE). I would say it's a Personal Learning Network (PLN), but I'm trying to expand the scope of what I do, so that I have something I can bring to the table. I have a focused Twitter list for people who are involved in Education Technology, Education, or the study of Creativity. The top tweets from that list are sent to a special issue of the Tweeted Times. The feed from that paper is added to my eLearning feeds in Google Reader. I select promising articles from this list and send them to Pocket for reading on a kindle throughout the day. As I check items off, they are sent to Diigo for curation. Finally, each day's eLearning links are automatically published as a list on my blog.

I feel very informed, but I have yet to do much with the information I gather.

I admit that, although I am a librarian, I am approaching this from more of a hobbyist's perspective. I'm developing these methods because I want to learn things quickly and thoroughly. I want to be able to turn an efficient system loose on my hobbies and interests, so that I can progress more quickly than I have been. At the moment my pursuit is recursive--I'm accumulating information on accumulating information and I'm using it to hone my system. So, I suppose this isn't really fruitless for me. I have a system in place that I did not have a week or two ago.

Ultimately, I hope to be able to simplify and explain these systems to my patrons so that they will be able to learn quickly, as well. I know so many people who are trying to accomplish a mid-life career change, and they need to learn how to learn quickly, because the intellectually agile will be the ones who can take advantage of opportunities that flash right by them.

So, I've accomplished step one--develop a preliminary learning environment. Now I have to take what I've gathered and refine what I have. Expand it. Simplify it. That's what I'll do with it.