Week 12: Personal Learning Environments (PLEs)

Last week in Digital Learning Theories my classmates and I all posted screencasts reviewing our personal learning environments (PLEs). Creating a PLE was important for me because I was getting overwhelmed with all of the different places I needed to go on the Internet to find information. When I discovered Symbaloo and the ability to create webmixes, I was really excited because it has allowed me to centralize links to all of the different websites that I use on a regular basis. I made Symbaloo my home page and now all I have to do in log in and select the tile that corresponds to whatever website I want to go to. It’s also really easy to add new tiles to Symbaloo and I love that I can create custom tiles for websites that aren’t already in the Symbaloo database.

Another great aspect of Symbaloo is that I can look up other people’s webmixes to get ideas of what websites are out there and relevant to my own interests. This makes it easy to collaborate with other’s and share information. Because of the collaborative nature of Symbaloo, I actually created my PLE with two other classmates, Katie and Anthony. We each created our own home webmixes as well as different webmixes that we thought would be helpful as we continue on in the learning design program at BGSU, and then we shared our webmixes with each other. For my portion of the assignment I created a webmix that contains links to a variety of different learning theorist websites and a webmix that contains a variety of different learning design resources. Katie created a BGSU resources webmix and a webmix containing all of the blogs of our classmates. Anthony also created a very important webmix that contains links to a huge variety of web 2.0 tools and applications.

After reviewing everyone else’s PLE presentations I realized that there were aspects of my own PLE that I had forgotten to include in my presentation. I also use Zotero to create and manage my citations. I also use my iPhone and the various apps installed on it regularly within my PLE. Finally, my family, friends, coworkers, classmates and people I follow on Twitter are all a part of my larger personal learning network (PLN). I know I can count on these people to give me ideas, help me solve problems, and direct me to information that I would not have thought of or found on my own.
I also realized that there are a lot of other great tools out there that I did not consider using for my own PLE that would be helpful to use in the future. I plan to investigate the following applications further to possibly implement into my own PLE:

  • Instapaper
  • Zootool
  • Evernote
  • Wonderlist
  • PowerNote
  • NoodleTool
  • Pinterest
  • Open Study
  • Stumble Upon
  • Box
  • Delicious
  • Hootsuite
  • Workspaces (Mac)
I may not end up using all of these applications as some perform the same or similar functions, but they are all worth looking into.

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