Module 2.2 Discussion forum post

This text is from the INF532 discussion forum


Developing your personal learning network

Based on your reading, identify three (3) principles of participation and engagement that you can apply to enhance the development, refinement, or expansion of your PLN.
Provide a brief explanation of how you can turn each of these principles into action.

I struggled to formulate my answer to this discussion topic, until I asked myself this question: “What is the goal with developing my PLN?” From my answer, my principles of participation emerged.

ENGAGE in active participation in online networks, to grow and develop as a connected educator (or “take it to the next level”)

Seek and develop opportunities to engage in conversations and projects, and build relationships, that will connect me as an educator to others in my profession. Do this by purposefully progressing along the continuum of participation.

NEXT ACTIONS: For me this means to move beyond lurking in corridors (reading/watching/listening) to entering and taking part in more conversations (share, comment, ask questions, create dialogue) and eventually be bold enough to seek cooperation and collaboration.

Develop efficient work habits, literacies and competencies to participate in the connected world (or “choose and use your tools”)

Being a connected learner requires having the knowledge, skills and competencies to navigate the networked, digital world. A connected educator is familiar with, and competent in, using a palette of online tools with which to participate and engage in knowledge creation. A connected educator is also an effective curator of information sources and tools for own knowledge building and sharing.

NEXT ACTIONS: I need to improve my skills to produce multimedia artefacts – videos, screencasts and podcasts. I need to sort my use of Diigo out, pronto.

Set goals for development of my PLN and reflect on progress (or “how’s the plan going?”)

Connected educators are life-long learners who take control and actively plan for and manage their own learning. Development of a PLN is about improving as a connected educator and librarian. I need to plan next steps and engagements in the participation continuum, implement them and reflect on what was learnt – successes, failures and surprises.

NEXT ACTIONS: I need to write and reflect on my learning more often – this probably means a blog. I am not a blogger yet and reflecting is not a natural practice for me.


Mod 1.3 Discussion forum contribution

The text below was a contribution to the INF532 discussion forum

A new paradigm

The greatest takeaway from Module 1 is really the greatest takeaway from my Masters studies so far: Understanding the Information Society better – its possibilities and challenges, and gaining some insight into the implications for educational institutions such as schools.

Much of our formal education is still based on an information-scarce model, where learning was restricted to institutions which were teacher-, classroom-, and textbook-based. We are now able to learn anything, anywhere, from any “teacher” and from many, many information sources. (But what does this mean for my grade 6 students, I wonder?)

Educational institutions must prepare students for a society in which change is inevitable – which is why creativity and innovation, lifelong learning and learning-to-learn is so important. Students must take an active role in their learning, which is no longer only formal, static and discrete, but can also be informal, and should be continuous and fluid. (But what does this mean for my grade 6 students, I wonder?)

The networked and connected nature of the Information Society not only allows self-directed learning that is not bound to a classroom, but the social and participatory new media, that developed through the internet and the WWW, allow learning to be social and collaborative. Students will need communication, collaboration and leadership skills along with digital, information and media literacy skills. (And again: What does this mean for my grade 6 students, I wonder?)

What challenged my thinking?

“Knowledge-building” and “collective intelligence”, “knowledge work” and “intellectual capital” – these concepts and what they mean for school-based education is still a challenge to me.

On a more personal Level: My view of my learning is still too static and linear. I want to be able to read all the readings and feel that I have mastered it. I am still too much of a solitary learner and not enough of a collaborative, social learner – bring on Module 2 🙂