2209499274_b611712f07_bI have been thinking about learning environments and how personal learning networks develop.
In the last week, I seem to have had increasing access to resources and ideas. I regard Clyde Street as a place for me to blend these in a very personal way.
The more I try to blend my learning experiences the more I am fascinated by everyone else’s learning experiences. I am excited by the ways my long standing interests in figurational sociology and personal construct psychology are being energised by connectivist approaches to learning … in a time of transition from stocks of authoritative knowledge to flows of knowledge.
This week I listened to Nellie Deutsch’s discussion of blended online learning. I met Nellie during CCK08 and have been following her work since then. Nellie uses the Moodle for Teachers open course to consider opportunities to engage in synchronous WizIQ interactions.
I returned to Erica McWilliam for her consideration of personally significant learning. Amidst her essay I noted her reference to Moshe Rappoport and his views on Volume, Variety, Velocity and Veracity of on-line data.
Through Diigo Teacher-Librarians’ group I was introduced to Carol Collier Kuhltau’s Information Search Process model. In this model a holistic view of information seeking from the user’s perspective has six stages:

  • Initiation (when a person first becomes aware of a lack of knowledge or understanding and feelings of uncertainty and apprehension are common).
  • Selection (when a general area, topic, or problem is identified and initial uncertainty often gives way to a brief sense of optimism and a readiness to begin the search).
  • Exploration (when inconsistent, incompatible information is encountered and uncertainty, confusion, and doubt frequently increase and people find themselves “in the dip” of confidence).
  • Formulation (when a focused perspective is formed and uncertainty diminishes as confidence begins to increase).
  • Collection (when information pertinent to the focused perspective is gathered and uncertainty subsides as interest and involvement deepens).
  • Presentation (when the search is completed with a new understanding enabling the person to explain his or her learning to others or in someway put the learning to use).

4471842052_b5e86b312a_bAfter exploring Carol’s model, I followed up with another teacher-librarian’s perspective. Dianne McKenzie has a thought-provoking post about Inquiry. She has “been doing some personal research into inquiry and trying to create a clearer picture for myself so I can work with students and teachers with a clear vision of what it can look like, what tools can be used and how scaffolds can be created without it becoming over burdensome for student or teacher”.  I liked her discussion of critical reflection and thought her example of using a learning journal to respond to seven questions during a three-day workshop resonated with my interests in learner driven environments. The questions posed were:

  • What did you learn in this session?
  • What surprised or was new to you?
  • What did you already know about? How did you know?
  • What are some ideas that seem new to you?
  • What do you want to know more about?
  • What is something you would like to tell others about?
  • What are some of the important ideas you are thinking about that you might like to implement into your practice?
I am still thinking about Kevin Stranack‘s post, Guerrilla Connectivism: 10 Tips for Taking Control of your Education, and discovered another example of learner engagement in a post by Don Power. Don writes about Jonathan Barrick‘s use of Twitter with hospitality students (information about his Twitterized Classroom approach here) and notes:
Using a variety of theoretical and practical Twitter training techniques, Barrick was able to prepare his marketing students for how Twitter behaves in the “real world” of resort management. Judging from the feedback he regularly receives from students (and faculty) every semester, Barrick considers his approach to Twitter in the classroom to be a glowing success.
3928813462_64fe0249cf_bI liked Susan Davis’s post about professional development too. She observes “A major shift in the force of education has emerged as teachers have become self-directed, independent designers of their own learning.  Embracing social media, blogging, and learning from one another in digital spaces, they have forged a new era of professional development that is changing classrooms from the ground up. Simultaneously, and perhaps because of their online interactions, teachers also have begun to re-energize the professional learning in their brick-and-mortar professional spaces” (my emphasis).
I was interested in Susan’s use of the Voices from the Learning Revolution community to develop and share her practice. I found Lyn Hilt’s post there and read her take on Kristen Swanson’s Professional Learning in the Digital Age: The Educator’s Guide to User-Generated Learning.
Amidst all this learning about others’ learning, I received links to some curation resources:

I am mindful that a discussion about personal blending has to address personal identity. I find Nathan Jurgenson‘s approach to the augmented self very helpful (a 2011 post retweeted today by Dean Shareski). He argues:

our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once. We are not crossing in and out of separate digital and physical realities, ala The Matrix, but instead live in one reality, one that is augmented by atoms and bits. And our selves are not separated across these two spheres as some dualistic “first” and “second” self, but is instead an augmented self.

I share Sally Applin and Michael Fischer‘s optimism too:

The potential for change is incalculable as Internet technologies become more connected to the world through sensors and are able to uniquely adapt to and be adapted by the the people who use them. Although people have always, through their culture, occupied a blended reality, the capacity for large scale integration of ad hoc arrangements of these as a resource for living greatly expands the range of new technologies and new ways of life to develop.


Photo Credits

Coloured Pencils (Paul Tomlin, CC BY 2.0)
Colored Pencil Shavings (Justin Page, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Color Pencils (Letina_x, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


  1. Keith,
    It is fascinating to see how connections are made and the positive, interesting learning that results. Schools are still fundamentally operating in a different way to what you showcase at this post (and your blog generally). I see this changing, at a glacial pace, but know there are many more connected educators each year. The ‘real world’ is still held at bay by classroom walls.

    • Thank you for finding the post, Darcy.
      Whenever I contemplate these ideas I think about your practice.
      Being different means, I think, that the pupils entrusted to your care flourish as lifelong learners.
      We are one and we are many!
      Hope you are enjoying what remains of your Summer holiday.
      Best wishes

  2. Thanks for sharing my blog thoughts with your PLN. I am always excited to see where readers take my ideas. Here I am impressed by your deep reflection on your learning. Thanks also for the introduction to Thinglink!

  3. Keith, a very insightful post on personal learning and the connections you make along the way. Learning is messy and unpredictable and life long! I am glad my post was able to be added to your journey as yours is for mine!
    Best wishes.


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