Personal Learning

I dropped off the distribution list for OLDaily.

I am not sure how this happened. I was gone for two weeks. My personal learning environment changed. I thought Stephen was on holiday.

I am back on the list and reading Stephen’s news with an early morning coffee from The Albion Cafe.

A picture of the Albion Cafe, Braidwood, available at the Cafe's website.

A link in one of today’s new items took me back to a presentation in 2014.

The personal service I receive at The Albion resonates with Stephen’s 2014 presentation (Personal Learning in a Networked World). Some thoughts:

  • The personal isn’t designed. It is based on self-organization. (Slide 30)
  • Hashtag networks can be seen as self-organizing ideas. (Slide 34)
  • The edge is becoming more important than the node. (Slide 35)
  • We are moving beyond institutions … toward a cooperative knowing society based on networked knowledge. (Slide 72)

Perhaps it is that time of the day, but I see strong connections between a local cafe making my coffee as I like it, engaging in conversation about my tastes and connecting me with ethical coffee practices and a world of learning that I create and co-create in open opportunities to learn. The baristas push my proximal learning by suggesting new blends.

A picture of the Fickle pickle from the cafe's Facebook page.

At other times of the day I find coffee elsewhere in town at the Fickle Pickle. The atmosphere there is much more intimate and makes conversation easy. It is a place to share stories. I find myself thinking about conviviality and Ivan Illich’s ‘convivial society’ in which social arrangements “guarantee for each member the most ample and free access to the tools of the community”.

Fascinating where re-engagement with a daily newsletter can take you.

It Is Personal

A few days ago I received a link to Paul Adam’s Real Life Social Network v2 presentation at Voices That Matter Web Design Conference held in San Francisco in June 2010.

My link came from a Diigo list.

I am surprised how long it took me to catch up with this presentation.

I was the 614,122nd visitor to Paul’s SlideShare presentation.

The metrics for his presentation are fascinating:

I am fortunate that I got there after Tim Greenhalgh. He commented:

This is one of ‘the’ definitive Social Media presentations. Just to you let you know that Paul (@padday) has moved on from Google and is now at Facebook. His last email to me suggested he is having a lot of fun developing the FB social network! You can read about his New Year move on Techcrunch.

Tim’s comment took me to Liberate Media and on to this post by Lloyd Gofton about the demographics of social network use. I read the post with great interest having been primed by a number of leads provided by Stephen Downes recently to personal learning environments.

Educational Projection: Supporting Distributed Learning Online (15 March)

An open university prep course (15 March)

Welcome to (15 March)

Being Safe Online Is Being Safe In Life (14 March)

I had also received a link from Jane Lofton via Diigo Teacher-Librarian list to Movers and Shakers 2011 (The People Shaping the Future of Libraries). It included this group:

I was disappointed that Gwyneth was the only innovator I had encountered in my own personal learning environment.

Reflecting on this I returned to Paul’s presentation to discover where some of the downloads of his work occurred:

  • 4094 views on
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  • 2509 views on
  • 2165 views on
  • 2122 views on
  • 1894 views on
  • 1775 views on
  • 1404 views on
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  • 725 views on
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There is a very long list and I include part of it here to reflect on Paul’s discussion of weak and strong ties. I note (slide 122) that “online social networks make it easier to reconnect and catch up with weak ties”.

My personal learning environment is in a state of considerable flux and I wonder if it has a great deal to do with deciding to work in open spaces.

I am exploring a new range of tools to inform my learning environment. This week, for example, I revisited Netvibes, looked at CourseKit, looked at LiveBinders, checked out Linkable, tried SnipSnip, glimpsed Embedplus, and learned about Mikogo.

Perhaps I ought to plot this learning on some of the new timeline tools available (such as Tiki-Toki)! If I do, I understand that this will be profoundly personal and might be of some interest to my strong ties. If I do choose appropriate tags it may be of interest to weak ties too.

I am delighted that Paul’s presentation has helped me clarify some of these issues.

Photo Credit

Yellow Umbrella

Personal Learning

Web Source

I have had a wonderful opportunity to explore personal learning in my new role at the University of Canberra. There are so many colleagues at the University keen to discuss and explore learning and there is a vast array of forums in which to engage. Last week I attended a Gaggle (“an orderly and cheerful group of professional educational advisors”) which led me to think again about personal learning (the topic for the gaggle was wiki development in vocational education). The meeting coincided with my reading of Steve Wheeler’s Dead Personal post.

Steve distinguishes between the personal web (“a collection of technologies that confer the ability to reorganize, configure and manage online content rather than just viewing it”, Horizon 2009) and a personal learning environment that “extends beyond personal web tools to encompass other tools and resources, such as paper based resources and broadcast media such as television and radio, as well as conversations with other people and so on. Having said that, each and every one of the above could be mediated through web tools, but they are not exclusively so”. Whilst reflecting on Steve’s suggestion and re-visiting the Horizon Report I was sidetracked by the delightful way the Horizon report is shared with readers. I managed to spend the next couple of hours looking at CommentPress as a format for my WordPress blog. (But I missed reading the About page!)

3117494285_6f36496d4b_o Source

A week later I was delighted to see that my fascination with a personal web met my personal learning environment when Bob Stein spoke with Ramona Koval on Radio National’s Book Program.  In their discussion there was an exploration of writing as a collaborative process with readers and the Gamer Theory project became a focus for this. Bob raised the question “If a book is a place what is the place of a book” (this post explores these ideas in detail) which lead to an intense discussion of the “broader ecology of reading and writing”. Bob was in Australia to participate in the Melbourne Writer’s Festival (for posts about his participation see here and here.). The promotion literature for his talk on the Future of the Book noted that:

The shift in our world view from individual to network holds the promise of a radical reconfiguraton in culture. Notions of authority are being challenged. The roles of author and reader are morphing and blurring. Publishing, methods of distribution, peer review and copyright – every crucial aspect of the way we move ideas around – is up for grabs. The new digital technologies afford vastly different outcomes ranging from oppressive to liberating. How we make this shift has critical long term implications for human society.

CCK08 opened me up to a wonderful perspective on sharing and collaboration. Many of the participants have added to my personal learning environment in the last year. The growth in Twitter since the start of CCK08 has been remarkable and this is becoming an important filter for me. Although my blog has links to many of the CCK08 participants it was a Twitter exchange between George Siemens and Howard Rheingold that added to my personal learning reflection.

Howard Rheingold has produced some great material this week (social media and mindful infotention) to ignite my revisiting of personal learning.  Seth Simonds in his post encouraged me to think about and clarify why to post (“The internet is not going to die if you feed it less frequently”). When I reached Justin Kistner (via Howard Rheingold) I realised the enormous possibilities for a vibrant personal learning environment (as with Nancy White’s delicious configuration links). This Editis video emphasised for me the possibilities of a ubiquitous personal web meeting the teachable moments created by one’s environment (I noted Tim McCormick‘s point) or as this video demonstrates the lisable qualities of digital technology. Lisa M Lane had two excellent posts this week (here and here) about creating spaces and reflecting on the process of creating these spaces.

Nancy White’s post  about The Social Media Tools I Use brought me back to Steve’ post about the personal web and as ever I was keen to read what Graham Attwell had to say in his posts at Pontydysgu. Fortunately I read Michele Martin’s post about critical thinking so that my decisions about what to consider and share can be enriched by Snopes.

This post is a placeholder for me about incandescent ideas in a week of eclectic reading. It was initiated by a group of colleagues discussing wiki development and concluded at the Melbourne Writers Festival via asynchronous reading and participation. I was trying to write the post whilst listening to the Public Sphere 3 event as a virtual participant. The week reinforces for me the collaborative potential of personal webs and learning environments.