Slowly ploughing thru my humongous (and growing daily) Teachers-who-blog blogroll (see rh sidebar of this blog). I’m down to the letter ‘I’ and hit James Farmer’s incorporated subversion. The Inevitable Personal Learning Environment Post at incorporated subversion:
Seems like there’s a big wave ‘o people talking about PLEs in some pretty major terms.
Stephen, for example, says this:
It’s just you, your community, and the web, an environment where you are the centre and where your teachers – if there are any – are your peers. It is, I believe, the future – and where, one day, the next generation of Blackboards and WebCTs and Moodles and Sakais will make their mark.
Erm, what’s a ple?
OK, off we go. Follow the links in James’s original post for a quick education.
Altho I’m not involved in tech-ed at all (I blog, I know no other colleagues who do; I notice that slowly more and more of my students are blogging, but only in private), I’m interested in this topic because it helps throw light on how learning environments are changing, not just tech ones.
Back at Incsub’s posting, I clicked on the graphic hoping to get a larger version I could print out (and maybe even read!). Instead I got taken to a deeper page of James’ domain, with a fascinating summary of some ideas on social relationships and how these are changing, especially the section on Semilattices & Trees, ‘artificial’ and ‘natural’ environments.
This is all grist to the mill for me, pondering on curriculum change. I’m following Borderland’s thoughts on curriculum, and also listening again to Dave Warlick’s podcast Web 2.0 at the NCETC. I’m learning a lot from this, and I like Dave’s provocative questions. Of course, one of the topics that comes up (about 30minutes in) is curriculum and textbooks: if the textbook is outdated even before students open it on the first day…David asks, what if instead of buying a textbook, a teacher subscribed to various digital sources of information that helps students learn what they’re supposed to be learning?
Well, the next question, obviously, is, who is deciding what students are supposed to be learning? After all, textbooks belong to the age of the teacher as authority figure – the “I know what’s best for you and here it is” figure. But if the teacher is now a kind of human aggregator, helping to locate sources of information for students, and now helping them more with the task of making sense of the information, of digesting it, and re-mixing it for their own learning purposes, then that rather changes the picture.