Who are you, and what do you like to learn about? (academically, professionally, and/or personally)

In my personal life, I spend much of my time involved in family activities. I have two little boys who keep me occupied. When I find the time, between family stuff and working towards a Masters in Instructional Design, I enjoy music, reading & writing, movies, beer, biking, hiking, etc. I have worked as an instructor/trainer/systems analyst etc. in a variety professional situations. Professionally, I have enjoyed learning about the different methods/formats in which training can be designed and delivered. Academically, I like learning about how technology is evolving and transforming the way information is shared and how user focused design is gaining more importance.

What hardware do you use to learn? (Eg. smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop)

Like most people now days, my smart phone is always within arms reach. Its an amazing thing to have a piece of hardware that can encapsulate your entire life…family, friends, music, photos, information…all connected. So, the smart phone inevitably comes into play for casual learning on the go. At work and at home laptop and desktop computers are the tech of choice.

What software do you use to learn? (Eg. search engines, mobile apps, social networks, eBooks, digital libraries, wikis, blogs, videos, podcasts)

In situations where I need to research and find a variety of information quickly, I will typically start with a google search. If I have a specific thing in mind that I want to learn I will use youtube, or sites like Of course, wikipedia is a great and easily accessible resource. Finally, I only just started listening to Podcasts and I like the different perspectives that are offered in these types of formats.

What digital tools do you wish you had access to for learning? (Eg. any graphic organizers, mind-mapping tools, resource management tools, progress tracking tools, design tools, etc.) Why?

Personally, I like the concept of the mind-map. I like the way that ideas/knowledge are related in an organic way that makes exploration of new ideas and concepts easy and interesting.

What might your ideal Personal Learning Environment (PLE) look like?

Being new to the concept of PLE, I initially think of a set up similar to an organizations Learning Management System that would be customize-able to an individual. A place to track interests, ideas that might be categorized by topic.

Aaron Black EDIT 730

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