Who are you, and what do you like to learn about? (academically, professionally, and/or personally)
I am the Director of Instructional Design for a small government contractor currently managing a team of curriculum developers and graphic artist supporting the Department of Veteran Affairs Acquisition Academy. I am working on my Masters in Education in Curriculum and Development with a concentration in Instructional Design and Technology at George Mason University. I began my career as a public school classroom teacher then became one of the first Technology Resource Teachers in the country. Migrating into the field of corporate training and technology based learning.
I love to learn. Probably a big reason my career has remained in the education/learning domain. I enjoy experiential learning opportunities both formal and informal. I tend to read more non-fiction than fiction for leisure, and if the tv is on its tuned to some learning, do-it yourself program.
What hardware do you use to learn? (Eg. smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop)
I use a wide variety of hardware to learn. I regularly use 3 different laptops (one company-owned, one government-owned for work, and my personal). All three have different capabilities, software, and functions with my personal laptop being the “grandest, most robust” of the three. I also use my android smartphone throughout the day. I also have a larger 18″ tablet which I use at home. At home I have Smart Television in each room which I use as learning devices connect to the internet with an array of apps available and used, then connected to other devices such as blue-ray player and cable box allow for learning in my traditional methods to occur.
I have not yet delved into the handheld tablets, although I continue to monitor the market. I would really like to find a tablet which provides ease of portability with strength of connectivity, and intuitiveness of other devices.
What software do you use to learn? (Eg. search engines, mobile apps, social networks, eBooks, digital libraries, wikis, blogs, videos, podcasts)
I use a number of types of software to learn, including search engines (primarily Google), browsers (Google Chrome and IE at home, Firefox and IE at work), social networks (LinkedIn, MeetUp, Facebook, professional and community groups), extensive use of digital libraries and online research databases, industry and professional blogs, YouTube, TedTalks, and video/audio conferencing software (Lync, Collaborate, Adobe Connect, and WebEx).
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?
I really wish I had access to industry best practices, colleagues who are incorporating different approaches to instructional design (constructivist learning) into their development work. Greater access to a varying of people and tools to better use the existing tools.
What might your ideal Personal Learning Environment (PLE) look like?
My Personal Learning Environment (PLE) would be a single sign-in application which would contain wiki for updates of blogs, discussions, video feeds that I regularly view; links to each of my regularly accessed websites; wiki suggesting new resources which I have not yet discovered; dynamic and changing links to learning opportunities and information concerning current topics in development, school, or personal interest. As the internet and devices become more intuitive we are getting closer to this be a real possibility.