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

Greetings, my name is Justin McNeil. Currently I work as an Instructional Designer for a grocery delivery company. As a professional I really enjoy learning about the software used in my field, I am always seeking to improve and diversify my skillset by taking classes or teaching myself. Outside of work I am usually reading, practicing or watching videos on my hobbies which recently have included videography and film photography.

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

As I am often on the go or learning within the context of a particular environment I prefer to use my smart phone to learn because of it convenience. With that being said sometimes I will have to use a laptop/desktop due to the software I am attempting to use while learning. As a formal student I usually complete my schoolwork using a desktop or laptop, this feels more natural and usually offers more affordances than a mobile device such as working in two programs simultaneously.

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

I use a lot of different software tools to learn, I would say the top three modalities I use most often are 1) Internet search engines such as Google. 2) Videos, either created professionally or amateur. and 3) This would be a tie between Wiki’s specifically Wikipedia and discussion boards. I do listen to a lot of podcast as well and think they are a great way to gain some understanding on many different topics I’m interested, but I would not consider them a go-to resource.

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?

One of the tools I wish I had access to is MasterClass.com this is an online learning database that offers a myriad of courses from topics such as cooking, photography, psychology, technology, and many other topics. These courses are taught by influential professionals, people who might inspire you as much as they can educate you. I like these types of learning opportunities because it allows you to curate your learning. Programs like this also often use some sort of algorithms that will suggest learning to you that is aligned with you past interest. This could help me branch out my learning into areas I didn’t even know I was interested in!

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

I think for me my Ideal PLE would offer me a truly curated experience. I would love to have an online/offline resource where I could manage all the learning I have ever participated in. This software would not only track my learning experiences but also organize content by topic, modality, date, and many other attributes so that I could search my personal database at any point. I would also think that it would be advantageous to have some way to organize all of the content I have ever created. I created a lot of great work as an undergrad, and professional yet over the years it has been misplaced. Having all that content in one space would allow me to see how I have grown as a learner throughout the years.

Justin McNeil

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