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

My name is Rebecca Szymanski, and I consider myself to be a life-long learner. I enjoy learning about a variety of different topics. I read more non-fiction to satisfy my desire to learn new things and expand upon my previously acquired knowledge. My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education, and I am working on obtaining my masters degree in Instructional Design and Technology. I tend to focus the majority of my reading on the implementation of new strategies and technology in education.

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

I use several different types of technology to learn including a smart phone, Ipad, and laptop. I use my laptop to do the majority of my learning. I use a tablet and smartphone for learning when my laptop is unavailable or for quick access. When I am traveling, I tend to use my smartphone and tablet more than my laptop.

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

I use several different types of software to learn new concepts including search engines, mobile apps, social networks, blogs, videos, and podcasts. I use various types of software for different purposes. In my opinion, software creates an easier pathway to learning, but can be more appropriate in some situations more than others.

I use search engines the most when conducting research about a new topic. I also use search engines for frequent inquiries such as new vocabulary, foreign concepts, and recent findings/news.

I mostly use mobile apps to practice previously acquired skills or expand upon previously acquired knowledge. I use apps such as Lumosity or Vocab Junkie to improve the functionality of my brain and expand my vocabulary.

I often explore already functioning professional blogs, social networks (Linked In/ Pinterest), and podcasts to explore content that I would like to learn more about. Professional blogs of teachers help me to generate new ideas to use in my classroom. Linked In is a social network that helps me to link to other experts in the field that I desire to know more about. Podcasts also allow me to gain knowledge of professional fields that I wish to learn more about.

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 have access to several different digital learning tools such as Mind Mapping and Evernote to help me organize newly acquired information. I also use Google Drive to organize information and collaborate with my peers. I wish I had access to adobe captivate to use for developing e-learning instruction.

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

My ideal PLE would be digital and have supports available to help guide my learning and help organize the knowledge I acquire. I enjoy learning and organizing my learning through icloud, that way I can use my laptop, smartphone, or tablet and the same information is available to me. This is also the reason I choose to use Google Drive. My Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Presentations can be accessed from any of these digital platforms. Also, my Pages and Keynote documents from my Mac computer can be accessed through icloud on all three devices as well.

Rebecca at GMU EDIT 730

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