Who are you, and what do you like to learn about? (academically, professionally, and/or personally)
I am a 7th grade math teacher, a reader, a learner, and about to be married. I work in the Arlington County School system and I love my job. I am also currently attending classes at George Mason University while pursuing my master’s degree in instructional design and technology. I like to learn about current methodologies that increase levels of student success in the classroom and I like to learn ways that can improve my teaching, making me more efficient and effective. Personally, I like to learn about the world around me though travel and conversation. I really enjoy learning about new technologies and how they can be used. I also like to learn about how those technologies will assist me or others in the future.
What hardware do you use to learn? (Eg. smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop)
The hardware that I prefer to use is a laptop. I currently use a Samsung Chronos 7 Series, with an Intel i7 processor. I will sometimes use my tablet but mainly it is my laptop. I never use my smartphone for anything besides games, phone calls, and news updates. I use the laptop mainly because I do not like to type on the screen of a device and I like the comfort and fit of a laptop. It works well on a top, your lap, outside as well as inside. I also grew up with a laptop which can help to explain some of my bias. The laptop is just as comfortable as a desk top PC, with all the travel ability of a tablet.
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 digital sources to seek out information, I use Google, Google +, Mason Libraries online all the time. I will usually watch news videos and follow news feeds from places that are legitimate, while some have their political leanings, the overall news doesn’t change from one place to another. I also have in the past downloaded eBooks and found reading on the computer for long periods of time bothersome at best and headache inducing at worst. I do not traditional follow or search out podcasts, nor do I spend any time on twitter, from what I have seen large amounts of the postings are irrelevant and not worth the time to read.
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 think that if I had more access to both mind – mapping tools as well as resource management tools I would be able to better monitor and ingest the things that I need to make sure I learn, and the things that I want to earn. Both the above mentioned digital tools are extremely useful for processing and furthering your understanding of specific tasks and challenges. I also would like to see more progress tracking tools made available, so that I am not restricted to self monitoring when it comes to accessing how I am doing, what I have yet to learn and what I have learned. The old saying of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ comes to mind here. Progress trackers can also increase motivation and drive to complete a section, topic, goal or what have you.
What might your ideal Personal Learning Environment (PLE) look like?
With the ever-changing world of technology that we live in, I think that for me, my personal learning environment would be based around my laptop; not my phone nor my tablet. My interests and hobbies would be listed in a type of list serve where I could easily have the information delivered along with suggestions for further inquiry. I would try to arrange my PLE in a manner that best fits me, online and always available, with the consist recommendations of new sources that I can link together and always have available. I would also like to link my sources with those of peers that have similar interests as an effort to increase the level of dialogue about the topic and further my own understanding.