This blog post is my attempt at summarizing and internalizing today's live session.
1. The difference between PLE and PLN is a matter of semantics. Trying to create a clear differentiation between the two will not assist us in any meaningful way. The term PLN is intrinsically contradictory. The idea of having a "personal" network declares ownership. The only reason that the network becomes personal is that the individual is a small piece of the network. Some participants were trying to point out that the individual chooses their network, but this is not true! Once you move beyond the first layer of the network an individual has very little (or no) control over it. An outsider can connect to "your" network without your knowledge. A person you are connected to in "your" network expands the network beyond your individual influence. It is also important to realize that the individual may or may not be in the middle of their PLN depending on the situation and/or circumstances. I myself have very little previous knowledge about these topics so I consider myself on the fringe of my PLN as I am trying to form connections and create a network around people who can share their body of knowledge with me.
2. Does "online" learning provide too much anonymity and a perceived lack of responsibility? How can PLEs/PLNs be incorporated into "traditional" education? When so many education leaders and educators (including national policy makers, at least here in the United States) are only concerned with objectives, standards, curriculum frameworks, and benchmarks is there any space for individualized learning to take place in "traditional" public education? How can we motivate students to want to learn for learning sake when all we stress are good grades and good test scores?
I am sure I will have much more to think about as this course progresses but these were just my initial thoughts after today's live session.