For a while now, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the PLE and trying to determine how to set one up for myself that will be of some use to me. It turns out I just needed to have my head straightened out.

A good PLE allows the learner to do three critical things:

  • Gathering Information
  • Processing Information
  • Acting on the Learning

Well, I read my Google Reader off and on throughout the day. Any feed I think is worth reading is in there. It covers not only my professional interests, but also my hobbies (with a few fun blogs thrown in because everyone should have blogs they read for fun). I maintain both a and a Furl account to keep track of links I want to refer back to (I also use the star feature in Reader for posts I’m not quite ready to add to, but don’t want to lose track of). I have a well-used library account (I have my number memorized because I log into my account way too frequently). I even have a long log of e-books linked in my EverNote so I can read them when I have time.

I then blog what I read. Or it comes out in one of my writing notebooks. Or it comes out in my EverNote. I might discuss what I read with colleagues or students or friends. It’s rare for me to read or watch something and not do something with what I learned from it. I guess I process and act on my learning together, because honestly, that’s how I work. I have to work things out in order to fully process them. (Unsurprisingly, I’m a haptic learner.)

Ultimately, your PLE consists of what you’re taking in and how you’re working with that new knowledge to make it part of your knowledge base.


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