Before creating my personal learning environment (PLE) diagram, I decided to break it down into for categories. I came up with explore, create, collaborate, and share. Then, I brainstormed a list of networks, resources, and tools that I utilize in each category. It wasn’t surprising that some of these ended up in multiple categories. After seeing my classmates great ideas I wanted to come up with a visual that really focused on the connection between the 4 areas. I Googled “connect” and saw a picture of hands coming together. This was my inspiration! I decided to show through icons that there is an overlap in some categories and that in order to have a beneficial PLE, they must be connected and working together. I used Piktochart to create my image and I am pleased with the finished product!
What I learned while creating this graphic is that I have really expanded my PLE. Prior to this course and other courses at Boise State, I feel as though my PLE was rather one-dimensional, sticking to social media sites, resources, and tools that I have used before and am comfortable with. I have really expanded my PLE by discovering and exploring new resources and tools. This PLE will only continue to grow as I network with others.
There were multiple great examples created by my classmates. Like myslef, Mary divided her PLE into 4 categories: creating, communicating, connecting, and collecting. Although her categories had a few different names than mine, our ideas where similar. I loved her puzzle piece example. We are different in a few of the icons that we chose to represent. I only use Google docs and Gmail when completing graduate work, but I didn’t really think to include those in my graphic!
Jasmine had an awesome graphic using a Christmas tree has her visual. She also divided her PLE into four categories: collect, communicate, create, and collaborate. I noticed that Jasmine included Voice Thread which is a tool that I don’t use that often. She also added PowToon which is something that I will have to explore its uses! Feedly was an icon that I should have added to my PLE, but just forgot about it!
Katie’s Venn diagram approach was similar to my thought process of different areas overlapping. Her for areas included collecting, connecting, publishing, and reflecting. I really liked that she added the reflection aspect. This is something that I did not consider when creating my own PLE.
Alanna did an awesome job creating a unique Bee Hive visual. Again, it was broken down to 4 categories, the bee, sources, hive, and the new product. The man difference in our PLE’s is that I did not mention much about the “bee,” or the teaching doing the collecting. None of this would be possible without the teacher!
Kristi divided her PLE into 4 categories as well: research, create, connect, and share. A difference from others is that she displayed her PLE as a process, using arrows to show the connection to one another. I enjoyed this about her visual. The icons that we used to describe our PLE’s were very similar. She added in Edutopia which I could have put on my graphic as well as Canvas.
Finally, David continued the categorical trend: connecting, collecting, reflecting, and publishing. A few icons that he included in his graphic were Dropbox and a Wifi signal. I do not use Dropbox often, but think it was really important that he included the Internet. This is something that I should have added to my graphic, many of the other resources and tools would not be available without a proper Internet connection.
Overall, there was a common theme of dividing a PLE into 4 sections. Regardless of what each class member referred to each category as, they were similar in nature. Although a majority of the resources and tools were similar, there were some differences. This is because it is a personal learning environment and it will be unique to each individual person depending on preference. As mentioned, there were some icons that I did not have that others did that I would have benefited from including in my PLE image. This assignment reinforces that our PLE is always growing. What may work one day may be replaced by better tools or resources. This is why staying connected is vital and as educators, we should always be seeking to be life-long learners.