Friday, September 17, 2010

My Brain as my PLE

This simple concept map represents my response to some of the issues that have arisen during Week 1 of the open course in PLENK (Personal Learning Environments, Networks and Knowledge).

Specifically, it attempts to address ambiguities around:
  • the distinctions between PLEs (environments) and PLNs (networks), as raised in the Week 1 discussion forum

  • the degree to which the P (personal) actually applies, as raised during the Week 1 webinar
As I see it, such ambiguity stems from the assumption that such concepts must always be understood as technologically mediated.

The graphic above therefore posits my brain as my PLE -- the space where information from other sources is gathered, analyzed and acted upon. 

My PLN(s) then become(s) the (combination of) various human networks, each containing important discourses for me, that I choose to plug into to support various aspects of my learning.   

Th bi-directional arrows indicate knowledge flows, both between my brain and the various discourse networks as well as cycling among the networks themselves, through me.

The fact that I make choices about which networks to integrate into my brain, and the fact that such integration will then influence my identity as a learner or practitioner in that field, make this for me an intensely personal space.

For me, the above re-articulation of the concept(s) of PLE/PLN helps to resolve some of the ambiguities. 

Note that what I am proposing is not the brain as a metaphor for the PLE, but rather the technology-supported PLE as a physical manifestation of the brain, or at least the part of it that has been outsourced to technology tools for low-level information processing. 

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