I struggled with making sense of the seek and share tools we created in Week 1 of the course, the blog, Feedly and Diigo. I struggled to understand what purpose these had to my learning. I struggled because I did not want to add more tools, logins, digital rot to life.
I struggled with developing my Personal Knowledge Mastery routine. So to seek help I talked to colleagues, friends and academics. One friend and academic, Dee, started a blog, Dr Dee Thinking Out Loud, because she wanted to make sense of all the bits of information coming her way and incorporate those with her own thoughts. From Dee’s About Me post:
On this page I intend to have my say on a range of topics. For decades I’ve felt constrained about speaking out.
The blog was seen as a personal sense-making and collection tool that did not require feedback even though it was shared publicly. She said that even if she had no reaction to her blog posts, she would have been satisfied to continue using it as her own thought/knowledge repository. Although the feedback was a bonus, she does not write the blog for this purpose. The blog is now automatically distributed to other networks such as Facebook, Twitter etc.
Dee’s approach fascinated me as I had not thought of using the blog for personal reasons. I created the blog for the Networked and Global Learning course, that is currently its only purpose. Unwittingly, Dee had told me about how she had started her own networked learning journey. Maybe by ‘forcing’ me to use a blog I am on the Kligyte’s (2009) liminality threshold, moving forward cautiously into networked learning. Just like Dee, I need to find my own pathway.
So I talked to more people and read a few of the blogs on PKM and people’s personal PKM outlines and the focus seemed to be on the tools used. So I tried to grapple with this as the tools are constantly shifting but I still have a PKM that I use in work, study and socially. For me to learn and network, I use all senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. This is how I view my PKM outline currently. There is no focus on tools as I will use what is required when it is required.
Some collection, organising and creation tools that I use but the list is always changing depending on need:
- Google Docs, Drive, Forms, Calendar, Scholar
- Library catalogues
- Microsoft Office
- Windows Movie Maker / VideoPad / OfficeMix
All these tools will help me to seek, sense and share. The TEST Framework certainly helps with my decision on whether to use a tool. More importantly I find the TEST framework particularly useful in my role as eLearning Adviser. I often use this methodology when seeking a tool/technology for academic staff to use in their teaching and for students’ learning.
Task – what is the essential purpose
Environment – where, when and for whom
Skills – skill set and capability required to achieve the task
Tool/Technology – what is available and how to use it
As the PKM outline is foremost personal, I have been thinking of an analogy that I feel is very apt and will help me refine my PKM outline. I see my PKM as my home in that there are rooms for organising and storing information, places to think and sleep, places with tools to be creative and share. Networks are created via the neighbourhood and by inviting people in to share creations and to receive feedback. To refine my PKM, I think about moving house and what I tools I no longer require, which connections I need to maintain and what stuff can be removed.
So for the ‘new’ technologies that I am using and learning to use, Diigo, WordPress and Feedly, I am currently only using them for the course. Should they prove beneficial to my ‘home’ then they will continue, however if not they will be eliminated from my tool belt. That does not mean that I might not advice someone else to use these tools.
Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. In ASCILITE (Ed.), (pp. 540–541). Auckland: ASCILITE Conference Proceedings. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/auckland09/procs/kligyte-poster.pdf