Personal Learning Environment

Posted: June 26, 2011 in Education, Learning
Tags: , , , , , , ,


As a child my first sources of information were observations and experiments. For instance, after being burned by flame, I learned to be aware of it, and  I learned the importance of balance when I did my first steps. Next, I learned to speak (language) and that helped me to learn from my family, neighbours and friends. Then, upon the discovery of books, another wonderful source of information opened before me, with the wealth of knowledge and the experience of people from different countries ,some of whom lived many years before me. Next, just in a few decades, the computers became approachable to everybody, and with the appearance of internet, the knowledge of millions of people became reachable. Nowadays, I can learn from the people and the world around me, from newspapers and books, from the internet and all the tools it provides the users, from Wikipedia to blogs and YouTube.

Learning from mistakes, mine and of the people around me, is an essential part of my learning. Experiments in physics helped me understand the theory, and using try and error method with different computer programs taught me almost all I know of computers. I enjoy experimenting with my teaching methods, because  I feel it constantly improves my work. As a result of observing the people around me, and the mistakes they make, I avoided many unpleasant experiences and situations.

The printed word opened before me a new way to learn. When I was a student, I gained the necessary knowledge from the textbooks to pass my school and university exams, and when I became a teacher I continued to use their aid for improving myself. I learned about human interaction from fiction, and about human nature from Plutarch and Tacitus. Newton’s writings helped me to understand the scientific method, and Scientific American and newspapers keep me updated with new discoveries and events occurring all around the world.

With the years the internet became responsible for more than half of the knowledge that I gain. What I once read in print, today I can see across my screen. Form educational websites for physics teachers I can learn from my colleagues all around the world. News websites give me fast access to information and allow me to review different and often contrary points of view which help me formulate my own opinion. Thru Skype I can interact and converse with people from different palaces and get information straight from the source.

In our modern world all the sources I mentioned are interconnected. Many books and journals are available on the internet, along with videotaped experiments conducted in universities worldwide. Nowadays, information is much easier and faster to access. In one click of a mouse we can gain knowledge that our ancestors had to undergo long journeys to get. The ease with which I get information leads to a continuously increasing information flow, and I hope that this tendency will keep on in the future.


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