Reflecting on topic 3 – curating in the sea of knowledge

One of the things that I found interesting about topic 3 was personal learning networks – what they are, how we use them and how they can work in conjunction with a more formal learning community.

Now, in the digital era, if you connect with people via social media, you essentially have a personal learning network. I’d never really thought about it as learning, but I guess every time I engage with something that is shared with me (e.g. an article) via a Whatsapp group or facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, I’m learning in some way or another; expanding my knowledge.  And often I’ll pass on that learning to others in my network, digitally or perhaps-face-to-face…”Someone posted this interesting article on facebook about XYZ…” And a discussion on XYZ ensues.

It’s really quite incredible if one thinks about the amount of information available and being passed around in networks using digital media. I guess the challenge is, are we actually always learning from it, or are we becoming saturated and sometimes feeling overwhelmed? I know I don’t get around to actually reading most of the stuff that I receive on the various platforms. I’ll read the tweets and status updates and short snippets. But ALL those articles? I sometimes wish there was someone saying, “Here, read this one and this one because they’re really good”.  The “editor’s choice”, I guess. The ability to sift through reams of information and pick out the best  is becoming a vital skill.

An article entitled, “Students Need Professional Learning Networks, Too”, argues that “Learning to create, manage and promote a professional learning network (PLN) will soon become, if it’s not already, one of the most necessary and sought after skills for a global citizen, and as such, must become a prominent feature of any school curriculum.” (Moss, 2016).

He discuss the three main skills that are learned by being part of a PLN: socialising -including enterprise skills and knowledge to create personal brand; managing  – time in viewing, who to follow, how to deal with comments and so on (Moss, 2016).

And then the skill that speaks to my comment above sifting through information: curating. As Moss says, “To curate or not to curate – that is actually not the question. The question is how good are you at it. In a world where information is amassing exponentially on the internet, becoming skillful at filtering and selecting appropriate information will become imperative, and much sooner than we think.”

References:

Moss, Paul. (2016). Students Need Professional Learning Networks, Too [Online]. Available at: https://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/learning-through-networks-is-the-future/ [Accessed 17 April 2019]

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