Personal Learning Environment



Carrie’s Personal Learning Environment : Narrative

My Personal Learning Environment exists on multiple planes that are constantly in flux and intertwine with one another. I chose to represent each layer with a construction of hexagons, much like honeycomb in a beehive. The adjoining hexagons speak to the interconnectedness of ideas and influences. Just as bees work in community to build a harmonious structure, each piece of my PLE connects with others to create a foundation for learning. The results of which are the sweetness of life (the honey!).

Adjacent sides of the hexagons demonstrate a direct connection of ideas. Similarly, clusters of hexagons show related ideas. The hexagons vary in intensity of hue, depending on the level of influence that particular idea has on my holistic learning environment. The darker the color, the greater the influence.

My Personal Learning Environment consists of four major layers of honeycomb, each a different realm. The first layer is the PHYSICAL realm. It is made up of two major clusters representing Oregon, my current residency, and Texas, my homeland. The two clusters are connected through common threads of geography and nature. Within those, I have included various physicalities that serve as platforms for learning. Most influential are those relating to school (AAD, cohort, professors, MNCH), followed by friends (in Oregon) and my own body in relation to nature and the weather. As a foreign species to the Northwest, I have realized the importance of adaptation in my ability to engage fully and openly with my surroundings. The process of adaptation is not only a learning process in itself, but a conduit to further and deeper learning.

The second layer is the VIRTUAL realm. This is all things internet, items that facilitate access to the internet, and greater communities I connect with via the internet. The most influential are social media and Google hubs. I realized in the construction of the virtual realm that I have a pretty narrow scope in the utilization of social media, and predominantly engage with Instagram. My favorite venue for sharing, I love the visual stimuli and the connection it provides to the greater photo/design community. All of my virtual learning pockets are primarily tools for communicating/connecting with others and collecting ideas, resources, recipes, music, inspiration, and a myriad of knowledge.

The third layer is the INTERNAL realm. This was the most difficult to arrange, yet the most revealing. I found that these hexagons could compose almost any arrangement, and it would remain valid. I found that many of the definitions could shift and serve multiple purposes. It was as if the six sides of the hexagon were limiting, as one idea connected infinitely with all the others. It led me to examine carefully how these influence one another in my own life. This layer alone could warrant a very long essay, diving into many philosophical and theoretical discussions, but I will spare you! Ultimately, mind, body, and spirit were the foundations of this realm, with all others spanning outward from there. Perception was tricky to place, as it can both inform and be informed by the learning process. Adaptation appears here again, since it is as much a mental and emotional process as it is a physical one.

The final layer is the UNKNOWN. We could learn a million things a day for our entire lives, and most things in the universe would still remain unknown. I  have yet to form my research question or discover the meaning of life. And I will never know what the future holds. However, I believe the unknown has a powerful effect on my personal learning environment, because it presents possibilities, invites curiosity and imagination, and demands trust in the universe.

My Personal Learning Environment is not a static image, but one with depth that reveals a process. Each layer of my PLE appear as one of the four colors of the printing process: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Each layer builds upon another to produce a full picture. Transparencies reveal what is underneath and enrich the nuances of overlapping realms. Many ideas are featured multiple times in my PLE: friends and Universe each appear 3 times; weather, adaptation, body, and self  appear twice.


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