The first thing I did to create my PLE was to brainstorm as many ideas as possible and instantly multiple classifications started surging. It was not difficult to figure out what should be up there or not. I looked to the timeline of each of my days and checked that all my activities were represented somehow. The real challenge was to come up with an organization of the elements that I felt confident about. I had to come up with multiple drafts and then decide how I would portray it. I chose to do it by hand because it’s what I’m the most used to but, mostly, because coloring is absolutely therapeutic! Ultimately, I came up with five categories that I liked. Granted, a lot of the objects in this PLE overlap among areas, but I attempted to place it wherever I thought it was the most accurate. I will explain the groupings throughout the following paragraphs.
The first classification related to those channels that I use to keep myself informed. The Internet and I obviously have a very strong relationship, because all of my sources for news and ideas come from there. I noticed that I learn from the visual; I use Google to find definitions of words, and Google images when words just don’t cut it; I watch YouTube to keep myself updated it of pop culture and Pinterest when I need an idea for my crafts. Wikipedia is definitely my Go-To when I need to understand something really quickly and I use it the most often because I understand its format and layout so can find information rapidly. And Spotify is a very big one in this classification because I use it to find music I am studying before even recurring to classical music resources. Some others that didn’t make the cut were The Met Opera on Demand website, Grove Music Online, the Library and JSTOR.
The second classification speaks of those tools I use to connect with people. The first one is, obviously, Facebook, followed by Gmail and Skype. These three are extremely crucial for me since they are the main devices that I use to communicate with my family.
The third classification is people, and I decided to include this because one of the most useful ways I come up with ideas (and survive) is by pouring my thoughts to somebody else. Thankfully I am surrounded of persons that care, that are intelligent and well-informed. I definitely trust their insight and suggestions.
The fourth classification is music. This one is a really big deal because it has transformed my lifestyle through the last eleven years. The discipline that takes to master my instrument and the responsibility I’ve learned about carrying my own weight in a musical environment have made me confident, professional and an excellent team player.
And because learning shouldn’t happen if you’re not having some fun, at the end of this list you can find the escapades section of my map. These are the things I spend my free time doing, and if I don’t have free time, these are the things I do when I’m slacking, but I learn from them too and, most importantly, they allow me of well-deserved breaks that make my productive time even more fruitful.