My learning journey, that touched-on: ePortfolios; Personal Learning and Thinking Skills; social software; Personal Learning Environments; Personal Learning Networks and Personalised Learning, kept bringing me back to the same problem; how will a learner, who is operating independently within their own Personal Learning Environment know what it is that they are ‘expected to’ or should learn?
A coincidence then, that I found that my sabbatical from teaching had put me into that very same position? A learner; a learner who is not being told what it is that he must do, or what he must learn. A learner, on his own, not following a course. A learner with no real aspiration to strive towards or goal to achieve. But I did want to finish-off/pursue some of the things that I was not able to progress while a full-time teacher; so had a motive or an excuse to wander and e-Lurk.
I had access to, and had some competence with, the evolving social, communications and collaborative tools that could support a Personalised Learning Environment. I had dipped my toe into/had developed something of a Personal Learning Network.
So what did a learner with a rudder, but without a course to sail, do? He retained his working routines, 6am start; monitored eMail; monitored Twitter …. He found himself e-Lurking in some ever so interesting places and discussions, completely ignoring the advice that he had pedalled to his students for many years; that they should Plan, Do and review. He was distracted and was wandering around.
But wandering and bumping into the same problem; no matter how much Open content or Open Educational Resources there are available, or how sophisticated the Open Tools are or how ubiquitous the enabling technology is; a learner must, somehow have a ‘plan’. A learning plan that he/she has some element of ‘ownership’ of. A learning plan that will require them to access the repositories of OER; to use the Tools; to develop the skills; to operate in their PLE; to engage and harness their PLN.
A plan that comes from - an Open Curriculum perhaps?