Building my PLN was definitely an interesting journey. I had known that we would be using twitter because of my friends that have already taken this class, but I didn’t really know what it entailed. When we first discussed building our PLNs, I was honestly not too keen on the idea. Twitter is supposed to be fun and I decided that using it for a class was going to ruin that fun for me.
Twitter is an interesting platform with so many faces and sides to it, much of which were unknown to me up until this point. When I began my journey into the academic side of twitter I was totally thrown off by what I was seeing. Every time I went on I found another new article that sparked my interest. Neuroscience, psychology, mental health, drugs, drug use. Literally anything I was interested in or curious about, someone was tweeting about it. It’s so cool too because you can have discussions with people from all over the world on 20 different topics. I would find myself scrolling through twitter every time I sat down to do homework, which may seem counterproductive, but I was learning so much that I can’t really say it was a bad thing.
At first my twitter was really dry and boring, but I had only been following like 5 people. Once I started following a bunch of accounts and people I really started seeing my PLN develop into a useful academic tool. Never in a million years would I have ever thought twitter would actually become academically useful, but here we are.
Using this blog and developing my twitter showed me the importance of open pedagogy in my education. I remember discussing open pedagogy over and over in class. For some reason, I just felt like we were beating a dead horse. It wasn’t until I completely embraced my blog and twitter that I finally grasped this concept of open pedagogy. To me, open pedagogy is the reason I have so much freedom in this blog. It’s the reason I find relevance in topics that I may not have found otherwise. Without open pedagogy in this class, I would not be able to find the value or relevance in the information we are learning and discussing. I find value in things when I can relate to them, connect them to my life, or apply them to my own interests and ideas.
Connected learning is another huge player in my journey through education. Connected learning helped me to approach open pedagogy and pretty much everything under the sun with so much interest and ease. Since technology has become a dominating force in our society, doesn’t it make sense to integrate it into education, instead of resisting the change?
Go with the flow. I think that’s the biggest idea that comes into my head when talking about open pedagogy and connected learning. Change is ever present and continuously happening. We live in a time in which differences are becoming more and more apparent. I think we should celebrate these differences and shape our educational practices and methodologies around them. Without our differences, what makes us special?
If students are doing poorly in a class or not understanding the material, is it 100% the students fault like we always assume? Nope. I think more often than not, students aren’t responding to the pedagogy of said course. If our goal is to see students succeed and become influential members of society, why are we giving them the very best opportunity to succeed? With open pedagogy and connected learning, these students can take control of their education and find all the connections and relevance in the world!
Overall this PLN has been so helpful in my major. I can read articles about psychology, the brain, or drugs, but I can also read articles that incorporates all of these. Without strictly studying material that is within the confines of a specific class, I can decide what is important to me. I have so much freedom to do and say what I want and not worry about writing what the professor wants to see for an A+ paper. Now that I have discovered this freedom, I can’t think of approaching education any other way.
*I added links to two articles to give more explanation on Open Pedagogy and Connected Learning. Hope you enjoy!!