An Ongoing Bonfire

Trying to find a metaphor-like graphics for this exercise made me think of fishing, cooking or creating a bonfire. The best pictures I had were bonfire examples though. So my pictures are representative of connecting with nature, collecting firewood, reflecting in the time/space and sharing the moment since bonfires are usually with more than one person. Just as in Cornier's metaphor of the learning process having no end like a rhizome, my bonfire is ongoing. There is no end.

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I realized how my time is spent in each action. For example, connecting has the most actions whereas I barely share my own thoughts and reflections. Or even within a category like connecting, I barely spend time on Twitter and LinkedIn which are more useful for professional connections than Instagram. I even used to listen to podcasts and I had to omit it from the graphic because I don't even devote time to that anymore. Podcasts would help me connect with information and would help me practice reflecting by helping me with my listening skills. It is essential to constantly think of and change our Personal Learning Network, defined by Common Sense Education as"any network you create to learn from and share your ideas with others." This brings to mind the different social media outlets, their uses and the role of education/networking in them. In other words I need to spend more time on Twitter and less on IG, since IG is more just "share, share, share". The LaSota reading had me question what kind of social currency I hold. Accoding to LaSota, social currency is "discovering and sharing". Platforms such as IG or Snapchat are missing that role of 'discovering'. Through assignments like this one we can see how our time is spent and make the changes we want according to what we want to learn about. Just like Professor Holland stated in the video of Defining Terms,

reflecting on our PLE as a way of reflecting on what we already do to design our PLN as something to benefit us in our process of continuing education as educators.

I will definitely subscribe to a new podcast this week and I'll post to Twitter which episode I chose to listen to for the week. This way I am working on connecting, reflecting and sharing.

The Internet definitely helps make connections, but how do we keep a balance with making connections in our physical world too? For example, the Internet is more useful in places like New York, but not as useful in places like here in Sitka. What happens when there is no Internet? The hurricane in Puerto Rico last year made me rethink so many thinks about connections and survival. What if Sitka runs out of eggs (which happens frequently)? People turn to social media to panic and search for who was chickens and eggs to buy. What if the net was temporarily down? Not trying to be negative or anti Internet AT ALL, just emphasizing the importance of physical connections as well.

I tried searching examples of PLN's in small towns specifically and could not find anything. However, I did find this interesting concept of "smart cities". Below is an image of a smart city. Sitka has had public downtown wifi access before places like Manhattan did. What about small towns? Can they be "smart" too? How to physical human interactions look in these "smart cities"?
Applying this to Cornier's blog post (2011), I think smart cities would make citizens more like workers than soldiers or nomads. Physical interactions and experiences would be less common, therefore truth and knowledge would rely more through our digital citizenship. But I could be wrong. This is just my outlook. Do you think "smart cities" would make us more as workers, soldiers or nomads?

Cornier, D. (2011, Nov 5). Rhizomatic Learning - Why we teach? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from
LaSota, D. (nd). Personal Learning Environments: An organizational and practice based concept for evaluating and improving the way individuals learn. Retrieved from


3 thoughts on “My PLE”

  1. I’m a bit of a reality TV nut. One of my favorites, because I feel like it is one of the least staged, is “Life Below Zero.” You asked, “What about small towns? Can they be “smart” too? How to physical human interactions look in these “smart cities”? In the newest episode, the family that lives in Noorvik used short-wave radios to ask for things they needed and to advertise things they have for trade. In the old days, we used to use newspapers and bulletin boards to look for or sell things. So yes, we can be “smart” without the internet. It just takes longer.

  2. Your mention of Sitka running out of eggs is what my brain has latched onto in your post. The extension of the PLE/PLN concept to a small town and that sort of problem is interesting. I think that any network of connections is in its highest demand when solving a problem. Small town networks are leveraged when trying to find eggs, similarly to how we leverage a PLN to understand something or fix a defunct website.

    Interesting differentiation between Instagram and Twitter. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

  3. I really like your analogy of a bonfire. The physics of a fire (fuel and oxygen) have to be stagnant, but the ingredients can be ever changing. Driftwood creates a different flame that spruce. Dry wood burn better than wet. As long as you have fuel and air, the fire remains. The purpose changes according to need. Some days you need a fire to stoke companionship and camaraderie. Other times it’s to prepare food or stay warm. And sometimes, you just need to be alone and watch the flames dance.

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