Questioning our active questions

Most PLEs I reviewed two years ago appeared to be conceived as digital dashboards. Like personal start pages, they aggregated one's personal selection of links and tagged bookmarks as well as subscriptions to feeds and keyword searches. My experience with organizing my own learning in this way has led me up to question the "digital dashboard" premise. Aggregating resources appears to inevitably result is too much information in need of a staggering amount of additional filtering.

When my personal learning is on a roll, I am much less concerned with managing my sources of information. The active questions I'm using are front and center. I'm questioning my questions in the following ways:
  • Am I asking the right questions to delve deeper into this domain and not miss the significance of what I'm exploring?
  • Am I asking enough questions to cover the range of issues and not dwell excessively on a few narrow facets?
  • Am I asking too many questions, scattering my efforts and raising my frustration level?
  • Am I developing new questions from patterns I observe in more familiar domains of expertise?
  • Am I changing my questions when I realize I'm losing my curiosity by relying on the same old questions?
These ways to question our active questions provide a different lens to look at the digital dashboard conception of PLEs. From this perspective, aggregating links and feeds looks like a street lamp fallacy. (After losing his keys in the dark, the drunk looks for them under the street lamp where he can see clearly). The digital dashboard is an obvious solution that does not solve what I see as the real problem. Questioning our active questions suggests the "real problems" include losing curiosity, barking up the wrong tree, accumulating too much information and getting stuck with the same old questions. There is no solution to those problems at the level of changing the feed subscriptions and tagged bookmarks. PLE's need to be re-conceptualized to "find the keys in the dark" and solve the "real problems".

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