PLEs - Getting it together

Having come from so many different angles to comprehend PLE's recently, a comprehensive picture has emerged in my mind. I now see the challenge of creating a successful PLE as combining and balancing four different processes. While we are starting these processes initially, PLE's appropriately seem like actual things to work on. Once we get it together, a PLE becomes a fascinating, complex process to continually nurture and explore. It works because it's comprised of processes that reverse and evolve in context.

Intrinsic motivating: PLE's involve a big switch from our relying on extrinsic motivations. We stop seeking approval and maintaining dependencies on other's validation. We abandon the "carrot on a stick" or "free prize inside" to do our own thing. We get in touch with our feelings and pursue what we feel like exploring, changing and creating. This is a transition from captivity to freedom and from toxic dependency to self reliance. In our PLE's, we are motivating our endeavors from within.

RSS feed learning: PLE's involve a different approach to learning from what we're accustomed to. We've been bred to learn from ink on paper put there by authorities. We expect to learn the final say from experts who are qualified to tell us what to think. When we learn from subscriptions to RSS feeds, we can see how people (authors and regular commenters) think over time. We watch them change their minds, extend their understandings and create new insights. We get a sense that learning is a process of continual evolution, not a procedure of internalizing established information. We learn from how the learning unfolds in our feed reader and how successful we are at finding what we want by subscribing to feeds.

Common grounding: What comes to mind changes with the ground we stand on. PLE's make it easy and expected to come from common ground. We relate to other learners on an equal basis, as a "work in progress" and "continually evolving". We relate at eye level and see the validity of other points of view. We stop looking down on inferiors or putting superiors on a pedestal where power struggles ensue and debates degenerate into stalemates. Our considerable successes with intrinsic motivation and amazing finds puts in a position to contribute generously. The more we succeed, the more we have to share and give to others' journeys. Our PLE's give us experiences with the power of reciprocation, community and shared interests.

Content generating: If we've been silenced or inhibited by a system of domination, expressing our own viewpoint is a big change. We find our voice is legitimate and useful to others as we speak out and speak of others' voices. We join the conversations and explorations with content we generate. The more we give, the more we get a sense of what we have to give. We see what we can say that makes a difference and serves a larger purpose. We contribute to common ground indirectly by becoming self motivated and learning from others' learning. We contribute directly by generating content.

All four processes are highly inter-dependent. Each affects the other three. We cannot have a successful PLE is we are dependent on a reward system or only assimilating information. Our PLE will break down if we are only taking from others and not giving back. The content we generate will serve neither ourselves or others if our motivations are conniving or we're coming from battlegrounds. Getting it together is essential for each of the components to function effectively.


  1. Like a quilt. Like it or not ;

  2. I like it Alex. Thanks for quilting together some of the squares that will hopefully come together is new and enchanting ways.