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Future of Education and Learning :Personal Learning Networks

Throughout history, humans have always created our own learning networks. When we needed to know how to do something, we sought out the expert in that field and they shared their knowledge. For example, hunters knew who to talk to about the latest in hunting techniques. Farmers knew who to talk to regarding the latest in agricultural technology practices. (And students could talk to their brilliant teachers!) Now we have the Internet to access more information about whatever we need to know. However, now there is not necessarily a need anymore to find “the” expert in a field of study. Instead, we need to create our own network of experts, our own Personal Learning Network.

What is a Personal Learning Network? It is a collection of resources that you can go to when you want to learn something. This includes family and friends, teachers, and people in the local community. It can also include non-human resources, such as books, journals and other forms of media. In the 21st century, there’s also an extensive electronic network of resources that you can – and should – include in your network. This includes resources on the Internet such as webpages, podcasts, and the electronic databases.

But it also includes human resources that are available to you via the Internet, your own personal collection of “experts” on various topics from all over the world. One way to build that collection of experts is via RSS Feeds, which allows you to subscribe to their content and have it delivered to you in your RSS Aggregator (e.g., Google Reader). Every time they produce new content, it automatically gets delivered to you, allowing you to tap their knowledge and wisdom from afar. It helps you to develop your own understanding of the world, to participate in the conversations that are going on, and to have a say in the world in which we live.

And Mashups are much more advanced tools for Combining multiple sources.

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