I do not feel that I would have ever embraced the idea of a true PLE or the creation of a OLN if I had not taken this course. Granted, I have used wikis, blogs, You Tube creations as well as other social networks in my classes. Most of these, with the exception of You Tube, were part of a larger LMS provided by my employer. They were secure, exclusive and protected. They also existed for a finite period of time. To progress to an open learning network and use Edupunk concepts really makes me ponder the future of what learning will become or more importantly how will it occur!
Am I ready for such a shift to learning with such a technological approach? Certain arguments that promote Edupunk (PLE, OLN) make total sense to me. Jon Mott’s blog reports that more flexibility, an open environment, lower cost and engaging more learners are concepts that are hard to refute. An engaged learner has the Web as his classroom and is limited by only his own desire to learn. Is this education utopia? I am excited by this concept and consequently must be an Edupunk! Or am I?
The other side of me says NO! A structured LMS is needed to address those administrative details that do not lend themselves to such an open environment. A gradebook is such an example. Private, secure lines of communication is another. Some say that most individuals do not use all of the features of a LMS and if they did then the need for PLE and Edupunk is diminished.
Interestingly, I had a discussion with my students regarding this topic – LMS vs PLE and Edupunk. I wanted to know their thoughts about this evolution in learning. The majority stated that they prefered the traditional approach of the LMS versus Edupunk. The major reason cited was the time that would needed to create the learning environment. In addition many are not computer literate unless Facebook etc. is the network of choice. I feel that if the concept of Edupunk/ PLE is incorporated early into a student’s education, acceptance would be forthcoming.