This week involved a number of new experiences. The one I am most excited about is Twitter. I have been very reluctant to sign-up because I viewed it as just another thing to have to check. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of ways I am connected to other people. I am a far more private person than many people. I have Facebook , but do not broadcast the personal details of my live very often. I am more like to post what I am working on, pass on interesting articles, and solicit advice. I do enjoy that it connects me to family and friends more than I could otherwise. However, Twitter has some advantages over Facebook I was unaware of until I joined this week. I like that I can follow the designers and design firms I am inspired by. It seems to put me so much closer to them and their thoughts than any other medium I have found to date. That is perhaps the biggest benefit I can see. I stand a better chance to connect with them directly than I could any other way. It also seems to be a great way to view work and articles that intrigue me. The other items we tested out this week were great, but none seemed to have as much potential as Twitter to expand my personal learning network as Twitter does.
After completing the Popplet of my personal learning network, I believe I do a pretty good job of seeking out avenues for learning and growth. I have always actively pursued learning, whether a required situation or just personal interest. I read extensively from articles about pop culture to fiction to academic writing. I always try to seek out more information about things I am interested in whether from the Internet, people I know, classes, or any other method that gets me access to information. While some people are reluctant to branch out, I try to keep pushing myself to try and do new things even when they scare me. It is often uncomfortable and sometimes involves making a fool of myself, but I feel far more energized from these pursuits than anything else.
Starting this degree program represents an effort to increase my knowledge on this subject and to push myself further in an area I already was gaining some knowledge in. I find I am already inspired by the first few weeks of this course. It has challenged me to branch out and connected me with people I might not otherwise have an opportunity to connect with in everyday life. I am already pushing myself to change up activities in my online class to better engage students. I used pinterest and an online word mapping program to have them actually do the research process for graphic design this week instead of just write about it. I feel the classes in this program will help me strength this area of my personal learning network as well as grow as a person and an educator.