Sunday, 26 January 2014

Weekly Report & Reflection blog post #2

PLE's and PLN's

A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is a system that helps learners take control of and manage their own learning. This includes providing support for learners to set their own learning goals, manage their learning, manage both content and process, and communicate with others in the process of learning.
A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a network of people that connect or have interactions specifically for the purpose of information sharing and learning. "...these people may assist you in your learning by acting as a guide, direct you to learning opportunities, and assist you with finding answers to questions (Tobin, 1998). "
 A Learning Management System (LMS) on the other hand is a computer based platform designed to integrate facilitators management of courses and students participation/ involvement towards the successful completion of pre-assigned content of the curriculum. The system can often track the progress of learners and can be monitored by both teachers and learners but may be too limited in content.
Your PLE or PLN as expressed before is a part of taking responsibility for your own learning. It allows you access to information from 'global peers' with your same interests in a way that traditional networking was unable to. This information may be scholarly articles, peer reviewed, or even just opinions expressed by non-academics, even so it serves to spark deeper thinking and reflection that is required in higher learning.
"Conventional learning methodologies tend to be theory-based classroom experiences, relying on explicit knowledge." (Raelin, 2008). It is however quickly being realised that the act of teaching is not to simply transfer content or knowledge onto learners who are expected to receive, store and regurgitate it. Learners are now expected to seek out knowledge on their own and become contributors to the body ok knowledge thereby in essence splitting roles of teacher and learner.
Modern, proactive students inevitably begin to build a repertoire of tools that enhance their learning experience. By sharing and collaborating with others students they create an environment that fosters a comunity of learners that is shaped by the similar attitudes and beliefs of like minded individuals lending support to each other.
That being said, this week I've had the opportunity to explore some online tools that can aid in enhancing my online learning experience and build my PLE. I explored word clouds by tagul (an example Posted at the bottom of my previous post 'Digital Footprints'), created mind maps by gliffy and bubbl. I began to recognize the potential uses of pinterest which categorizes similar interesting topics from home, to food, to education. One of my personal favorites however is iPP podcast player which pulls popular podcasts from all over the world and feeds it to my Samsung mobile phone.
Within the next five years I hope to have completed my Masters in Education and Community Development and working with community members to encourage lifelong learning. This will only be possible by acquiring the required credentials and gathering the required set of tools to have a PLE that encourages and nurtures learning in all types of settings, replacing bad habits with good ones and by building a vast PLN.

Badal,E. (cc)2014.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Digital Footprints

We have embarked on times that are no longer as forgiving as they once were. Our footprints are no longer erased from the sands of time by the forgiving tide of life. In earlier times it was far easier to erase, forget or forgive a negative comment, action or attitude. Today we are held at the mercy of the very technology that was created to make our lives easier, machines without the compassion that makes us human seems to hold us accountable for every mistake we make. I remember when "to err" was human and forgiveness was a virtue.
Every beverage we consume makes us a potential alcoholic, every comment we deliver make us offensive or chauvinistic, every place we are seen defines our character, every raised hand makes us abusive every post that we 'like' we are accused of experiencing or have been through, and the mistakes of your friends define who you are. Life under a microscope isn't all that fun now is it? Even if we try to escape one slide, we are bound to end up in another one, for observation at a later date.
We cannot avoid what others may say about us, but we can, to an extent control what we put out about ourselves and how we 'brand' ourselves. We must remember that once we have posted something online or even emailed something to someone, that it will now be in cyberspace forever and we have essentially lost control of where these messages may end up. We have to assume responsibility for our digital footprints . We also have to practice netiquette
More employers can look at potential, or current employee's digital presence and persona by simply using any online search tool. It's not a bad idea to set up an alert for whenever your name is used. One such tool is Google Alerts which allows you to see on a daily basis what, (if anything) is being said about you out there!

Within recent years, it has become almost impossible for someone to not have a digital footprint, we are in the age of information technology and most devices that have become common place in our lives make some mark on our virtual identity. People without (or limited) digital footprints can often be thought of as having something to hide so to speak.  I believe that the important thing is being proactive and diligent in managing one's online identity and we should use available tools to monitor our "e-selves" frequently. Remember that while netiquette is a guideline to courtesy and manners online, and digital footprints are the marks you make online to define your identity, the two can be combined to reflect you in a more positive or professional light. This is not only for consideration by digital citizens, but it is equally important for those of us who are aspiring to make that transition from a digital immigrant to a digital citizen.
Don't let your inevitable digital presence put you at risk nor at a disadvantage!

So as yourself before you hit that 'send' button .... Do I want that picture, comment or message out there for re-distribution and out of my control FOREVER?

Be vigilant!


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Badal,E. (CC) 2014.


As parents,  educators and future decision makers;  How would we choose to have our children educated?
Will we continue to perpetuate a "one size fits all" system of education or will we lobby to change that system to one that is tailored to the diverse learning styles of our children?
The choice is ours to make!
I had fun looking at this video... hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Sunday, 12 January 2014


I thought I was current an up to date with technology until I began this course!
I just realized that I've never explored the world of blogging. Oh well, better late than never! There are a couple of online tutorials that were a bit helpful; Here are two:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

About me

I graduated with honors from George Brown College’s Culinary Management program. While there, I volunteered in the school’s many career fairs and productions, and was awarded a scholarship for commitment and passion in the culinary field. I gained valuable experience while working in the banquet kitchen of a popular restaurant in Mississauga and at an Extended Care facility in Scarborough often catering to clients with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

In my current position, I work closely with the BGMS Head of School and Administration to create an variety of nutritious and tasty menu items, acknowledging the diversity of the school. In managing the Food Services, my goal is to support and encourage lifelong healthy eating habits for the students. He believes that a nutritious diet combined with regular physical activity supports proper physical and intellectual growth and development in children, giving them the best opportunity for a healthy lifestyle in the future.