Getting ready for #whyopen : my personal learning environment

There are only a few days left before the start of #whyopen on P2PU and I am starting to think about the way I want to design my personal learning environment to make the most of the course.

I decided to write this down partly as a note to myself and partly to invite other learners to comment and possibly compare with their own practice of online learning. I’m excited to find out how learning will emerge and what the outcomes will be.

On the personal front, it might be instructive to go back to this post at the end of the course to:

  • check whether I’ve actually used all the tools I intended to and to what extent,
  • list additional tools/networks I had not initially thought of but turned out to be useful,
  • determine how I can keep on sharing with the networks set in motion by this course.

I’m also curious to observe how others use the learning opportunities afforded by the web 2.0. I consider this to be  part of the learning experience : a form of metalearning, if you will!


This blog will be a central place for gathering thoughts on the discussions happening during the course. I hope I’ll manage to produce at least one post a week. Other people’s blogs curated on the bloghub should also be a great source to draw from and build upon.


I already use Twitter quite a lot as a source of links to interesting content as well as a platform to interact with people I know personally. I think the #whyopen Twitter feed will be a good place to chat and share resources.


As much as I like Twitter, information tends to disappear in the backlog after just a few days. Besides, links posted on Twitter are not very easily searchable: that’s why we have curation tools like Storify and Delicious.

I’ve just opened a Delicious account to save links I come across and might want to take up reading later. It’s meant to be an improvement on my current ‘semi-open’ system of organising learning resources.

I would normally find the content through a direct search or thanks to my peer networks, read/view it and then share it on Twitter with relevant hashtags. If it’s really valuable information or too complex to all take in at one go, I’d bookmark the page and/or download the content onto my laptop where I sort my documents in folders.

This system is found lacking in areas which might be improved by Delicious: I can place a document in several folders if it belongs to different topics but it’s certainly not as efficient a method as a tag cloud; There’s little room for systematic interest-based social interactions beyond the immediate discussions arising from the links posted on Twitter. More in-depth conversations happen organically on Facebook from time to time though.

Let’s see if I can include Delicious in my learning routine.

Google Hangout ? In person meet-ups?

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to join all the Google Hangout meet-ups but I’ll probably watch most of them once they are posted on YouTube.

There’s at least one other student here in Paris who’s taking the course. I’m tempted to contact her so we can meet up and chat about ‘Why Open’.

Challenges I hope to overcome

Although I appreciate the potential benefits of posting videos, I still feel a bit apprehensive about putting myself out there via this medium.

My barriers regarding this medium are of two kinds :

  • Technical issues : I know how to record a video on my laptop’s webcam and post it on YouTube or on my blog but editing is still a major challenge. It’s definitely something I consider within my reach, though I tend to relent from spending hours battling with a video editing software until I come up with a satisfactory result.
  • Perceived lack of legitimacy : who am I to speak my mind to the world ? This links back to feeling too shy to speak in front of a learned audience or even just a large gathering. It’s weird to observe how much more comfortable I feel expressing myself in writing.

Maybe I should make this one of my goals for the final project: to record, edit and post my story as a video!

What about you? How are you planning to engage with this course?


10 thoughts on “Getting ready for #whyopen : my personal learning environment

  1. Thanks for sharing this reflection of your personal learning environment. Its also made me think more about the tools I been using, which I think I will write about in a blog post at a later stage. Appreciate the honesty in the challenges and barriers section.I also feel very shy in both writing and video! something I hope to grow out of still.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sam. I’m glad at least one person was inspired by my little write-up and cared enough to comment on it!
      I definitely look forward to finding out how you use various tools for learning.

  2. Thanks @hardcorekancil! I wish I could be as organized as you are! 5 days before starting the course you had everything ready and even with time to write about it. I have very big issues managing my time (as I commented before, here I’m a week behind 🙂 ).

    I’m very happy to read about this, it’s very nice and “open”! I don’t really have any tool I’ve stick with yet much as to trust it as a learning tool.
    Regarding your technical problems with video editing, I can tell you that software now a days makes it a lot simpler, so I offer myself to help you with it (though I use Linux).
    On the shy side… yes, I think we are all the same… but, there’s nothing to be shy about, we can overcome that feeling easily and seeing that our thoughts have some impacts in others 🙂

    • Hello again dpshelio!

      I guess I was really excited about the course and I couldn’t wait to get started! I have time management problems too: sometimes I get carried away by a topic (like this one) and neglect other things I’m supposed to be doing.

      Once I grow curious about something, it can easily swallow up most of my free time. Like when I was 8, I was completely obsessed with Greek mythology : it felt like Aphrodite and Hermes were my buddies 😀 [And my parents kind of freaked out at some point…]

      It’s great you could join the conversation, even a bit late. We still have 4 weeks to scratch our heads over ‘Why Open’!

      What software do you use for video editing ? My machine runs on Mac – not very open, I know.

      • Lately I’ve used openshot, it’s written in python, so it may work in mac too.
        Though I think that Mac has good video editing software…

        Regarding to Mac… I can say that I try to work with one for 2 years (that’s the computer they had in my previous university)… then I gave up and install linux on it… Ohhh I felt so good. It’s not difficult… though you may find some issues. In any case, you can have both on the same machine in different ways, the easiest through installing it in a virtual machine, here are some easy steps:

      • Thank you 🙂 I’ll look into both options.

        I have a friend who installed Linux on a Mac Book Pro. She retained Mac OS still so as to have both OS working on her laptop. With you, that makes 2 people available to advice on making the big move…

      • Yummy! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Review of personal learning environment after ‘Why open’ | Why Open by @hardcorekancil

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