We in educational technology are often accused of focusing too much attention on technology and tools rather than cognitive processes. I’ve struggled with this myself, most often because I enjoy assessing the learning potential of new technologies. John Seeley Brown might call this tinkering. I get a charge out of playing with the tools myself and presenting them to my students to see what happens. As a teacher, I’m all about what is practical in the classroom (even if I sometimes try to push the limits of innovation). My evolution from teacher to researcher has been a long journey. All those prior years of classroom experience influence my perspective. I “know” something works with students because I feel it in my gut. There is never time to sit back and observe what happens before moving on to the next challenge.
Focused research on student construction of personal learning environments has given me the opportunity to sit back and watch learning from a process perspective. What processes do students go through when constructing personal learning environments?