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McLuhan and Personal Learning Environments? Why not…

Terry Anderson posts on McLuhan and Personal Learning Environments: “[McLuhan] argued that every new media Enhances through new affordances, Obsoletes through improvements in form, function and cost; Retrieves older patterns of behaviour and Reverses when over stressed into older, non functional patterns.”
I agree in principle with personal learning environments (PLE’s) sharing some attributes of new media (with media/medium being loosely defined as means of sharing/communicating something…a newspaper is a medium of communicating via print, TV via images, a sculptor via physical medium, a photographer via images, the web via bits). In the simple sense of communicating and sharing, PLEs are a medium. But there is an additional dimension in play. Yes, all media, in McLuhan’s world, work us over completely. Education is more than media, at least partly due to how it impacts us internally. Learning, while facilitated by media like blogs, podcasts, and wikis, has an internal dimension (the neural networks formed in our brains). PLEs are ecologies that utilize media elements, but in themselves are not media (“media as extensions of man” suggests that we use media to enlarge our capacity…at this level, we could say that PLEs have some attributes of media, but possess additional elements that lift them to a more aggregated level – namely that spaces that hold the media). At least in my world. But then again, when would McLuhan say something that simplified, rather than confused a situation?