I managed to catch both of the Elluminate sessions this week for #PLENK2010, and they were helpful in reassuring me that I'm not alone in finding Learning Theories not so much a difficult topic but a frustrating one. The best analogy I can think of is that it's like being in a market; every "product" is calling out "Buy me!" However, I see things I like in each product; I like the colour of one, the texture of another, the price of a third, etc. I can also see that some products are enhancements of earlier product models, and that I could find the various products useful in different ways.
In my own teaching practice, I look for a methodology that best suits the particular learning situation; for that reason, I have always favoured an eclectic approach--I'm not so much interested in any one method but using an effective methodology in a particular situation. The bottom line for me is that they all have something to offer in terms of explaining how learning can occur. In some ways I think that maybe we are searching for equivalent of the Theory of Everything that phsysicists hope will reconcile some conflicting theoretical phsyics issues.
Trying to relate all of this to PLEs, however, does bring me to the more recent methodologies, and these are clearly the ones that I'm using in this current course --I'm definitely building on previous learning with this course; the connectivity is helping me to see things in different perspectives and expand my view of the concepts; and I have used scaffolding in other online learning situations to help me learn about the technology and tools in the online universe.
Loose ends persist as I recognize that I am all over the board with teaching and learning; I also recognize that my own online teaching environment is far more structured than the PLENK2010 course. I have been trying to build in a level of connectivism through social networking, but in the asynchronous online world this is not easy to do.