PLEs (Personal Learning Environments), will be an ongoing theme for this blog. Currently causing increasing fringe interest, as there is a growing discussion around issues such as Web 2 and what constitutes formal and informal learning. Many commentaries are in relation to differeneces between ePortrfolios and PLEs. But this is an important distinction, as I think PLEs are more about the individuals own learning portfolio – independant of any formal course work- as distinct from the ePortfolio which Is see as being the ‘personal’ side of a students work in relation to a formal course. ePortfolios include the formal assesment artefacts from any such course, plus other related aspects of coursework. It might contain a history of matreial relating to all coursework undertaken. In contrast the PLE is a more holistic collelction of materials, evidence, artefacts and maybe collaborative/social networking tools which together constitute a true profile of the person’s formal and informal learning-evidence of where they have been and maybe where they are going in terms of career, thinking, knowledge and being. The concept of a PLE wold seem to have arisen from the need to differentiate between the VLE (Virtual Learning Enironment) and the emerging engagement of learners in their own knowledge spaces. I have attempted to depict this in the diagram to illustrate the relationship between the two worlds. This is an extension of Scott Wilson’s depiction which is a work in progress.

Comment on Flosse Posse by Teemu Leinonen encapsulates some of the current thinking:

The concept of “Personal Learning Environment” (PLE) is getting quite a lot of hits in the blogs. It is often presented as some kind of new paradigm of e-learning. Still there is no proper definition of PLE, and for example Teemu Arina said somewhere that his company is his PLE. I actually like that definition.

Probably the most common definition of PLE is that it is different than “virtual learning environment” (VLE).

Checking “virtual learning environment” from the Wikipedia made me think that, actually I have never had anything to do with “virtual learning environments”:

“A Virtual learning environment (VLE) is a software system designed to facilitate teachers in the management of educational courses for their students, especially by helping teachers and learners with course administration.” He like JAy Cross claim a contradiction in the use of the term ‘personal’ when these spaces are meant to be about social networking.

Graham Attwell is an important source ofcommentary on PLEs’: The de-institutionalisation or at least recasting the role and organisation of institutions is the greatest need in terms of reforming education and introducing Personal Learning Environments. It is not only that the present institutional structures are too inflexible to support PLEs, but that they fail to provide support for the many different contexts in which learning is taking place. May 2, 2007.


About thand

I'm a currently working at NSW Departrment of Education & Training, Connected Classrooms Program, Sydney.
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5 Responses to PLE

  1. Pingback: Social Software and more… :: PLE illustrations :: June :: 2008

  2. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Advanced Web Applications: 1

  3. Pingback: Personal Learning Environments | BAQTS Blog

  4. Pingback: Personal Learning Environment (PLE) « shanlees

  5. johns220 says:

    I am interested in using your VLE diagram for a class project for gradschool. Could I have your permission to include it in my project, of course giving proper credit?


    Brian Johnson
    UIUC CTER Graduate Program

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