PLEs are what?

Colleague Janet Burstall sent this to me yesterday. Have you seen the discussion of PLE definitions going on in edna group?

“I have picked out what I think is the most illuminating, useful post in the whole thing below – and from that post, this quote – “the learner chooses their own personal learning environment, taking whatever tools that help them to achieve their own goals. Different people have different ideas to build their own PLE.” – which I think means that it is important to acknowledge up front, to both teachers and students, that whatever “PLE” DET offers in the current policy climate, it is a constrained, restricted, partial “PLE”, therefore it can only be a PART of the student or teacher broader PLE”.

Then quick reply from Kevin O’Gorman How will a learner know what they need in their learning? There’s a certain amount of assumption of a mature learner in much of the discussion.What are the formal relationships with institutions? Why will a learner or institution engage with a PLE if there is no mutual benefit?Why is it assumed that a person who has chosen to live on a remote mountainside needs a technical solution to learn? A Personal Learning Environment that is not me.I think I’ll let my mind be my PLE.( hokie but sincere).

I’ve got a notion the PLE discussions are going to fade – at least under the guise of ‘PLE’, much like the circuitous LO debates .. . When the term starts to invite metaphoric interpretations you know its time…“A PLE as a package might be like putting training wheels on social software” (liked that Janet). Personal highlights worth hanging onto in this debate include:

  • A PLE is a concept not an application.
  • It is a set of systems not a system
  • Like so many terms -It is a handy conceptualisation- given our present fondness for system application thinking
  • It is not a singular thing
  • Conceptually a PLE (should) embrace both formal and informal learning contexts
  • Need for continuous researching in various ‘PLE’ areas to unpack the concept-and move on
  • Better to focus the next stage of thinking in terms of Student Learning Environments (acknowledge institutional control)
  • An ePortrfolio can be the formal part of a PLE
  • One size doesn’t fit all.

We are already indulge/involved in PLE’s –its just the degree of engagement with what might be classified as ‘formal’ learning. The main task is to make learners aware of themselves as learners- some good mindmaps illustrating this including this one from Michele Martin.

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About thand

I'm a currently working at NSW Departrment of Education & Training, Connected Classrooms Program, Sydney.
This entry was posted in ePortfolio, Informal learning, platform, PLE, Social networking, Web2. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to PLEs are what?

  1. Pingback: ‘but i knewd that’ » Blog Archive » links for 2007-09-28

  2. Aaron C Kinkaid says:

    I am intrigued by your discussion of PLEs (Personal Learning Environments?) as an educator of technology tools. I am creating a set of systems to expedite student learning. The culture shock is the “learning community” that exists is still heirarchal and static. The mere idea that a student would even choose to learn is critical to the discussion, let alone the basis that they be mature. It dos not happen often that a young child can determine their learning path, but it is necessary.

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