Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More on Personal Learning Environments (PLEs)

This is something that I have meant to do for a little while. Give my perspective.
Now do not ask for a definition of a PLE. I do not believe there is one.

A PLE for me is ecology unto itself and it is unique to every individual. Personal learning environments, to me, are also evolutionary. They have evolved, and will continue to evolve, due to a number of key factors:
  • Individuals need to filter information. There is so much information nowadays that an individual needs efficient ways of “dealing with” and “making sense of”, this information.

  • In filtering this information they begin to prefer the collective wisdom of the individuals they choose to “include” as part of this filtering.

  • These individuals can include published experts, academics, peers, colleagues or strangers.

  • The learning that takes place is based on what “resonates” with the individual and not what someone tells them they should learn. This fosters true listening from the individual.

The PLE allows an individual to harness the natural motivations to learn that exist within the individual and as such, provides a continuing learning experience that few corporate or academic training environments can provide.

My PLE looks something like this:

In essence I describe my PLE as a learning environment that is functional and provides me with different activities, modes and experiences for learning. Central to this model is the “connectedness” that exists between each of the activities and the people I interact with. As you can see, the tools are in the background and as an individual I choose to use and discard tools based on the ease of use and it’s ability to maintain the connectedness I require as a learner. This means my environment is fluid and ever changing.

Now of course this is my perspective......

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