Jay Cross raises an interesting point about Personal Learning Environments (PLE), in that they eliminate the need to build your own way of engaging people and information on the Web. I haven’t followed PLE development in much detail but it seems to be a hot topic in public education and higher learning establishments. I’ve explained my own Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) system, which keeps evolving over time. The concept of PKM on the Web is of some general interest, as it’s a favourite search term for visitors here.
For the past decade the learning management system (LMS) has been the required system for distributed teaching and training and it appears that the PLE is the next wave of LMS. But perhaps the one size fits everyone approach is the wrong way to support personal learning. Instead of trying to create THE BEST PLE for your organisation, it may be better to support individuals in weaving together their unique PLE, with small (learning) pieces, loosely joined.
It’s a different approach and won’t help you to become the local PLE system specialist with your own corner office, but it may actually improve lifelong learning.
For further reading: There is a similar conversation on Mike Caulfield’s blog about loosely coupled assessment.