Fragmenting the PLE

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.

6 Responses to “Fragmenting the PLE”

  1. Michele Martin

    Harold–I agree with you about the small pieces, loosely joined. I was just comparing how Angela White is using Netvibes vs. how I’m using Netvibes. She and I have set up very different categories and are using our accounts quite differently, but both support our personal learning.

    If someone had designed a PLE for us, they would have set up all of the tabs, etc. and one, if not both of us would be frustrated. The better strategy is to say–here’s a tool. Here’s how some people are using it. If it works for you, great. If it doesn’t, let’s find something else.

  2. Marco Polo

    The comments and the blog entry statement It’s a different approach and won’t help you to become the local PLE system specialist with your own corner office suggest that the writers are all adults and are assuming their readers are, too. But as an educator Harold referred to not long ago, (Marilyn Taylor) put it, different students require different amounts of direction and support. I have tried simply offering my students the environment of blogs and RSS: they haven’t a clue, and need to be told exactly what to do, partly because this is a class and they need to know what they need to do, not to learn (of course), but to pass the class and get the credits.

    And anway, I want my corner office!!

  3. Harold

    Michele Martin also tagged me, Karyn. Gee, I must be popular. Not sure if I have 8 facts of interest, though.


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