In the Introduction to Leaning and Educational Technology course we’ve been playing around with many web-based tools like blogs, wikis and more specifically Adobe Connect, Google docs/+/hangouts, WordPress, Slideshare, Mindmeister etc. Well, to be fair, we haven’t played around with these tools just for fun. There was a hidden meaning to these exercises.
The master idea behind these exercises with the tools is… drumroll, please… Personal Learning Environments that are also known as PLEs.
What on earth is a PLE and why would I need one?
Wikipedia describes PLEs as “systems that help learners take control of and manage their own learning“. Basically all the tools we’ve been exploring can be used for this purpose. We were encouraged to utilize these tools for educational purposes – mostly for working collaboratively.
“My personal experience in PLEs extends to having two blogs which worked as portfolios and also as learning diaries. I had one in ICT course and now I have another one in LET. I’ve also participated in a wiki environment in Didactics course where we made a wiki article collaboratively as an exam answer.”
What I wrote about my previous experiences about PLES on our own Wiki page about PLEs.
In my opinion PLEs serve multiple purposes: they are learning diaries, expertise portfolios, schedulers and places for sharing ideas, thoughts and questions. At their very best PLEs are public and social, enabling students within the same topic to interact and share knowledge.
What could my PLE be like?
I already have a PLE. It’s this blog. I also had a previous blog in a previous ICT (TVT in Finnish) course. I’m not so sure if this blog serves me best as a PLE, since it was a given task to establish a blog. My ideal PLE could be something like Symbaloo, as it is more visual and clear. Although my blog might still be a part of my Symbaloo, since I need a place to reflect my learning. Symbaloo would collect all my learning environments in to a one, simple, working thumbnail collection. I think I’ll get on with it and create my own Symbaloo right about at the time I finish writing this. I’ll make one for entertainment purposes first, though.