Friday, September 24

PLEs - What A Mashup !

'PLE' As I Understand It ( for now)
The squirrel has decided to store the nuts she has gathered, go with her instincts and listen to the inner voice, constructing some illuminations of her own. The urge to blow raspberries at dogs is already waning.

Julie Collareda's Personalised Learning Environments (PLEs) Wiki  documents that there is no 
 " size fits all' PLE solution for either student or teacher, if personalised learning is to be enabled. Individuals are now clamouring to design their own personalised space where they can access favourite sites, feeds, bookmarks and other generative tools......"  
The learner develops their own arsenal of tools as their needs are identified and refined and technical proficiency with each tool develops.The degree of learner autonomy within an environment is dependent on whether the personalisation has been engineered by the learner or by an external agent, as in an MLE. 
As learners, we use tools to facilitate the learning process. As far as I can ascertain, the PLE is a real Mashup a mix of people, services, artefacts, digital and non digital resources which foster the construction of knowledge in a learner. A positive PLE, its construction and maintenance is a crucial component of the learning process. Therefore PLEs are environments in which individual learners, or groups of learners represent a trend towards personalised social learning, an alternative to MLEs. 

I loved Jennifer Chesney's creative 'intuitive' interpretation as a PIM (personal intuitive map).It strongly reinforces my belief that we will achieve no ' one size fits all ' solution to the PLE/PLN debate or format, even with respect to the terminology used, because of basic learning preferences or styles. 
 image credit: Bill Browning:

Richard Felder’s advice on how to address the spectrum of learning styles should provide food for thought to any educator, any learner for that matter.

At last-found a post today which makes complete sense to me. When reading Steve Wheeler's blog today I experienced so many 'Eureka' moments I thought I maybe able to take out a loan.
".....We propose a hybrid approach. Essentially, we argue that students require structure and scaffolding when they first venture into digital learning environments. No-one is a digital native (yay, the voice of reality), no matter how much the Prensky theory is talked up. Yet the average institutional Managed Learning Environment is by nature dull, uninspiring and difficult to navigate(Amen to that). Web 2.0 tools (Cloud Learning Environment) are more attractive, easier to use and free, but are unprotected and vulnerable (particularly for the K-6 age group who are my students). Further, the content sent to the application ends up becoming the 'property' of the Internet company and is difficult to delete, a target for data mining. Whilst CLEs will not fully address all of the tensions between iMLEs and PLEs, we argue that they provide a tentative bridge to provide the best of both worlds in terms of affordances and interoperability....."
Associate Professor Steve Wheeler, Faculty of Education at the University of Plymouth
 The diagrams were clear simple and exactly what I'd been envisaging after hours and hours of contemplation. The 'something not quite right' feeling I'd had at the outset of all this PLE/PLN debate was quieted.
Two great graphic organisers as well - this was almost too much !!!! 
 Clear, succinct, minimal jargon (no headaches) However I'm not sure Tony Buzan would approve of the straight lines !
Thank you Steve
The PLN/PLE differences debate loses impact for me once the PLN is viewed as a component of a healthy professional PLE. Now some prefer to view the PLE as a component of the PLN, however either view just as clearly reinforces the symbiotic connection. 
'One size does not fit all' in either approach or medium as far as I'm concerned. None of us learns inside a vaccuum, and the opportunity to function according to a preferred learning style can be a powerful aphrodisiac for the self directed learner. With this 'combination' PLN/PLE model the focus is not moved away from the collective social learners, but provides a balance between individual and collective needs, thereby satisfying both camps.


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