Kev's space

Probably the worlds least updated blog.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ramblings on Personal Learning Environments

So I've been reading and writing about PLE's in HE for a while now, and I'm in my final weeks of writing my masterthesis. It feels kind of strange studying and writing about something that some say is an undefined system, while others say it is an array of social software that you could use to reach learning goals. Some say a combination of the two, and some say it acually is something in the lines of soon to be released Moodle 2.0. Since I am in my final days, I will have to be short. However my studies are bringing me closer to a couple of things I've been discovering

  1. PLE's seem to support learners autonomy
  2. PLE's are best to be constructed by the learner him- or herself
  3. There is a shift in power. Students now could own their learning environments, opposed to the institutional model where the school owns the learning environment (or should I say management systems). Learners empowerment, dude!
  4. The push forward towards PLE's seem to have a touch of counter-culture in it. There might just not be any need for terms like edupunk (although I like it), but is really does seem that a lot of the pro-PLE people (I'll just call them 'prople' since it's fun coining new terms) are getting their zing from opposing LMS, and everything the LMS stands for. LMS is kind of 'the man', and they're sticking it to him.
  5. Certainly there might be a paradigm shift on the way within the field of in learning theory. Emerging theories like connectivism are getting more and more attention. Definitely an area one should observe in years to come.
  6. There is still an opening for those who would create the ultimate killer app, that combines everything I need in my PLE together. Yes, I am aware of NetVibes, iGoogle, Symbaloo, Wordpress... not to mention Firefox... which kind of is my PLE-portal. Which also brings to mind what would happen if Facebook were to build a browser. Still I'm not crediting anyone before I see what I want. And what I want is, well, personal of course. Keep up the great work, though!
Anyway. These are some last minute ramblings on a blog I once started in 2006, and have not used before. I guess I am the incarnation of a really, really bad blogger. I'll try not to write the next post in 2014. Deal?

Also these ramblings are, well, hardly scientific facts. So kids (and grown ups, 'cause after all I believe in lifelong learning); you just might wanna figure out some sources for what I just said. I will however at some point or another write some of my citations, and even elaborate on some of the stuff I just wrote.

One last thing. I've been lurking here and there on this MOOC called Plenk 2010 lately. I'd recommend anyone interested in personal learning environments and personal learning networks checking it out. You could very well be a part of history. How's that for an incentive for learning? There is also some activity on twitter. Just search for #plenk2010.

Update: I promise to make an english version of my illustration of my own PLE, and also list some great readings when I'm done writing. Paper is due in two weeks, and everything is sort of in a state of chaos.

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  • At 4:11 AM , Blogger Welsh Cloggy said...

    Hi Kev,
    Thanks for this. I think you have hit the nail on the head. I would say you ramblings are a good summary of what a PLE entils. I m interested in reading your thesis, if it is related to PLEs.


  • At 4:54 AM , Blogger Kev said...

    Thanks for the kind words,Rita. Unfortunately due to the issues of time and deadlines, I'm currently committing the huge error of writing my thesis in my native language, Norwegian. I would have chosen differently today.

    But I will produce an abstract in English, and also most likely write an article afterwords about my findings, as well as the meta process on working on my thesis.

    Writing a masterthesis is a very autonomous process, in which one has to rely mostly on one self. Except for some really good advise and some great conversations with my supervisor, of course.

    However I have found it to be very useful to discuss areas, illustrations and ideas from my thesis with my network of people, on for instance Facebook. I have found most interesting stuff by lurking around PLENK2010 (sorry people... I'm a little shy) by following updates on Twitter, and by getting news on the go from Ol' Daily, and other useful resources through feeds. I have used Google services like docs, bookmarks, reader, mail, scholar and buzz. For citations I've been having a blast with Zotero (a service so good for students in HE, I feel a crush coming on). In the midst of all these techologybased services, I have also been "old school" and used my local libraries. In fact everyone should include librarians as part of their PLE's :) Blogging I have never been good at (I made this account in 2006, and this is my first post), but I will try to do this more. After all; one does not cease to learn after one has finished a degree.

    So to a large extent my thesis getting written and hopefully finished in time is due to me using my PLE not only in theory, but in practice. Which I guess is kind of cool...


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