Personal Learning Environments June 4-24, 2007

Welcome . . .

Welcome . . .

by Derek Chirnside -
Number of replies: 44
Welcome to our seminar for June, Personal Learning Environments.

Over the last year or so, the subject of Personal Learning Environments came up several times as part of other SCoPE conversations. 
A few random quotes:

Informal Learning: May 15 - June 4, 2006 - scurrie on Friday, 9 June 2006 2:42:00 p.m.:
What just struck me is how much we benefit from having access to other people's personal learning environments. How other people draw connections, decide what's important, and interpret what they come across in their own daily routines through commentary, can be so intriguing. In many ways how individuals structure their PLEs is as valuable as the information. Personal Learning Environments are obviously valuable for the individual, but maybe "personal" is the wrong label if others are benefiting as well?

jaycross on Friday, 9 June 2006 5:30:00 p.m.:
Sylvia, I find personal the apt term and I agree that looking into one another's PLEs is a great learning experience. I've been playing around with recording some of my navigation on screen and replaying it as "a look over my shoulder." We all use so many shortcuts and online tools that a three-minute look over anyone's shoulder may show you how to save hours.

Blogging to Enhance Learning Experiences: February 12-25, 2007: terrywassall on Monday, 12 February 2007 9:26:00 a.m.:
In particular I am interested in how I and students can develop a more personal learning environment outside of the more restricted institutional VLE.

Learning the Art of Online Facilitation: March 1-21, 2007: berthelemy on Monday, 22 January 2007 5:59:00 a.m.:
Regarding the second question, I think about my own experiences of writing responses to things on my blog, or as comments on other people's blogs, or in forums like this. I also have bookmarks kept in Diigo; three email clients where I keep archives of conversations; as well as various file storage mechanisms. Is the search engine really the only way we can try to keep track of things? What about content and conversations that are hidden behind a login? The concept of the Personal Learning Environment seems beguiling, but for the moment do we need to live with the fact that our online lives are not very easily connected? What happens then to those people who find working online difficult to start with?

From Live chat breadcrumbs - transparent facilitation by nnoakes on Monday, 19 March 2007 12:35:00 a.m.:
There were a number of key ideas I left with from our live chat/conf call, such as:
* Complexity - facilitation, technologies, life
* Proliferation - of tools, of knowledge
* Fractured/fracturing/fracturati
on (not a word but should be) - as a consequence of proliferation and complexity, inclusion-exclusion
* Expectations - mis-match (gulf? chasm?), management (solving it needs immersion)
* Faciltator's role - baggage of transmission approach (connects to expectations too), knowledge capturing and sensemaking, glue, collaborator - and how to spread role to others
* Learner and learning center stage - starting point of shared value of learner driven, e.g. personal learning environment (PLE)
* Tensions - (i) conforming to one tool vs. multiple tools, (ii) focus on individual vs. focus on group, (iii) being together vs. being apart - level of commitment needed for being together

From Re: Online Facilitation - the next 10 years (where do we go from here?) by hondomac on Thursday, 15 March 2007 6:07:00 a.m.:
I think that the increased use of Web 2.0 tools and technologies (and Web 3.0, 4.0 , etc....) will add a greater "social" aspect to online learning and online facilitation. What this means to me is that as an online facilitator I will be able to engage learners in ways that I have not even fully thought out or realized yet, and they will be able to engage each other in ways not yet fully explored, resulting in a much richer learning experience with a collective approach to information gathering and dissemination.
Learners will develop their own personal learning environments (PLEs) around tools and technologies that they want to use rather than tools assigned or provided to them. This means as a facilitator I will have to be aware of these diverse tools and technologies.


On reading this small assemblage of quotes I think there is a lot to tease out already.  !!

And just for fun I found this while I was trolling the archives, a quirky take on PLE's . . .
Cartoon

The month ahead . . .

Derek (Wenmoth) and I have talked on this topic quite frequently over the last few years.  Through his blog  (eg http://blog.core-ed.net/derek/personalisation/ ) and his work at Core Education (http://core-ed.net/) he has contributed regularly to the debate around PLE's. My interest comes through the challenges of meeting the needs of students at the place where I work - last year the Christchurch College of Education, and now the University of Canterbury.  We both live in Christchurch, New Zealand. (although Derek is spending quite a lot of time in Malaysia at the moment).

As usual, we will have opportunity to tell stories, share ideas and explore new thoughts together.  You are invited introduce yourself and tell a little of your interest in this topic (probably not the first introduction if you are a regular here!!).  I'm not going to dive in with PLE definitions, further questions or directions just yet, but if you have things to start us off, go ahead!!

If you are really new to SCoPE seminars, you are particularly welcome.

Soon we will open up two further threads, two dimensions for our thinking: the behavioural and the technical aspects of this diverse and multifaceted topic . . .

With regards, Derek (Chirnside)
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Derek Wenmoth -
Hi everyone - it's the "other" Derek here now, looking forward to the exchanges that will take place in this forum over the next few weeks.

Derek C has done a great job in setting the scene for our discussions - the whole idea of a PLE has certainly grabbed people's imaginations over the past few months, especially as different jurisdictions around the world (including NZ!) are in the process of adopting various models of "Personalised Learning".

More tomorrow....
In reply to Derek Wenmoth

Re: Welcome . . .

by Brenda Kaulback -
Since I don't work in a higher education environment, I am not familiar with PLEs. I work in a business environment and am thinking, however, that PLEs might be a worthwhile addition to a collaborative environment where members are collaborating online. I am imagining that it must be like a personal portfolio, where student's keep their work and their personal knowledge artifacts. Is this correct? Is there a place where one might see a sample?
In reply to Brenda Kaulback

Re: Welcome . . .

by Michele Martin -
Hi Brenda--I'm not in education either, but I've become interested in personal learning environments as a staff development tool. Although I think that a PLE can have a portfolio element within it, to me it's much bigger--much more of a process then a collection of work. A blog, for example, is part of a PLE, as are RSS feeds, wikis, podcasts (listening to them and making them), personal portal pages, tagging with de.licio.us,  etc. It's all the tools we can pull together to help us gather information, process it and then do something with that information. But a PLE is also an approach to learning that is more self-directed and focused on pulling together information an ongoing basis and doing something with it.

In a business environment, I think that the value of PLEs would be in helping individual staff people be more self-directed about learning. By helping them access the right tools and information and then helping them process that information as they go along, then they build not only their own personal knowledge, but also the collective knowledge. For example, I can document my research in my own blog or wiki, but that can be connected to my coworkers' blogs and wikis so that we can begin to build team knowledge in the process. I think that there are a lot of possibilities.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Lorie Mitchell -
I am very excited about this seminar. :) I can't wait to hear what everyone has to say. We use WebCT 4.1 currently, but I would like to encourage our AA students who learn online how to create their own PLEs and how to use tools to enhance their learning. :)

Looking forward to meeting everyone and continuing this discussion.

Lorie Mitchell
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by michael thorne -
I'm a developer at bccampus.ca, so my interest in in the tech side.  What are the components that make a PLE and how can I implement and enhance them.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Emma Duke-Williams -
Hi
I'm Emma and work in the School of Computing at the University of Portsmouth, in the UK.
I'm a lecturer, and one of my particular interests is student learning, Web 2.0 etc., etc., etc.

From Re: Welcome . . . by harpsouth on 04 June 2007 05:15:00:
PLEs might be a worthwhile addition to a collaborative environment where members are collaborating online.

To answer Brenda's point: Yes, I think that PLEs would be very relevant, though one thing that you might want to consider is levels of permission - who can see what? To me, a personal learning environment is just that. Personal. Some aspects I want to share with others, some I want to keep more private. I think that levels of privacy will vary between people - and, in the work environment, it could be more difficult for people to make public the things that they find difficult; though clearly major factors will be the ethos of the work environment, and the way that the individual feels.

From Re: Welcome . . . by mxtbcca on 04 June 2007 06:34:00:
What are the components that make a PLE and how can I implement and enhance them.

To me, the *ideal* PLE would be something that the student has created herself - from tools that are available to her. They could be those that the institution provides, they could be those that she's found. We may well be geting students to see each other's PLEs - (though noting the privacy issues I mentioned earlier) - however, given that most tools are RSS enabled, that shouldn't be too much of an issue.
However, I suspect that it could be a daunting task to many students, and indeed too much "letting go" for staff to give students quite such free rein, so I'd see a situation where you give students starting points, and a set of tools - for them to select from. Those students that are keen and interested can go and find more tools (and ideally share them with their peers).
That's where I'd see something like Elgg, Plex or Facebook being the starting point.
So, to answer Michael's point, I think that the enhancement would come in perhaps looking how you can integrate things into existing systems (though if you're using WebCT as Lorie is & we are, I think that's not really an option), or to run alongside them.
To me, the (technical) area that *really* needs working on, are aspects of usability and accessibility. For example, if I have three students; one is dyslexic & so finds audio blogging best to record his thoughts, another has difficulty hearing, so finds searching the audio posts difficult to locate particular sections - so she'd like to have a transcript of the audio, - though  her dyslexic friend prefers to create diagrams to represent what she's thinking. (See, you lot are getting me sold on Mind Mapping!). Meanwhile, the third of this group of friends is Spanish, so would rather present his thoughts in Spanish - especially when he's doing his initial thought gathering. He's quite happy to write in English to share his ideas- indeed, he prefers text to images to convey his thoughts.

Now, how do we select a tool that best addresses all those needs (or, do we let students select their own) - but also what tools exist to allow us to quickly transcribe the audio, to translate where needed ... That, to me is where technical work really needs to be done, as most of the free tools (e.g. Babelfish) aren't that good.
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Welcome . . .

by Heather Ross -
To me, the *ideal* PLE would be something that the student has created herself - from tools that are available to her. They could be those that the institution provides, they could be those that she's found. We may well be geting students to see each other's PLEs - (though noting the privacy issues I mentioned earlier) - however, given that most tools are RSS enabled, that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

I agree that the use of RSS will make this easier. You also noted social networking sites like Elgg and Facebook (I'm not familiar with Plex). This would take learning to where the learners already are instead of making them come to us via WebCT/Blackboard or even Moodle.

As someone who is new to Facebook I'm looking forward to hearing  some ideas on making use of it as a PLE. When I leave my office I have to walk through the computer lab and students are always on Facebook (which is new because our institute just removed the blocking filters).

However, I think that you're also correct that there will be issues with "letting go" on behalf of staff (administration and faculty).
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Welcome . . .

by Emma Duke-Williams -
From Re: Welcome . . . by hmross on 04 June 2007 09:03:00:
You also noted social networking sites like Elgg and Facebook (I'm not familiar with Plex).

Plex is a PLE that's being developed in the UK, through a funded project. http://reload.ces.strath.ac.uk/plex/ and http://www.cetis.ac.uk/members/ple . From what I've seen, development has slowed, as there are so many other tools available that do similar things.

I think that the Facebook issue is interesting. I've seen several posts on it recently that are questioning whether we should be getting students to use it for a PLE - on the grounds that it *is* their space. Do they necessarily want their teachers in it? Do they want their friends to know what they're doing at University?

However, if students have learnt to use sites like Facebook for socialising, then perhaps they can transfer those skills to something like Elgg for learning.
Probably the bottom line is the "personal" - they have the choice as to what to do.

Your point that you made: "letting go" on behalf of staff (administration and faculty)....
I have a strong feeling that where I work, it would be the admin staff who would have greater difficulty than many of the lecturing staff, though that could be related to the fact that I work in a School of Computing, so most of us are used to the wider world of the internet and its possibilities. Perhaps were I to work in a school of languages for example, I might be more of a lone voice.

In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Welcome . . .

by Heather Ross -
think that the Facebook issue is interesting. I've seen several posts on it recently that are questioning whether we should be getting students to use it for a PLE - on the grounds that it *is* their space. Do they necessarily want their teachers in it? Do they want their friends to know what they're doing at University?

However, if students have learnt to use sites like Facebook for socialising, then perhaps they can transfer those skills to something like Elgg for learning.
Probably the bottom line is the "personal" - they have the choice as to what to do.

This is a good point. Do they want us in "their world"? But a Facebook like setting, such as in Elgg would allow for an environment type that is familiar to them. That would give them the option of whether or not they wanted their worlds (academic, social, etc.) to meet.

We currently use WebCT/Blackboard and this certainly doesn't allow for these possibilities.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Amy Severson -
I'm an instructional designer at Simon Fraser University (though for various reasons, I'm currently telecommuting from London, England).

The first thing I thought when I did when I saw this forum title was associate PLEs with Portfolios. I'll be interested to explore the similarities and differences.
Can an LMS (Learning Management System - or a VLE - Virtual Learning Environment) be extended to provide some of the benefits of a PLE as well? I hope we explore in this session how all these new-ish terms can co-exist.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Emma Duke-Williams -
I've just spotted a very relevant post on Stephen Downes OL Daily:
http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=40370

""as well as information feeds and storage, to be collected together in some way (via linking or embedding) to offer the user a single 'place to go' to access these tools; a (personal) learning workspace, if you like.""

(There is more on the post & a link to a post on Tony Hirst's blog - where he mentions, among other things, the current interest in Facebook as a basis for a PLE)

In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Facebook and collecting information feeds

by Amy Severson -
It's true, I'm in Facebook :-) One thing they've recently done is allow the integration of other tools. I have my del.ici.ous links and my four most recent Flickr photos in my Facebook page. If they'd just add my Google Reader starred items, you'd have an interesting view of how my personal life and my work life collide.

I also stream my del.ici.ous and my Google Reader starred items in my wiki page at work. The work wiki is getting closer and closer to being my project management and personal learning environment.

The beauty is that I can access all these different feeds individually (they are getting more and more integrated with my Internet browser), and view them collectively.
In reply to Amy Severson

collecting information feeds for yourself and others?

by Sylvia Currie -
I've been playing around in pageflake.com and like the possibilities there. For one thing it's so easy to use. I can see how it would be a great tool for organizing research and projects, especially if you're already blogging notes around your research topic, tagging bookmarks. etc.

I set up a SCoPE pagecast showing the current seminar and other items that give a glimpse of what's going on in and around the community. We've also been thinking about how to set up pageflakes for some upcoming seminars where the facilitators are hoping to incorporate travel & conference experiences into the seminar discussions.

Earlier today I attended Dave Cormier's session at the Future of Education conference where he used a pageflake to capture all things related to his topic and we all contributed to it in various ways -- tagging del.ici.ous bookmarks, posting to blogs, the conference forum, etc. It was an interesting "group" experience.

So what do those examples have to do with Personal Learning Environments? It seems every time I start thinking about PLE type tools my head goes into group/collaborative/community mode. I think about how the time invested in a PLE can benefit others. Help! Why am I having a hard time getting personal about this? :-)
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: collecting information feeds for yourself and others?

by Derek Wenmoth -
Hi Sylvia

I think you've put your finger right on the button here - the significance to me of a PLE is that it is "personal". In the context of Web2.0 where there is an emphasis on collaboration, participation, community and groups etc., the tools that are emerging have features that promote this sort of thing. That leads us, however, to thinking of the community as the entity at the centre of things, instead of the individual.

As an individual, I belong to and participate in a number of communities. In addition, I have collections of resources, ideas and artefacts stored (and managed) in a variety of (online) repositories. On top of all that, I use a variety of other (online) applications to help me organise my life (eg calendar, email, bookmarks etc). As an individual, these are the things that, when combined, provide me with my PLE.

I've experimented with the configuration of my browser (Firefox) which has numerous plug-ins available to allow me to personalise how it operates (eg in-built del.icio.us tags and tag bar) and I've created a rather comprehensive  NetVibes account (http://www.netvibes.com) that draws "feeds" from everything - including the blogs and news-feeds I read, my del.icio.us bookmarks, my email (POP'ed from other accounts) and the calendars of my colleagues so I can keep an eye on where they are etc.

All of these things are very useful - the NetVibes account in particular as it enables me to access my PLE from anywhere or any machine. On the other hand, I tend to travel everywhere with my laptop - I POP all my mail to my email client installed on my laptop, and do the same with my RSS aggregator (NetNewsWire) so I can read through it all when offline - and since it manages all of my passwords etc so well, I tend to regard that as my PLE - a sort of on-line and off-line combination.

Hope that's helpful in describing how I see a PLE and what makes it personal. Would be interested to hear what others think.
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: collecting information feeds for yourself and others?

by Lorie Mitchell -
Pageflake reminds me of Google's Personalized Homepage. If you haven't tried it out, it's amazing. Is Pageflake collaborative?

Lorie
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Glen Davies -
Hi Everyone

I am a colleague of Derek & Derek from down here at the bottom of the world (or top of the world depending on which way up the universe is ;-)

Some past thoughts from me on PLEs here
http://21stcenturylearner.host4learning.com/category/ples/

I think it is useful to look at the idea of PLEs, but I think there is a danger in trying to institutionalise the concept, or in trying to come up with an application that is a PLE. Although the likes of PLEX,  ELGG, Facebook are interesting from a personal learning perspective, I think a PLE is a collection of tools ranging from local filesystem, desktop, email, wordprocessor, feedreader, pda, flash drive,  google search engine, blog,  social networking site, etc.

Learners can/will use any combination of the above for their persoanl learning in both formal and informal situations. Different people will use different tools for different things at different times. We can provide some guidance as to which tools may be useful for which functions, but to try and wrap a single application or combination of applications in a bundle and call it a PLE is pointless in my view  - unless of course you are looking for research/development project funding ;-)

Regards
Glen
In reply to Glen Davies

Re: Welcome . . .

by Michele Martin -
Glen, I agree completely that there is danger in trying to institutionalize PLEs. For me what's most exciting about all of this are the choices we can make in what tools we use and how we use them. As soon as you start telling me that I MUST use pageflakes or wikispaces to organize myself, you're going to kill my ability to learn as effectively as I could.

I also agree that what learners need is some guidance in what tools might work well for different circumstances. They might also need some guidance in seeing themselves as self-directed learners.  I work in a business environment and what I find is that most people see learning as something that happens in a classroom. My greatest challenge is getting them to realize that they can and should be self-directed learners.
In reply to Michele Martin

Re: Welcome . . .

by Tia Carr Williams -

Hi Everyone,

I couldn't resist  coming aboard as I was receiving your posts to my mailbox you were all making such valuable and valid comments, Ive decided to join in.

Whilst not a formal educator, I work at desiging online environments that engage creative HCI (Human Computer Interface) for the purpose of driving either social collaboration as in social media or educational development, such as serious games. With the high level of creative tools and multimedia opportunities afforded by Web 2.0 products, everyone has an opportunity to engage in 'creativity' hitherto denied, I will explain elsewhere.

I currently work with a very developed PLE and GLE which I shall discuss the merits of during this conference.  However, I have to comment on the necessity to adapt online environments to address blended learning needs. Each learner has a preference, a style and unequivocally, a motivation. Without the latter, there's no learning. In order to enable 'net learning', there has to be a very accessible learning curve that enables the tools to be deployed. This is the first obstacle to surmount.

 

Tia Carr Williams

In reply to Tia Carr Williams

Re: Welcome . . .

by E.A. Draffan -

I just had to join as well and I cannot believe how many posts there are already...  I think I shall be in overload mode before too long!

I am now working on a research project with students - hoping to show how they make use of technologies for learning, including social networking applications during their time at university. http://www.lexdis.ecs.soton.ac.uk 

We also hope to lend the student voice to issues around the use of assistive technologies with on-line learning and Facebook etc.

Best wishes E.A.

In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Ray Sims -

Hi all,

In way of self-introduction...

I've been in the personal learning environment conversation for about four months now. Most of my prior writing on the topic is found in my blog under the 'personal learning environments' category.

My background is in corporate "knowledge management" and "learning and development" functions. I was introduced to the topic of "personal knowledge management" in 2001 and am still sorting out what the distinction between this term and "personal learning environment" might be beyond the former being more a process-oriented information management choice of language, and the latter being more a resource-oriented and learning choice of language. As noted by others here already, either term can be taken too quickly to a technology focus, whereas (even as a bit of a technologist that tends to write about the tools aspects) I believe tools are just one aspect of personal self-directed and -managed learning and information management. The corporate "knowledge management" discipline went through a similar "It is all about technology, Not!" cycle in the mid-to-late-1990s -- not to the betterment of results.

I last worked at Novell, a 4500 person enterprise software company. As of May 2007 I am on sabbatical with an intention of diving deeper yet into the personal learning environment topic, among others. Alas, my first month of sabbatical has been more consumed by transition related work, putting in place a foundation for my eventual job search, and an opportunistic job exploration...so, not as much progress as I dreamed a month ago. Perhaps our conversation here will kick me back into a higher gear. I'm looking forward to it. 

I live in the Boston area in the USA.

Ray

In reply to Ray Sims

Re: Welcome . . .

by Derek Wenmoth -
Hi Ray - welcome to our discussion.
Great to have someone with your experience participating - as you'll see from what's been happening so far, there is quite a mix of people in the group, including several who, like yourself, have been thinking and writing about PLE's for a while now.
Like you I believe there is a strong link between personal knowledge management and the PLE, with a lot of "blurring" of boundaries between the two concepts. It would be interesting to carry this line of thinking across to a different thread of the discussion, and perhaps start by listing the half dozen or so bullet points that characterise personal knowledge management - with a view to doing the same for a PLE eventually as people share their understandings?
In reply to Derek Wenmoth

Re: Welcome . . .

by Ray Sims -

Thanks Derek.

I may take that 'challenge' to map PKM and PLE distinctions on. First, I need to  carve out some time to catch-up both with old PKM writing and the more recent conversation below:

Further confounding is the blurriness between 'learning' environment and 'doing' environment where the latter also so benefits from some of the same "Web 2.0" tools. Some representative blog conversation on this:

Tony Karrer: Blogging Inside or Outside the Corporation Firewall
Personal Work and Learning Environments (PWLE)-More Discussion
and the part-1.

Jay Cross: Semantics & the first place

My short post in March: PLE as Retreat versus Productivity Suite

Not sure if this second distinction (doing vs. learning, contrast to first distinction learning vs. KM) applies in the Education context...is education necessarily all 'learning' and no 'doing'? (wrote with a bit of a grin coming from an academic family and being married to an university professor.)

Ray

In reply to Ray Sims

PLE's PKM Work PWKM PWLE

by Derek Chirnside -
Ray, if anyone was going to get their thinking about PLE's  in a muddle, following these links in your post to a depth of two clicks would do it. wink

Some bits:
The personalised homepage with calendar, alerts, links, feeds, news, to do lists, weather, stockprices, gadgets and knowledge sources is fast becoming the norm. The point is that the learning is part of the doing – it’s next to your calendar and things to do list. It’s part of your everyday life.
Donald Clark

Not enough to qualify for a PLE for me.  A good start maybe, but only a part of one. (And in passing, I do acknowledge your reaction to 'next to my to do list')  My to do list is well removed from my work area.  It is set on beep for significant things, like 'pick up daughter'.  But it is NOT in my face. 1. Gadgets are too low powered for me.  2. RSS feeds not powerful enough - need more than an RSS squeezed in with the weather reports . . .

Donald also says: As we’re now witnessing the death of the compliant learner

(Hope he is right - he is an optimist)

From Tony Karrer: What sparks this post is the combination of a recent post by Stephen Downes that includes a brief exchange with Jay Cross in the comments and some interesting discussions

Hmm.  I followed a few of these links to the debate, straining out gnats, lots of debate over words, I'll wait for some light to join the heat.  I sometimes think Stephen functions like a panel beater.  There is a problem, we all acknowledge it.  But to set things right he gives things a huge whack in the opposite direction. 

PWLE - I'm assuming Tony Karrer did invent this term:

I've run across a few different posts talking about Personal Work and Learning Environments which I have tentatively started to call PWLE - pronounced p-whale.

Well, the dilemma of sense making i the blogosphere :-)

You are right: You actually have to manage the concepts PLE and PKM - as you say.  Institutions need to manage the corperate KM.  Which rests in people. Then we have the concept of Work.  (And the blurring of this, by the way in many of our lives)  Someone in one of the blogs mentioned productivity also.

How do we sort this all out in our minds?  I've found the exercise of defining my own current approach to my own 'personal' PLE very helpful.  I don't have to worry about definitions etc, but instead look at all these concepts we have between us unearthed: flexibility, accessibility, currency, power, information flow, creativity etc.  [I could trawl the posts to acknowledge these, but that may come later]
I'm now looking at this for my institution: what do we need to offer and support staff and students?

A PLE (if such a thing does exist)  is not a thing, but (as I may argue later) we may engage with several things, like a business/education LMS, - it's an attitude, a working environment that connects us to a collection of tools we dip into and out of over time. 
As a side comment: I think we must feel good about it.  It's not just a jug to make coffee, I want it to look good, feel good, feel comfortable.

So it's the first thing I'd suggest people do: mind map their own PLE and see where there are strengths, gaps, duplications, efficiencies.

Hmm.  Need to open up a closing the seminar thread soon.  If you have got thinking to do, posts to post, ideas to float . . 







In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: PLE's PKM Work PWKM PWLE

by Nancy Riffer -
Some bits:
The personalised homepage with calendar, alerts, links, feeds, news, to do lists, weather, stockprices, gadgets and knowledge sources is fast becoming the norm. The point is that the learning is part of the doing – it’s next to your calendar and things to do list. It’s part of your everyday life.
Donald Clark



Not enough to qualify for a PLE for me. (Derek)

Derek, I'd like to know what's missing.  You answered in terms of general functionality but it would help me to have some examples at the level of this quote or examples of tools you might use for those functions.  The description quoted above is much more specific.
In reply to Nancy Riffer

Re: PLE's PKM Work PWKM PWLE

by Derek Chirnside -
I'm sorry Nancy, I'll come back to this.  Here's me falling into the trap I've not liked and trying to avoid: that of the quibbles over definitions.
Watch this space.
I probably will not change my mind, but I can qualify it.

-Derek
In reply to Nancy Riffer

Re: PLE's PKM Work PWKM PWLE

by Ray Sims -
Hi Nancy,

I'll jump in on this one. For me what is missing in the "personalised homepage" as described by Donald Clark includes support for Reflection, Interaction, Personal Network Management, and Source (URL and file) Management. In way of tools/application categories and specific examples:
  • mindmapping and other visualization (e.g. Mindmanager and Freemind)
  • wiki (e.g. Mediawiki, phpwiki, etc.)
  • office application suite (e.g. OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Office)
  • annotation and notetaking (e.g. Google Notes)
  • blog application (e.g. Wordpress, Typepad,  Blogger, etc.)
  • telecomm and IM (e.g. Skype)
  • social network application (e.g. LinkedIn)
  • social bookmarking application (e.g. del.icio.us)
Although useful portion, I wouldn't consider my personal homepage (e.g. Netvibes, iGoogle) close to the entire "PLE" as I'm not  seeing particular advantage or ability to deeply integrate some of the above, which for me are also essential components, especially if blurring  'working' with ' learning' personal environments.

Does this help?

Ray
In reply to Ray Sims

Re: PLE's PKM Work PWKM PWLE

by Nancy Riffer -
Yes, Ray.  This is exactly what I was asking.  I understand much more clearly what is being referred to.  (I didn't mean to raise a question about definitions.)  Thank you.
In reply to Ray Sims

The iPod PLE

by Derek Chirnside -
There is another option to PC's (like Derek's original description: From Re: collecting information feeds for yourself and others? by dwenmoth on Monday, 4 June 2007 3:26:00 p.m.:  All of these things are very useful - the NetVibes account in particular as it enables me to access my PLE from anywhere or any machine. On the other hand, I tend to travel everywhere with my laptop - I POP all my mail to my email client installed on my laptop, and do the same with my RSS aggregator (NetNewsWire) so I can read through it all when offline - and since it manages all of my passwords etc so well, I tend to regard that as my PLE - a sort of on-line and off-line combination. )
You can use iPods.
I work with Bruce who claims to live a paperless life.  He nearly manages it.  It's his Paperless Learning Environment.

He uses two computers: both high spec'd Mac's. One at home, one at work.  Plus 1 iPod acting as a synced HDD.

Have a current (say) 10 gig of files that get worked on at work, synced to iPod, home to computer and synced there.

He develops for the web, PHP, java script and Flash.  Has a current working copy of major projects with him (pus a few things like a server and other geek stuff).  No backup problems.

Has all the other Mac goodies that help our lives . . .

Plus: easier to bike home without a laptop and you get iTunes as well.
Minus: need 2 computers.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: The iPod PLE

by Emma Duke-Williams -

I'd been thinking about a top of the range PDA (or ultra super portable lappy) - on the grounds that you can carry it more easily than a lappy, but, you'd be able to manipulate the files on it, use it to present slideshows etc., even if the screen is a bit small for longterm use.

I had a feel of one of the Samsung Q1 machines at Bett (Educational Technology Show in London) earlier this year. While it wouldn't be practical as an only machine, I think that it & one other laptop (+ external screen/ keyboard), might give you a good working solution. Not that I've got one mind, so not sure how good they'd be long term.

I also don't think that I'd ever get to be totally paperless. I like being able to write things, to choose the colours that I use, etc. I *need* paper, though electrons are jolly useful a lot of the time!

 

In reply to Ray Sims

Request from the TALO list: web 2.0 and professionals

by Derek Chirnside -
This is from Merolee Penman at Otago Polytech:
From the TALO list

Hello all
I know how productive TALO can be.....I'm hoping that I can now be helped!

With Leigh's help at Otago Polytechnic, I've been working with a group of occupational therapists to develop their skills in using Web 2.0 tools.  My plan is that over time we will increase not only the presence of our profession on the Web, but that therapists will start to see the potential of using Web 2.0 tools as the means by which they can have their learning needs met.. Ie instead of siginig up to go to a conference, they would request from their manager the same amount of time to use the web to build their knowledge about a particular area of OT practice.

On Monday I'm presenting an elearning conference and I want to make this statement but I'd love to know if its true or not.......

Most educators exploring the use of Web 2.0 tools for student learning do so within an undergraduate or postgraduate course at the tertiary level or with the classroom K-12.  Few are considering how Web 2.0 tools can aid in a professional working full-time to have their learning needs met.  Is this right?

I see examples of this in individuals - ie creating their own personal learning environment - that is open to the world to view - eg Konrad is an example.... but is anyone working with any professional group anywhere as I am??????  I think its happening in teacher professional development - but specific examples would be good.

So.. just to be clear - I don't need examples of how people are teaching students who are learning to be teachers, or doctors or chefs or whatever to use web 2.0 tools in specific educational programmes - this is about professionals in their every day work learning the value of say blogging, just as they have learnt the value of say conferences....

Oh... and thats the other bit I get confused about - is it Web 2.0 tools or what is the phrase I can use after web 2.0.

Many thanks in hopeful anticipation..

Any others to add to the list below??
Any comments?
I'll tell Merolee this post is here . . .

Ray: http://blog.simslearningconnections.com/?p=17
Michelle
Ron
Derek
Tony
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Request from the TALO list: web 2.0 and professionals

by Janet Bowen -

I am an instructional designer creating learning for corporate training. Some of the courses are being deployed in the Web 2.0 platform. I'm not sure how effective the learning is with these tools and options, it is still fairly new. Corporate America is seeing this as a possible option to cut the cost of down time and conference expenditures to keep their employees properly trained in their field.

Janet Bowen M. Ed.

In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Request from the TALO list: web 2.0 and professionals

by Linda Hartley -
I see examples of this in individuals - ie creating their own personal learning environment - that is open to the world to view - eg Konrad is an example.... but is anyone working with any professional group anywhere as I am??????  I think its happening in teacher professional development - but specific examples would be good.
Hi - I've been following this conversation in RSS but you've wormed me out of the woodwork! I created the Classroom Displays Blog with the stated intention of providing teachers with a resource that might influence they way they see Web 2.0 tools for their own learning. My hope is that then they might start to see it's potential for the learning of their students. This is informal learning and personal development. Is this the sort of thing you had in mind?
In reply to Linda Hartley

Re: Request from the TALO list: web 2.0 and professionals

by Derek Chirnside -
Linda, thanks, I think so.  Merolee is a friend of mine, and will host conversation at efest, a national e-learning conference here next week.
(Conversations are not quite a workshop and definitely NOT a lecture . . .   )

You say 'their own learning     . . .  '.  is it working?? - are teachers seeing the potential for their own learning?  [Or will they become one of the many that teach blogging, use blogs with their classes and don't blog!!]

-Derek
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Request from the TALO list: web 2.0 and professionals

by Linda Hartley -
Hi - well, some of the people making comments on the blog move towards making contributions to the archive of images of their own by joining the Flickr group. I'm starting to see displays appear in the group that echo and reflect the influence of others. It's a slow process. Some of the group are bloggers in their own right, others blog with their classes. I'm not sure you should knock that - as they see the impact on the children's learning they do start to make the connection :-)
 Impact isn't instant - it's more of a slow burn. 
In reply to Linda Hartley

Re: Request from the TALO list: web 2.0 and professionals

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
This weekend I attended a presentation by a Nobel Laureate, who stated very strongly that K-12 education has failed the sciences because it has failed to teach students to think like scientists. Quality project-based learning can fill that gap.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Welcome . . .

by Nancy Riffer -
I've decided to jump in, too. 
I'm a life long learner with a strong interest in self-directed learning.  PLEs have interested me since I first heard the term.
As I approach the postings in this seminar it is easy to feel overloaded.  I'm wondering how other people handle keeping up with posts and following links.  Do you have a way of approaching this much information efficiently?
In reply to Nancy Riffer

Catching up.

by Derek Chirnside -
Nancy, a good question.  Here's a few suggestions . . .
  1. You will never manage to read and digest everything.  Don't beat up on yourself.  I have long passed the stage of thinking I need to read do everything.  It only resurfaces sometime.
  2. Have you thought of using annotations?  Ctrl-Shift S gets you a yellow bar, and the ability to highlight text and write a small comment.  [Sylvie, is there a lnk to a help page maybe with a pic of the bar]
  3. Maybe: browse, then chose a thread - open it up in a window - read over it and dip in where you want. 
    I recommend using the nested option for the forums - which gives a sense of who relied to who.  Switch to newest first when you come back . . .
  4. Cut and paste into a reply box in another window: this give you the cool link back to the post functionality.
  5. Then hit submit.
I find, when I come in late - and even when I dont . . .
  • Insecurity that someone may have posted the same thing before I do (I think I skim to reduce this possibility, then ignore the feeling)
  • A tendency to get lost in links and sidetracks.  Discipline, discipline!!  And use delicious . . . (and the other tools in your PLE)  :-)
  • A habit of rambling and losing the track.  But it's great to stimulate my thinking!
Any other thoughts anybody . . .  ???? - Derek


In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Catching up.

by Sylvia Currie -
Yes! The annotation tool can be really useful for adding the notes that come to mind as you're reading the discussion and flagging items you want to come back to. The notes can be public or private. It works with Firefox and Internet Explorer.

To activate Marginalia open a discussion thread in the seminar forum then select "my annotations" from pull down menu at the top right. A side panel will appear. Select some text then move your mouse to the right until you see a yellow vertical bar. Click on that bar to add your annotation.

Here's a link to Geof Glass' site with background information about the marginalia annotation tool and a demo on how to use it. http://www.geof.net/code/annotation

In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Catching up.

by Emma Duke-Williams -
I recommend using the nested option for the forums - which gives a sense of who relied to who.  Switch to newest first when you come back . . .

I think that I've said in another discussion here that one of the strengths of the WebCT discussion tool, over this one, is the fact that you can hide read messages, which I often find useful. (It's a toggle on/ off, so good if you want to see what triggered a particular response).

I've got "track unread messages" ticked, but that doesn't seem to work if I've disabled it sending me emails. I've found that when I disable the emails, it puts a box round the messages that I've not read, which speeds up finding them. If I've enabled sending emails, then it figures I've read them, so doesn't box them. I'd like both! (email copies are handy if you want to reply privately, and to warn you that there are new messages, not that you really need them at the moment - it's more at the end when things die down they're useful)

Derek, you have mentioned "del.icio.us". Does it let you bookmark individual messages? [N.B. not really a del.icio.us fan, but I guess that if I want to share bookmarks, I'm going to have to get into it. ]

One other thing that I do, but would like it if Moodle could do it, would be the ability to see all messagse when you reply to a particular one. I tend to find that I have two tabs open, one with the thread & one with the reply, so that I can refer to other messages if I want to.

In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Delicious and one post.

by Derek Chirnside -
Emma, sorry.  I didn't notice your question about delicious.
In answer to your question, I have not been able to do it in Moodle.
Maybe there is a work around (like this http://del.icio.us/derekcx/testmoodle) but it's not a happy one.

Sylvia: there is no way to get one post on a page is there?
-Derek
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Delicious and one post.

by Sylvia Currie -
Here's how I view a single post (which you can then bookmark or link to from somewhere else)
  • Choose "display replies in threaded form"
  • Click the link for the message you want to display, or just right click to copy it without opening.
You'll now have a URL for a single message, with links below to any further replies.

Like Emma, I also go the tab route. Right now I have 13 tabs opened in Firefox! (4 SCoPE tabs, gmail, google reader, google calendar, facebook, pageflake, a couple email attachments which I always open in a browser if I can so I don't have to download, pageflake, ACM Digital library). I think Bronwyn and probably others also mentioned Firefox + tabs as a way to keep their "environment" organized.



 

In reply to Nancy Riffer

Re: Welcome . . .

by Heather Ross -
Life long learning has come up a few times during this seminar and it's reminded me of a presentation I sat in on at AMTEC/CADE. Susan Zahn, an instructional designer with the American Academy of Pediatrics was speaking about their Web site, PediaLink. Anyone who is a member of the Academy can login and use this as a place to store questions that they want to research later, look up learning resources, take some pre-tests to determine where they made need to take some of their required continuing professional learning hours, and touch base with others through the discussion boards.

Residents are required to use this Web site for various assigned activities. It's the hope of the Susan and those she works with that this requirement early on will encourage the residents to become life long learners. I'm not sure how well that will work, but it's an interesting approach.

Susan said something that stood out for me. They surveyed practicing pediatricians and asked them what they did when a patient asked a question and they couldn't answer it right then. Most of them responded that they kept note cards in their pockets, but often never got back to them. The section on the Web site that allows the doctors to log questions that they can research later came out of that one question.
In reply to Nancy Riffer

Re: Welcome . . .

by E.A. Draffan -

Nancy, I am failing dismally with work going on and this fascinating on-line discussion. I regret to say the posts with links and points to ponder upon go into a folder marked PLE. smile  The problem is I have a folder from past SCoPE discussions as well and it will take a holiday to go through them and the one thousand odd e-mails that need clearing up! 

Management gurus say you read once and store or action or whatever - I wish I was a better exponent of their strategies and really do wonder how I can advise students when I am drowning under the weight of so many goodies myself?  Are there any fool proof strategies for setting up personal spaces as well as guidance on the tools that are available?  (ever hopeful thought - ones that suit most learning preferences and can be used, back and front end, with assistive technologies thoughtful)