Personal Learning Environments June 4-24, 2007

Business World and PLE . . . (Part One)

Business World and PLE . . . (Part One)

by Derek Chirnside -
Number of replies: 1
I feel a little like Sylvia: From intentional learning, with new tools and attitude by scurrie on Saturday, 16 June 2007 10:36:00 a.m.: There is something about this topic. It's a little mind bending. I feel like things click one minute and then the next I've lost it again.

I've wanted to pick up at some stage the question that was among our first posts in this seminar, the business setting.
Brenda posts - From Re: Welcome . . . by harpsouth on Monday, 4 June 2007 5:15:00 a.m.: 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.
We have dabbled a little on this: there is the tension between public/private that Emma comments on:
From Re: learning in isolation by emmadw on Monday, 18 June 2007 6:48:00 a.m.: Besides that, for me, particularly, a PLE only makes sense if it is shared with others, so that others also have a(nother) change to contribute to my learning, by commenting on it.
While I agree in general that a PLE needs to have a community input, I think that it is vital (to ensure the *personal* side) that the owner has the ability to determine who, if anyone, has access to particular resources - and that this can change over time. I would be very wary of a PLE that is totally transparent - where one can have no private, personal areas.
For the vast majority of learners (probably large) sections will be visible to (selected) others. For the minority of users, the largest sections will be those that are invisible.


I think we are back to the "what's a PLE question again?"
Businesses have a special need.  There is constant debate about what can be shared outside and inside.  Case in point: one large multinational engineering firm has a community partly run by a friend of mine.  He runs groups within it in about 2 days of time each week.  Knowledge, documents, reports etc are stored, circulated, used etc.
Some end up outside (conferences, websites, journals etc).
There are powerful tools built into the community platform.  Tags, reminders, follow up, drafts, etc etc.  But this is not a PLE.
<to be continued> sorry about this.  I've got to kill by browser now.  Part two coming later.
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Business World and PLE . . . (Part Two)

by Derek Chirnside -
Sorry to do this in two parts, someone came in and said restart browser now.

<cont>But this is not a PLE
It's an institutionally provided receptacle for certain conversations in written/digital form.  But the company recognises that this is not the real knowledge - the real knowledge is in people.  It's just that the company provides the place for certain interactions to occur.
There is some distinction here between Personal KM and Corporate KM.
Maybe like a Personal LE and a Corporate LE.
And I know some will spit at this very idea.  dead

I just have not got my mind around it in a general sense.  Ray links to some blog posts here -  From Re: Welcome . . . by rsims on Thursday, 7 June 2007 6:48:00 p.m.: I may take that 'challenge' to map PKM and PLE distinctions on. I've posted something there in response, but it is a little muddly.

Back to this engineering company: they provide help and (dare I use the word) training in using other tools.  I'm not sure exactly what, but it has included google docs, and may have included delicious.  It has certainly included managing e-mails, folders, organisation or files.

I'm now thinking aloud a bit here.  What the university provides (eg where I work) does need some walls.  I think.  Some learners need to get rid of a few of their fears and preconceptions.  It's a strongly held view by some students I have interviewed . . . they don't want to have their shakey first steps out there for all to see.  They need some boundaries within which they are free.  I think this is reality - For a different reason, businesses need walls of some kind as well, with some stuff behind the password.

Glen has joked a bit recently: "Lets set up an LMS with two things: a drop box for receiving assignments and a notice board for dishing them out" and everything else - do it yourself".  (Blogs, wikis etc etc)  Probably wouldn't work.  Many people are not ready yet.

Quoting Michelle quoting Sylvia . .    : From Re: intentional learning, with new tools and attitude by michelemmartin@gmail.com on Sunday, 17 June 2007 4:47:00 a.m.:
Sylvie, I think you're absolutely right here that the role of "teachers" in using PLEs is to help individuals develop the skills to manage their own learning and effectively access/use the tools of personal learning--whether on or off-line.

In my experience, learning for most people has become very passive. People wait for someone to decide what they should learn and wait for someone to teach it to them. The beauty of the personal learning concept for me is that it creates a construct for people to navigate through their own learning landscape, including deciding what they will learn and how they will learn it.

Businesses - in my ideal world - would inherit people who have been students where this PLE attitude has been grown and nurtured.  Won't happen for many students right now.
Businesses need therefore to nurture attitudes themselves.  Informal learning, lifelong learning, there is a whole industry out there.  Michelle's romantic view: The beauty of the personal learning concept for me is that it creates a construct for people to navigate through their own learning landscape I think has a lot going for it.

So how do we do this?  What does the business world need to provide?  How is the business world different to education?

I have thoughts for a part three, but I must go.