Posts Tagged ‘ple’
Communication dynamics: Discussion boards, weblogs and the development of communities of inquiry in online learning environments
Online learning environments (OLEs) are now critical to teaching and learning across Australian higher education. Their influence impacts on the availability of content, the design of courses and, perhaps most pedagogically significantly, the nature of communication. The discussion board is the ubiquitous communication tool within these OLEs and hence significantly shapes the kind of communication that takes place. In light of this, the degree to which a successful community of inquiry can be facilitated through the use of discussion boards is examined and compared to the possibilities afforded by weblogs in the same role. Weblogs, it is argued, offer new opportunities in the development of social, cognitive and teacher presence online and should be considered in the development of or alongside established OLEs.
Why do we need a PLE when we already have the Internet? The Internet is my PLE, ePortfolio, VLE what ever. Thanks to blogger, bloglines, flickr, delicious, wikispaces, ourmedia, creative commons, and what ever comes next in this new Internet age, I have a strong online ID and very extensive and personalised learning environment. Actually I think the PLE idea is better envisioned by the futurist concept known as the Evolving Personalised Information Construct (EPIC). I think we already have EPIC, so why do we need the PLE?
I’ve been trying to get my head around the viability of moving educational programming from institutionally centered Learning Management Systems (LMS) systems, or even institutionally owned and controlled educational social systems like Elgg or Barnraiser, to a distributed and likely syndicated set of tools often referred to as Personal Learning Environments (PLE). The recent postings by Leigh Blackall, response by Dave Cormier and the work of Paul Trafford and his RAMBLE project at Oxford got me thinking. James Farmer’s pioneering 2004 work applying our Community of inquiry to blogging and Michael Hotrum’s comments on that work are also incorporated in the ideas below.
We in educational technology are often accused of focusing too much attention on technology and tools rather than cognitive processes. I’ve struggled with this myself, most often because I enjoy assessing the learning potential of new technologies. John Seeley Brown might call this tinkering. I get a charge out of playing with the tools myself and presenting them to my students to see what happens. As a teacher, I’m all about what is practical in the classroom (even if I sometimes try to push the limits of innovation). My evolution from teacher to researcher has been a long journey. All those prior years of classroom experience influence my perspective. I “know” something works with students because I feel it in my gut. There is never time to sit back and observe what happens before moving on to the next challenge.
Focused research on student construction of personal learning environments has given me the opportunity to sit back and watch learning from a process perspective. What processes do students go through when constructing personal learning environments?
In April 2007, I started to explore personal learning environments (PLEs) and how people are using a combination of on and off-line tools to turbo-charge their own learning.
My first post on the topic continues to be the most popular post on this blog. In it, I shared a mindmap of my PLE that I’d created, along with an analysis of how I used the various tools. Since then, I’ve written a number of other posts exploring various facets of personal learning and how to implement PLEs on both an individual and an organizational level.
How Web 2.0 supports interaction, usability and relevance in online learning.
- Manage Activities, People and Resources
- Opportunities Explorer
- RSS subscription
- Atom, FOAF, Blogger support
- IMS Enterprise support
- Resource manager view to organise your favourite files and web links
The rather hazy concept of a PLE has been around for a while now, but with CETIS receiving JISC funding to develop afor the PLE space, the pace of work, and debate, in this area has increased lately.
Thewas actually the second part of a two-day event. On the first day, the PLE team (based at the Universities of Bolton and Strathclyde) had gathered together a group of ‘experts’ to discuss the PLE concept. All participants provided a position paper and the day was spent debating some of the key issues. Readers are recommended to look at these as they reflect some of the very interesting thinking that is taking place in this area.
The second day was designed to report back on those discussions as well as present our current thinking on the nature of Personal Learning Environments to a wider audience. The audience of around 50 included some of the experts from the previous days meeting, as well as a cross section of learning technologists and lecturers from across HE and FE, many of whom are regulars from other Pedagogy forum meetings. With an area which is new and relatively uncharted, it was important not too preach too much and so the day was designed to include as much group discussion as presentation.
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