personal learning environments
Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them
This article was published at First Monday, Volume 17 Number 1 (27 December 2011) and authored by Rajagopal, Kamakshi, Joosten-ten Brinke, Desirée, Van Bruggen, Jan, AND Sloep, Peter.
Networking is a key skill in professional careers, supporting the individual’s growth and learning. However, little is known about how professionals intentionally manage the connections in their personal networks and which factors influence their decisions in connecting with others for the purpose of learning. In this article, we present a model of personal professional networking for creating a personal learning network, based on an investigation through a literature study, semi–structured interviews and a survey.
The NMC Horizon Project identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within education around the globe.
The workshop is intended to discuss and build an interdisciplinary understanding for the role of awareness and reflection in Personal Learning Environments. While different researchers have stressed the importance of awareness and reflection support in PLEs there is no agreed set of such functionalities in existence yet. Also we lack a structured overview of awareness ans reflections issues that learners are facing in their daily learning activities. As both researchers and developers interested in the PLE domain seem to be in need of such information in order to best tailor their R&D activities this workshop aims at collecting requirements and open issues in the domain.
Requirements on awareness and reflection support in PLEs
Awareness and reflection widgets (implementations, visions)
Awareness and reflection Mash-Ups
Awareness and reflection scenarios for formal or informal learning
Awareness and reflection support for researchers
Theory on awareness and reflection
Methods researching awareness and reflection
The workshop aims to attract participants from educational science, psychology, social science, computer science, and design to challenge the understanding of the research fields of awareness and reflection in Personal Learning Environments. We also aim to attract developers from academia and economy that implement personalizable learning environments. The workshop might attract researchers from the projects ROLE, MATURE, MIRROR, ImREAL, LTfLLL, STELLAR.
It goes on to consider some of the pressures for change in the present education systems. The idea of a Personal Learning Environment recognises that learning is ongoing and seeks to provide tools to support that learning. It also recognises the role of the individual in organising his or her own learning. Moreover, the pressures for a PLE are based on the idea that learning will take place in different contexts and situations and will not be provided by a single learning provider. Linked to this is an increasing recognition of the importance of informal learning.
The paper also looks at changing technology, especially the emergence of ubiquitous computing and the development of social software.
The paper believes that we are coming to realise that we cannot simply reproduce previous forms of learning, the classroom or the university, embodied in software. Instead, we have to look at the new opportunities for learning afforded by emerging technologies.
Social software offers the opportunity to narrow the divide between producers and consumers. Consumers themselves become producers, through creating and sharing. One implication is the potential for a new ecology of ‘open’ content, books, learning materials and multimedia, through learners themselves becoming producers of learning materials.
Social software has already led to the widespread adoption of portfolios for learners, bringing together learning from different contexts and sources of learning and providing an ongoing record of lifelong learning, capable of expression in different forms.
The paper considers how Personal Learning Environments might be developed through the aggregation of different services.
The final section provides examples of practices that show how PLEs may be used in the future.