What are Personal Learning Environments?


Personal learning environments (PLEs) are often described as systems for enabling self-directed and group-based learning, designed around each user's goals, with great capacity for flexibility and customization. PLEs are conceived as drawing on a variety of discrete tools, chosen by the learner, which can be connected or used in concert in a transparent way. While the concept of PLEs is still quite fluid, it does seem to be clear that a PLE is not simply a technology but an approach or process that is individualized by design, and thus different from person to person. It involves sociological and philosophical considerations and cannot be packaged, passed out, and handed around as a cell phone or tablet computer could. Widespread adoption of PLEs, once the tools and approaches are clearer, will almost certainly also require a shift in attitudes toward technology, teaching, and learning.


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