This time it's personal

Personal. Idiosyncratic. Individual. Separate. Different. Unique. Singular. Distinct. You.

Yes, you. Nobody else is like you. Many are similar, but only you are... you. That means that when you learn, you do it differently to everyone else. If you are a student you may be sat in the same classroom or lecture hall as many other students, and listening to the same content, but you interpret it differently to everyone else. You have a unique experience, peculiar to you. You have your own preferences, approaches and strategies. It follows that the tools and technologies you use for learning are those you have selected to use because you are (or should be) comfortable with them, personally. These tools, services and technologies become a part of your personal learning environment or PLE. The PLE is an approach rather than a technology.  It is something that evolves as we evolve, and adapts to our new knowledge and skills, our changing contexts and our circumstances.

Much has been written on PLEs, including a wealth of peer reviewed journal articles that feature empirical research. There is also at least one specialised conference dedicated to the concept. You can trawl the Web (using your PLE tools) and discover many videos, websites and blogs that focus largely on PLEs and their place in education. There is also a strong discourse around PLEs and the philosophy that underpins the concept.

One of my third year teacher education students, Tyla Elworthy, added to the discourse recently when she decided to create an animated video about PLEs and personalised learning. View it and I think you will agree that she has captured the essences of the idea, along with some useful discussion around its significance in education, now and in the near future.

Photo by Adib Wahab

Creative Commons License

This time it's personal by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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