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Monday, April 23, 2007

More on Personal Learning Environments

Ray Sims has a great post on Personal Learning Environment and personal learning environments. His diagram and description that states that we not only each have our own personal learning environment, but that we are interconnected in all sorts of ways and need to be able to group things together for certain kinds of groups (organizational, informal, etc.) very much aligns with my mental model.

Ray tells us...
What I am reaching for is an optimized environment for Learning AND a loosely-couple optimized environment for Doing.
I agree with his overall goal, but I'm not sure I separate Learning and Doing. In fact, the ideal in most cases is that learning is set up as doing. When I was a professor, I normally tried to start my lectures by setting up the problem. It gives context for what they were going to learn. And since I was teaching techies who are natural problem solvers, it engaged them in something they love. In other words, I don't agree on two environments - Doing and Learning should be the same. Am I doing or learning right now?

Ray goes on to say...
I see the opportunity for Learning Communities to facilitate some common toolsets where the community members have an easy-to-get-started-with PLE that easily integrates with others in the same learning community, while also are connected to others outside the community.
This is a great point. We definitely need easier, starter versions of personal learning support - but starter versions that head you in the right direction longer term.

Great stuff Ray.


jay said...

Well said, Tony. I am noodling over the concepts of Personal Learning Environments and ePortfolios in a business context. I conclude that learning = doing and see no reason to split the two. PLEs are the training wheels version of the real work bicycle. Organizations with goals to meet should describe what an ideal bicycle looks like.


Tony Karrer said...

Great point jay. I've been wondering the same thing. Certainly for information work there's little separation.