Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) do exactly what they say on the can - they are personal to each individual, created by them, owned by them, used by them within their lifelong learning. Originally a counterpoint to the institutional Managed Learning Environment (iMLE or 'VLE'), PLEs are becoming a much talked about concept, and were the prime focus of the recently held PLE Conference in Cornella, Barcelona. Delegates at the conference could not agree whether PLEs should remain the sole domain of the learner, or whether in some way they could be incorporated into institutional infrastructures. Some argued strongly for sole student ownership, vehemently opposed to any institutional meddling in a personal learning environment. Others held the position that PLEs should have some insitutional provision incorporated within them. Still others thought that PLEs should be part of the institutional infrastructure, brought within the protective envelope of the university fire wall. Many located themselves in middle ground positions. My personal view is that students own and create their PLE but that the iMLE also has something to offer them, even though it is highly problematic in its current form. I am arguing that many students tend to avoid using the iMLE because they either find it difficult to use, or irrelevant to their daily learning needs. It is a clash of concepts, no bridge seems possible, and the problem appears to be intractable.
Via Eduardo Chaves Barboza, steve batchelder, michel verstrepen