This paper reports on the findings of a study into the use of ePortfolios as personal learning environments (PLE) by a group of students pursuing Master’s degrees in Education. The qualitative study explores the potential of the ePortfolio to support learners in engaging in formative peer andtutor feedback as well as in developing a learning community. Within this study, the ePortfolio is presented as an alternative to the discussion forums based in the institutional virtual learning environment (VLE), as it combines the individual, reflective benefits of the PLE with the communal, social benefits offered via the discussion forums. Data were collected of the interactional content that students created through the ePortfolio (blog posts and responses to others’ posts) as well as through a focus group interview with the participating students that explored the learners’ perceptions of the ePortfolio as a support mechanism for their study on a specific module. The findings of the study indicate that while in many ways learners’ online interactions through the ePortfolio were similar to those described in VLE discussion forums, there were several key advantages to positioning this dialogue within a PLE, including encouraging deep rather than surface approaches to learning and providing the opportunity to construct a personal and re-traceable narrative of the individual’s learning journey.
Developing an information and knowledge society involves the incorporation of technological tools into education. This can only happen if teachers are properly qualified to include such tools into the classroom dynamics. The present article brings to the forefront a training proposal framed within an R&D project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under the title of “Design, production and evaluation in a 2.0 learning environment for the training of university teachers in the educational use of Information and Communication Technologies
(ICTs) (EDU2009-08 893),” which has as its aim to incorporate technology tools both into classroom dynamics and into teachers’ professional development.
Ricardo Torres and Grainne Conole made the questions.
"1- What is your personal digital learning environment and how do you use it?
2- What are the main obstacles for building and maintaining a Personal Digital Learning Environment? 3- How has your use of technologies changed in the last five years? 4- What are your views on the PLE vs VLE debate? is the VLE really dead?"
Some major thinkers about PLE's have answered.
An excelent pice of content about Personal Learning Environments.
- Using SymbalooEDU as a PLE Organizer in Higher Education;
- Building Identity in an Institutionally Supported Personal Learning Environment - the case of SAPO Campus;
- Steps to Reflect on the Personal Learning Environment. Improving the Learning Process?
- Introducing Personal Learning Environments to Informal Learners: Lessons Learned from the OpenLearn Case Study;
- Developing Work based Personal Learning Environments in Small and Medium Enterprises;
- Enhancing Self Regulated Learning Skills for Improved PLE Use: A Problem Based Learning Approach;
- Sapo Campus Schools as a Disruptive Innovation Tool: Could it be the Educational Ba?
- Pedagogical Practices, Personal Learning Environments and the Future of eLearning;
- The Impact of Culture on Personalization of Learning Environments: Some Theoretical Insights;
- Psychological Ownership and Personal Learning Environments: Do sense of ownership and control really matter? - PLE-based ePortfolios: Towards Empowering Student Teachers’ PLEs through ePortfolio Processes;
- Analysis of Personal Learning Networks in Support of Teachers Presence Optimization;
- Future Teachers Looking for their PLEs: the Personalized Learning Process Behind it all;
- “Tips for Making a Movie”, a Learning Object for Autonomous Learning;
- First Time Building of a PLE in an ICT Post Graduation Course: Main Functions and Tools;
- Building Personal Learning Networks through Event- Based Social Media: a Case Study of the SMiLE Project;
- Sharing Personal Learning Environments for Widget Based Systems using a Widget Marketplace;
- Just4me: Functional Requirements to Support Informal Self-directed Learning in a Personal Ubiquitous Environment;
- Building a Shared Personal Learning Environment with SAPO Campus;
- Drupal as a Social Hub for Personal Learning;
- Designing and Implementing PLEs in a Secondary School Using Web2.0 Tools;
- Online Learning Communities: from Personal to Social Learning Environments.
Doctoral Consortium Sapo Campus Schools: Network Learning, Teaching and People;
- Diverse Knowledge Practices through Personal Learning Environments – A theoretical Framework
As social technology use is increasing in e-learning, so is the need to complement theoretical work with studies of learner experiences of the new dynamics of e-learning to guide this development. We studied how 15 learners experienced social media tools in a long continuous professional development (CPD) pilot training tailored for a large insurance company. While the training included some contact lectures, it was mainly conducted through blog, wiki, chat, and discussion forum tools. As we have already discussed forum and chat use in another paper on a shorter CPD training (with 40 learners) and this study confirmed the results, we focus here on learner experiences of wiki and blog. While the wiki process was widely misunderstood, wiki and blog experiences organically led learners to consider their uses as a personal learning environment.
As to blog, the learners who saw it as a tool for self-reflection perceived it positively while others did not, underlining that the benefits and goals of using social tools need to be explicated. Furthermore, social learning process needs to be designed and maintained, as busy workplace learners tend to focus on fulfilling requirements. Simply adding social technology does not necessarily lead to social e-learning.
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