• digital scholarship,  higher ed,  PLE,  twitter

    Say hello to PEE – your Personal Engagement Environment

    I’ve blogged about the Twitter Diaspora, arguing that Twitter was a default place for many in higher education. Alan suggests that the Town Hall was something of a myth, and while there’s probably some truth in that, I would content that, during the 2010s, if you were in higher ed, and active in social media, then you had a Twitter account. You would likely have other platforms also, and maybe some you preferred over Twitter, but Twitter could act as a default engagement platform. That assumption no longer holds true. In a very timely special issue of JIME on social media, Apostolos Koutropoulos and 8 co-authors consider this fragmentation of…

  • 25yearsedtech,  PLE

    25 Years of EdTech: 2011 – PLE

    Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) were an outcome of the proliferation of services that suddenly became available following the web 2.0 boom. Learners and educators began to gather a set of tools to realize a number of functions. In edtech, the conversation turned to whether these tools could be somehow “glued” together in terms of data. We got quite excited about the idea of eduglu, which might be a bit embarrassing now. Instead of talking about one LMS provided to all students, we were discussing how each learner had their own particular blend of tools. Yet beyond a plethora of spoke diagrams, with each showing a different collection of icons, the…

  • PLE

    Why don’t we talk about PLEs anymore

    I know some people will immediately respond to this title by declaring “I do! And look at all these other people who do”. And yes, there is a PLE conference. But my sense is that we don’t use the term, or more significantly, discuss the concept of Personal Learning Environments, like we did in 2010 say. This is not to disparage the term or work on it, I think it was very useful to frame the difference in the way we began to operate when all these new, easy to use tools suddenly became available. I’m interested from an educational technology perspective in what the decline in its usage tells us.…

  • IT services,  PLE,  VLE

    The centralisation dilemma in educational IT

    I wrote an article for a new journal, the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE). My piece was entitled ‘The centralisation dilemma in educational IT’. I argued that we have a centralisation – decentralisation cycle in educational IT, so we had distributed versions of VLE, which moved to a central VLE, and we are now seeing a shift back to decentralised cloud services. The arguments for a centralised VLE are: Uniformity of student experience Centralised support Quality assurance Efficiency Robustness Integration of different tools Staff development Platform for expanding elearning offerings Whereas the arguments for a decentralised model can be summarised as: Quality: The individual components of…

  • higher ed,  PLE,  publishing,  sociallearn,  Web/Tech

    Using learning environments as a metaphor for educational change

    Last year I wrote a piece for a special edition of On the Horizon, which Michael Feldstein was editing. It has (finally) appeared in print. Michael gained permission for authors to publish their work online also (the journal isn't open – boooo!) so here is the PDF of mine, and below the article itself. I haven't revisited it since I wrote it, and may disagree with what I said now, but I am trying to ensure I put all my publications online as they come out. [Published in On the Horizon 17(3) pp. 181-189]________________________________________________ Using learning environments as a metaphor for educational change. Martin Weller Abstract: Purpose: The central theme…

  • higher ed,  PLE,  twitter,  VLE,  web 2.0

    The long-awaited ‘education as fruit’ metaphor

    I have just returned from the ALT-C conference in Manchester, where I held a workshop with Brian Kelly called 'Realising Dreams, Avoiding Nightmares, Accepting Responsibilities'. My role was to present the future, and then for us to discuss what the obstacles were to realising it, and the related issues for educators, learners and IT services. Here is my presentation: Dreams of future learning View more presentations from mweller. In my talk I decided to use an extended (tortuous some might say) fruit based metaphor. It begins to get rather pained towards the end, but stick with it, I think it comes to fruition (ahem). It goes something like this: Current…

  • PLE,  VLE

    VLE vs PLE fight club

    <Image Pirate Test by Danksy> I did a debate with Niall Sclater for the upcoming OU course Technology enhanced learning around PLEs and VLEs, 'refereed' by John Pettit. We pitched it as me being the PLE guy and Niall the VLE man, for the sake of discussion, but we're probably closer in agreement than this would suggest. You can listen to the audio here (including jazzy intro and fade-out music). [Update, jazzy music is courtesy of] For a one take shot, I think it comes out reasonably well, although I am the least coherent of the three.

  • Books,  eduglu,  PLE,  sociallearn

    Here comes everything

    I've been reading Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody. In it he argues that organisations have costs that means they struggle to compete with masses because the masses can afford to have lots of failures, because the cost of failure is low, and the ease of organising is now drastically reduced. I made a similar argument in the Future of Content, by using natural selection as an analogy. Natural selection can afford to make lots of mistakes because it has thousands of individuals and millions of years to experiment over. An individual designer cannot afford to have so many dead-ends. But when it comes to producing complexity, this massively distributed process…

  • PLE,  VLE

    A PLE – VLE continuum

    There’s been a bit of a PLE flurry of posts, generated by some Twitter discussion. Chris Lott posted that he couldn’t see why people think you can’t teach PLEs, or about PLEs. Scott Leslie argues that some don’t like the acronym: It’s personal, not monolithic” complaint with the term, which I get and agree with. My response is not to defend the “PLE” acronym but instead just say if it bothers you, come up with a different one, or don’t use a moniker at all, but more importantly, model model model it for the 95% of learners (and teachers) who are drowning in the tsunami of information and choosing to…

  • PLE

    An audit on where stand with PLEs

    Adblock 1999 A.D. Learningby donaldtheduckie (via Scott Wilson) Back in 2006 I posted some of my reservations about PLEs. At the time I thought these issues were insurmountable, and largely being ignored by the PLE advocates. Now, I’m more convinced of the possibility, and worth of a PLE, I thought it would be good to see where they stood against my original set of reservations. This of course comes with a massive pre-question ‘what do you mean by a PLE?’ (as Alan Levine said in a twitter post, it seems to be a spoke diagram with lots of web 2.0 logos – what can he mean?). And maybe the notion…