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Definitions of Personal Learning Environment (PLE)

A collection of definitions of "Personal Learning Environment" (PLE)

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Definitions of Personal Learning Environment (PLE)

  1. 1. Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) a collection of definitions (written in English)
  2. 2. Prologue “ It's not ‘your’ definition. The concept of the PLE is being developed by a loose collection of people, each of whom is informed by the other. Any particular element of that development - such as a definition - has as much of the others' input in it as of the actual author.” Stephen Downes, URL:
  3. 3. Personal learning center “ The e-learning application (…) begins to look very much like a blogging tool. It represents one node in a web of content, connected to other nodes and content creation services used by other students. It becomes, not an institutional or corporate application, but a personal learning center , where content is reused and remixed according to the student's own needs and interests. It becomes, indeed, not a single application, but a collection of interoperating applications — an environment rather than a system.” Stephen Downes, URL:
  4. 4. Facility “ A Personal Learning Environment is a facility for an individual to access, aggregate, configure and manipulate digital artifacts of their ongoing learning experiences.” Ron Lubensky, URL:
  5. 5. Interface “ The PLE is a unique interface into the owners digital environment. It integrates their personal and professional interests (including their formal and informal learning), connecting these via a series of syndicated and distributed feeds.” Terry Anderson, URL:
  6. 6. System “ Personal Learning Environments are systems that help learners take control of and manage their own learning. This includes providing support for learners to set their own learning goals, manage their learning; managing both content and process, communicate with others in the process of learning and thereby achieve learning goals. A PLE may be composed of one or more sub-systems: As such it may be a desktop application, or composed of one or more web-based services.” Mark van Harmelen, URL:
  7. 7. Educational manifestation of the web “ Where the LMS is vertically integrated and institutionally centralized, the PLE is the educational manifestation of the web ’s "small pieces loosely joined.” Jonathan Mott, URL:
  8. 8. Personal space/Social landscape “ A PLE is not only a personal space , which belongs to and is controlled by the learner, but is also a social landscape that offers means to connect with other personal spaces in order to leverage knowledge within open and emergent knowledge ecologies. (…)The distributed PLEs can be loosely connected to build a knowledge ecology (which) is open, distributed, diverse, emergent, self-organized, and learner-controlled.” Mohamed Amine Chatti, URL:
  9. 9. Ecosystem “ An ecosystem of connected educational resources facilitated by a (large) set of tools and fueled by collaboration opportunities facilitating the consumption of content that enables an increased understanding of specific knowledge domains.” Lee Kraus, URL:
  10. 10. Collection of tools/Conceptual notions “ PLEs aren’t an entity, structural object or software program in the sense of a learning management system. Essentially, they are a collection of tools , brought together under the conceptual notion of openness, interoperability, and learner control. As such, they are comprised of two elements – the tools and the conceptual notions that drive how and why we select individual parts. PLEs are a concept-entity.” George Siemens, URL:
  11. 11. Knowledge Network (digital & non-digital) “ My personalized learning environment is a knowledge network that includes my browser favorites, my RSS feeds, my electronic documents and so on. But it's also non-digital and not easily captured in my browser. It includes my wife, friends and work colleagues, my tennis coach, my books, magazines and newspapers, the TV I watch, the films I see, the radio programmes that I listen to.” Clive Shepherd, URL:
  12. 12. A new approach “ Yet for all the talk there was no consensus on what a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) might be. The only thing most people seemed to agree on was that it was not a software application. Instead it was more of a new approach to using technologies for learning . Underpinning a number of the discussions was the issue of what role teachers and institutions would play if learners themselves developed and controlled their own online learning environment.” Graham Attwell, URL:
  13. 13. A new pattern of users’ practices “ We characterize this new pattern a Personal Learning Environment, although unlike the VLE this is primarily a pattern concerned with the practices of users in learning with diverse technologies , rather than a category of software. ” Scott Wilson et al., URL: