PLEs, Mashups, Feeds, etc.

The notion of Personal Learning Environment is gaining higher attention in the litterature. Here are some current work that are worht some interest.

  • a workshop on fitness and Evolvability of PLEs by STELLAR NOE. PLE are viewed as an individual aggregator of peers connectors (to Communities of Practice) and share artefacts, with application beyond pre-defined purposes. Their evolvability is view in the long term evolution of TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning).
  • Mash-Up  Personal Learning Environments (MUPPLE) is a workshop connected to the ECTEL conference, whith a broad technical concern on PLEs. During the last workshop, I noticed:
    • A Visual Mashup Environment, that reuse existing mashups, but therefore strongly specialized
    • Gravpad, that should enable live annotation on the web, like diigo or Google Sidewiki, but in the open source community.
    • EduFeedr experiment that propose an interesting environnement for agregating students blogs, but that faces problems only with technical responses, not including pedagogical concerns.
    • The SMupple environnement’s paper adress interesting challenges namely:
      • the place of intelligent systems (i.e. without human instructors, like ALS « Adaptive Learning Systems » or ITS) that should not replace learning process by excessive automation, i.e machine control should not conduce the learning process, but may « provide « intelligent » guidance, support and awareness trhough non-invasive adaptation mechanisms ». Those systems should acknowledge external exchange and content.
      • Mashup Organization. « On a conceptual level, a learning environment can be seen as space of entities, including people, artifacts, tools, learning objects etc. available to the learner. Each of these entities is attached with several possible activities ». They identified several challenges for semantic mashups integration. Implementation can be done in three stages: interface, data linking, and flow control
    • A nice initiative during workshop : the opening of an etherpad page for collaborative annotations
  • A Open Course just finished in Canada, named PLENK for PL Environments Networks and Knowledge, facilitated by Downes, Siemens Cormier and Kop. Most of the content is available thanks Eluminate Sessions, that makes it hard to reuse. Some results are diseminated on the web through blog, slideshare
  • Concerning aggregation of content, aside the EduFeedr approach, Stephen Downes proposes its own environment called ,gRSShopper which enables harvesting and publication of data, on a RSS basis.

For future work, we will remind:

Should we call it PLE, PLN (for networks), PLENK (adding knowledge), connectivism, whatever definition of PLEs we will retain, it will be a part of the future of TEL.

The organization behind is another concern:

  • VLE or MOOC
  • peer-learning, tutors, ITS/ALS …
  • virtual, global campus ?
  • blended or elearning,

The answer will probably be multiple.

A propos Jean-Marie Gilliot

Enseignant Chercheur à Telecom Bretagne Informatique, enseignement par projets
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