Personal Learning Environments (PLE)

PLE – Define

PLE – Top 10 Tools

In this first article, Michelle Martin goes through her personal learning environment and what it looks like.  She discusses various applications and techniques that are helpful to her and define her PLE.  At the bottom of her blog, there was a link to her Top 10 Tools.  In there I found a terrific tool called Stumbleupon.  You check off what you are interested in and it randomly sends you to various sites.

After reading Martin’s blog, it helped me to better understand what a PLE is for starters and then got me to thinking about what my PLE would look like and what it would contain.  What types of tools and applications would be of the biggest use to me in forming my PLE?  I also liked that Martin also uses pen and journal for her PLE – it doesn’t all have to be online.

PLE – Corporate

This article was interesting in that it described the use of a PLE in the job arena.  Gina Minks briefly outlines a PLE that was developed for employees that would help them with their work performance, development, and advancement.  This article definitely expanded my thoughts on the use of PLE’s and I think this would be an excellent use of a PLE.  It incorporates both formal education with informal and would greatly help the employee to see what job skills and knowledge they would need to have to advance in their career as well as encourage a life-long learning attitude.  This type of PLE would be a huge benefit to the employer as well as the employees collaborate, continue to learn, and become better employees.

PLE – Considerations

I really like this article. It broke down PLE’s into five areas and then asked an important question for the reader to ponder.  While all the questions brought up good things to think about, I was especially struck by the concept of “learning snacks.”  Using a portable handheld device like an iPhone for small bits of learning throughout the day as your schedule dictates.  I certainly have downtime during my day, and as I would usually read a book or a trashy magazine that was in the waiting room, I would be better served if I took the time to read something on my phone or PDA that pertained to something I was actually interested in.  I now take the idea of learning as an everyday, throughout the day occurrence as opposed to learning only at certain set times of the day or week.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by poster55 on October 16, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I see you found Michele too! I loved the way she describes PLEs and some of the tools she mentioned were pretty cool. I will have to check out Stumbleupon and see if it’s something I can put to use.

    I never thought about using a PLE for the workplace, but that’s actually a very cool adaptation of its use. I can see how that would streamline not only the training process, but post-training and making sure you’re up to speed on what’s going on in and around the office.

    I remember watching a video about Google Wave where they talked about using blogs and bulletin boards to communicate around the office, which is what inspired Wave. I guess it makes sense, and now that I think of it I seem to recall some game developers claiming to use them in a similar fashion, as a sort of futuristic ‘post it’ note. While that falls more into Web 2.0, I can see how it could be adapted and turned into a PLE source as well.

    I like the idea of the iPhone bridging the gap between everyday life and the internet world. I wish I had one, but I use Verizon. It always fascinates me to think about how fast technology is evolving and moving forward. I can’t wait to see what the next generation of ‘iPhone’ brings to the table that will help enhance using it as a PLE. I’ve already experienced that somewhat, when a fellow student used an iPhone to show me a youtube video on a new piece of rendering technology for Graphic Design. Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear or jot down the name, because class started, but it did open up my eyes to the possible uses of mobile technology for a PLE.


  2. I like the idea of corporate PLE’s because it gives the employees a set goal to work towards in order to get promoted. I think that the concept could revolutionize the workplace If companies could make it fit the job. I had a bad experience with this in the U.S. Army. To become a Sergeant we had to memorize rediculous information that, for the most part, didn’t pertain to our jobs. I was involved with the Sentinel Radar System and the promotional board didn’t ask me a single question about my radar system. I was given rediculous questions like, “when a Navy ship is traveling through the Panama Canal, is the flag at full or half mast?” I personally don’t know anyone in the Army that has ever been on a Navy ship while going through the Panama Canal that would even need to know that information anyway. My really long point is, let’s keep the PLE’s information for corporations relevant to the job they pertain to.

    I will keep this second comment short. I love the direction that cell phones are headed. I think that could be a great way to keep up with all of the constant information that we are being handed. I would like to find a way to put it into a pair of sunglasses or glasses so that we could view the screen in the far left corner and not have to wear that silly looking blue tooth device. Maybe I should put that on my PLE agenda to see if it exists yet.


  3. Posted by poster55 on October 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I just wanted to swing by and toss you a quick thanks for mentioning Stumbleupon. I finally had a chance to check it out and I have to say that site is really cool and a lot of fun! There’s some amazing art on there!


  4. I like the fact you explained PLE as much as possible, but dont you think that PLE can sometimes mean somthing other than looking up info in the web? why cant it be the library or resources like people?? what i also got form PLE is that it can also be a why to organize your thoughts and keep everthing in line. I like what you said about the iphone bringing a gap between everyday life and the web was cool 🙂 but i dont have one 😦 . Love your post can wait to read the next one.


    • I agree with you that a PLE can come from other sources besides the web. In Michelle Eury’s blog, she talks about journaling in a notebook. I really like that idea – I like the tactile feel of paper and pen. Also, an idea may strike me at a time when I am not at my computer or I pick up something really interesting from someone I just spoke to. I keep a journal in my purse at all times. Plus it is really handy to jot down things I need to do. 🙂
      I also do not have an iPhone, but my husband does. Hopefully soon I will get the one he has as a “hand-me-down.” I’m really working the “I need it for school” angle.
      Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it.


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