Following the Learnscope event on Tuesday but seemingly independent of it, discussion around the concept of PLE's and related concepts (like e-portfolios) seem to have reached fever pitch in the edna forums. Unfortunately unless you are prepared to create an account and then join the groups, the conversation is hidden to the outside world. And as is the case in many of these forums, there are powerful voices ready to "tell it like it is" and impose their perspective on others.
But onto the discussion - there are two forums in debate over what a PLE actually is and I waded into one behind a Stephen Downes post, possibly shielding me from others poking holes in my meek opinions. Not surprisingly there were various points of view. These included:
- a PLE is the property of a school or educational institution
- a PLE can only exist in places you personally can control, like your own computer, your own server
- a PLE is a great big nothing
- a PLE is a whole heap of sources and content aggregated in a personal StartPage like iGoogle or PageFlakes
- a PLE can only be defined by official refereed academics
- a PLE is social networking tools leveraged for learning
If that sounds like a whole bunch of viewpoints at odds with each other, then I think you're right. Makes me wonder if I even know what I was talking about in my slidecast. With so many "experts" weighing in and sounding authorative, what hope would my ideas have of surviving in that forum environment?
One time that helps me is the knowledge is that even if "my PLE" isn't a real one according to some of the proclamations in edna Groups, it seems to be working for me.