Can Pre-Built = Personal?

Personal Learning Environments are

a single user’s e-learning system that provides access to a variety of learning resources, and that may provide access to learners and teachers who use other PLEs.


In a recent discussion with fellow grad students and Stephen Downes, Dan made what I thought was a brilliant comparison about two kinds of technology-enabled learning environments. He said that Linux is outrageously customizable while Mac and Windows is outrageously simple to use.

We had just observed Stephen Downes’ highly customized, highly personal learning environment. Stephen had built that environment himself, from scratch.

And I wonder – can teachers create their own highly personalized environments with pre-built tools? Is that an oxymoron?

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2 Responses

  1. I think it is an oxymoron, very much like “learning management system” is an oxymoron. How much of learning can/should be managed? I believe, if we were to follow the pedagogy rather than technology companies (like Blackboard), we would move toward “small tools loosely joined” methodologies rather than toward monolithic, closed, learning portals.

  2. if they enable spontaneous play then ……. we can direct our own learning

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