More on MLEs and PLEs

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After receiving feedback on the previous posting I did about my thinking aroundthe relationship between a school’s Managed learning Environment (MLE) and a student’s Personal Learning Environment (PLE) I’ve developed a new version of my MLE-PLE diagram. The principle difference between this and the previous diagram is the placement of the Web2.0 applications in a position where they are “called on” or used by both the individual (PLE) and hte school (MLE).

The key things about this diagram are:

  1. the school’s MLE represents the various systems that lie within a school’s locus of control to implement and manage in order to manage the complexity of the learning process for students. – this includes such things as a student management system, a library management system and a learning management system.
  2. A national student index is included to represent the process of authentication and authorisation that is required to ensure the efficiency of access and data exchange among and between systems.
  3. The LMS is represented conceptually as an Online Learning Environment (OLE), the difference being that an OLE is regarded as an aggregation of selected components and functions based on an open standards architecture, as opposed to a closed, often proprietry, “out of the box” system.
  4. The blue cloud of the public access World Wide Web is where the various Web2.0 applications are hosted. These can be accessed and used equally by individual students, and by schools/classes.
  5. Individual accounts with Web2.0 applications can be aggregated into what is called here a Personal Learning Environment. The exact nature of this will vary according to the individual – in some cases the environment may be a blog, in others a social networking site such as MySpace, and in others it may some other sort of site tht allows for aggregation such as VOX or Multiply – or another not yet invented. Note the empahsis here on “myblog”, “my bookmarks” etc
  6. Other systems that schools may want to interact with and make interoperable with their MLE are represented as the external learning sites, LMS/OLE in another institution, and the various content repositories – preferably accessible through a federated search facility. These systems, along with the shool’s OLE, should all be accessible in some form from a student’s PLE. shown by blue lines>
  7. Features of some Web2.0 applications may be integrated into a school-based OLE as appropriate, for instance photo sharing and video sharing for content, or podcasting, blogging or wiki building tools for publishing. Note the emphasis here on “our blog”, “our podcasts” etc – emphasising the fundmentally different nature and purpose of use of these applications within the formal school environment.

I’m continuing to refine this thinking in order to assist schools with how they come to think of how Web2.0 technologies might be used within their school systems. In many cases this is being thwarted because of firewall and security concerns. In others, “safe” web2.0 tools are being integrated (or promised) in some of the “out of the box” solutions – which may be a good solution, provided consideration is given to how this may be accessed equally by the individual student from their PLE – given that they are the owners of the content.

I’d welcome thoughts and discussion…

One thought on “More on MLEs and PLEs

  1. Hi Derek,
    It has been very interesting to observe the evolution of your diagram since the original one. You are working with concepts that are somewhat difficult to put into a diagram and you have certainly done a great job. I have a few questions to challenge your ideas further…

    Where does the concept of digital portfolios fit into your diagram?
    Do you think the school or system should provide protected (non-public) versions of web 2.0 tools so that students can explore them in a ‘safe’ environment? -as safety is often a concern if schools in some way endorse this environment.
    In development of a system, do you see that the items feeding into the PLE will be combimed in a portal of some sort? Or do you see that a school would only provide an MLE with external links where appropriate?
    How do the PLEs of students link in to each other? eg. Would it be like a myspace or elgg experience or would they be making contections with eachother through the public tools and within the MLEs separately?


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