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7 Things You Should Know About Personal Learning Environments

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The term personal learning environment (PLE) describes the tools, communities, and services that constitute the individual educational platforms that learners use to direct their own learning and pursue educational goals. PLEs represent a shift away from the model in which students consume information through independent channels such as the library, a textbook, or an LMS, moving instead to a model where students draw connections from a growing matrix of resources that they select and organize. The use of PLEs may herald a greater emphasis on the role that metacognition plays in learning, enabling students to actively consider and reflect upon the specific tools and resources that lead to a deeper engagement with content to facilitate their learning.

The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.

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