The PLE, or Personal Learning Environment, is a hot topic right now in elearning circles. It’s hard to describe although you probably already have one if you’re reading this blog. A PLE is made up of all the the ways you “explore, discover, record, and share life’s lessons“. Mostly it’s your digital information cloud. So, for instance, I have a collection of feeds that I check every day. They’re part of my PLE. There is my blog where I write and try to make sense of everything I come across. That’s part of my PLE. However, as Graham Attwell has pointed out, a PLE is a concept, not a tool. It’s the way you grab, share and make sense of information. You can’t buy a PLE application in the same way that you can buy a learning management system like Blackboard or WebCT. Furthermore, everyone’s PLE is their own.
Ok, if you understand what a PLE is, let’s go one step further. If, as Teemu Arina says, the future of learning is informal and mobile, then finding a way to bring your PLE on your cell phone makes a lot of sense. A mobile PLE would be the same as your web-based PLE except that you can take it with you wherever you go. Furthermore, Teemu Leinonen has suggested a way to achieve it (despite his objections to the idea of a PLE). He suggests using a 3G handset and a tool like Jaiku (like Twitter but lets you bring in all your favourite feeds). Phone + Jaiku account + feeds = mobile elearning? That doesn’t seem too hard, does it — especially if you’re already delivering elearning through feeds.
Is this the way to bring “education without boundaries” to learners?