Personal Learning Environments (PLE) include the tools, communities, and services that constitute the individual educational platforms learners use to direct their own learning and pursue educational goals. The idea of the PLE represents 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. Because they emphasize relationships, PLEs can promote authentic learning by incorporating expert feedback into learning activities and resources. A PLE also puts students in charge of their own learning processes, challenging them to reflect on the tools and resources that help them learn best. By design, a PLE is created from self-direction, and therefore the responsibility for organization—and thereby for learning—rests with the learner. (7 things you should know about Personal Learning Environments, Educause 2009).
The PLE Conference is intended to produce a space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experience and research around the development and implementation of PLEs including the design of environments, sociological and educational issues and their effectiveness and desirability as (informal) learning spaces.
Whilst the conference includes a traditional research paper strand, we also encourage proposals for sessions in different formats including workshops, posters, debates, cafe sessions, hands on sessions and demonstrations. There will be a Spanish strand, so contributions in Spanish are also welcome!
We will also provide opportunities for unconferencing events, including the provision of spaces for informal meetings and discussions. Although the main conference takes place on 8th and 9th of July, there will be an informal launch event (with wine and tapas!) on the evening of Wednesday 7th.
As well as the face to face sessions, the conference will be supported by a variety of different online spaces. You can join the YouTube group for the PLE conference at
http://www.youtube.com/group/PLE2010CONF. The YouTube group will also be used for the Mediacast Contest: a celebration of User Generated Content with awards for the best three mediacast productions on Personal Learning Environments.
Selected papers will be published by the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments.
Proposals can be submitted until March 26th, 2010. Notification of acceptance is scheduled for April 30th.