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Sebastian H.D. Fiedler
PLE 2014 – the 5th International Conference on Personal Learning Environments -is shaping up nicely. We have already received a good number of proposals for “academic paper” and “alternative session” contributions that will go into review shortly.

Since we have been informed about various conflicting submission deadlines in March the conference committee has decided to issue a Final Call for Papers for PLE 2014.

The final submission deadline for extended abstracts is April 22, 2014.

PLE 2014 conference Logo

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler The deadline for submitting extended abstracts for “PLE 2014 – the 5th International Conference on Personal Learning Environments” is rapidly approaching. Please submit your proposals for “academic papers” or “alternative sessions” by March 17, 2014, via our EasyChair system.

The theme of PLE 2014 is “Beyond formal: emergent practices for living, learning and working

Full details on the range of topics, submission formats and process, and the venues can be found here: http://pleconf.org/2014/

The European venue of PLE 2014 is Tallinn – the beautiful capital of Estonia at the Baltic sea.
Conference dates: July 16 to 18, 2014

The South East Asian venue of PLE 2014 is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Conference dates: June 25 to 27, 2014

We are looking forward to meeting you this summer for another lively and engaging research conference on Personal Learning Environments!

PLE 2014 – the 5th International Conference on Personal Learning Environments – will take place in Tallinn, Estonia, from July 16th to 18th with a preceding “pacific” event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from June 25th to 27th.

The PLE Conference intends to create an engaging, conversational, and innovative meeting space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experiences, and research around PLE related themes.

The conference invites contributions in the format of “academic papers” or “alternative session proposals”. However, authors of both types of contributions will be asked to communicate their research and ideas within session formats that look to avoid the traditional 15 min presentation.

Conference theme

Beyond formal: emergent practices for living, learning and working

The 5th Edition of the PLE conference aims to move beyond discussions about definitions to explore emergent practices for living, learning and working in relation to PLEs and the new understandings and underlying needs that arise around these practices in our contemporary society. Delegates are invited to submit their ideas, research and/or practice under the topics listed below…

[PLE 2014 Call for Papers]

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler I have agreed to serve as the conference chair for the Tallinn venue of PLE 2014. The Kuala Lumpur venue is chaired by Dr. Sakina Baharom from the Centre for Learning Innovation and Excellence (CLIEx) at UNITAR International University.

We are looking forward to receiving your extended abstracts for “academic papers” and “alternative session proposals”. Have a look at the PLE 2014 Call for Papers for details on submission types and procedures.

Here is a quick overview of all important dates and deadlines:

17.03.2014: Deadline for extended abstract submission
01.05.2014: Author notification of acceptance of extended abstracts
16.06.2014: Submission of final papers & session descriptions

Kuala Lumpur
25.06.2014: Pre-conference activities
26.06.2014: Conference – Day 1
27.06.2014: Conference – Day 2
Registration for Kuala Lumpur: to be announced

Tallinn
16.07.2014: Pre-conference activities
17.07.2014: Conference – Day 1
18.07.2014: Conference – Day 2
Registration for Tallinn: to be announced

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler Our text “Personal learning environments: A conceptual landscape revisited” (pdf) has just been published as part of eLearning PapersIssue 35 Personal Learning Environments. The issue was edited by Ilona Buchem (Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin) and Tapio Koskinen (Aalto University, Helsinki).

This paper reports on a renewed attempt to review and synthesise a substantial amount of research and development literature on Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) published in recent years. Earlier comprehensive review efforts (Buchem, Attwell, & Torres, 2011; Fiedler & Väljataga, 2011) had attested considerable conceptual differences within the research community. If and how these differences have qualitatively changed since 2010, is the focus of an ongoing literature review project. While the project is still work in progress, some provisional findings and insights are reported and discussed.

References:

Buchem, I., Attwell, G., & Torres, R. (2011), Understanding personal learning environments: Literature review and synthesis through the Activity Theory lens. PLE Conference 2011.
http://journal.webscience.org/658/1/PLE_SOU_Paper_Buchem_Attwell_Torress.doc

Fiedler, S.H.D., & Väljataga, T. (2013). Personal learning environments: A conceptual landscape revisited. eLearning Papers (35), 1-16.
http://openeducationeuropa.eu/sites/default/files/asset/In-depth_35_2.pdf

Fiedler, S. H. D., & Väljataga, T. (2011). Personal learning environments: Concept or technology? International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 2(4), 1-11.

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler Our text “Personal learning environments: A conceptual landscape revisited” will be published (open access) in mid-November as part of Issue 35 of eLearning Papers. Here is the abstract:

This paper reports on a renewed attempt to review and synthesise a substantial amount of research and development literature on Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) published in recent years. Earlier comprehensive review efforts (Buchem, Attwell, & Torres, 2011; S. H. D. Fiedler & Väljataga, 2011) had attested considerable conceptual differences within the research community. If and how these differences have qualitatively changed since 2010, is the focus of an ongoing literature review project. While the project is still work in progress, some provisional findings and insights are reported and discussed.

Many thanks to Terje Väljataga for working through this substantial amount of literature and for co-authoring this text with me.

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler Our paper “Personal learning environments: A conceptual landscape revisited” has been accepted for the PLE Conference 2013 in Berlin, Germany and Melbourne, Australia. Co-authored by Dr. Terje Väljataga the paper will try to provide an overview of the conceptual developments and different strands of research around Personal Learning Environments. We basically focus on what has happened since we presented our paper “Personal learning environments: concept or technology?” at PLE Conference 2010 in Barcelona. That paper was finally published as “Fiedler, S., & Väljataga, T. (2011). Personal learning environments: concept or technology? International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 2(4), 1-11”. Apparently its PLE Conference 2010 version is still accessible, too.

Sebastian Fiedler Our paper “Personal Learning Environments: Concept or Technology?” was finally published in the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE).

This paper reviews and critiques how the notion of PLEs has been conceptualised and discussed in literature so far. It interprets the variability of its interpretations and conceptualisations as the expression of a fundamental contradiction between patterns of activity and digital instrumentation in formal education on one hand, and individual experimentation and experience within the digital realm on the other. It is suggested to place this contradiction in the larger socio-historic context of an ongoing media transformation. Thus, the paper argues against the prevalent tendency to base the conceptualisation of PLEs almost exclusively on Web 2.0 technologies that are currently available or emerging, while underlying patterns of control and responsibility often remain untouched. Instead, it proposes to scrutinise these patterns and to focus educational efforts on supporting adult learners to model their learning activities and potential (personal learning) environments while exploring the digital realm.

Reference: Fiedler, S. H. D., & Väljataga, T. (2011). Personal learning environments: Concept or technology? International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 2(4), 1-11.

[Sebastian Fiedler]

Sebastian Fiedler

Yesterday George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Rita Kop and Dave Cormier kicked off their open course on Personal Learning Environments, Networks and Knowledge – PLENK2010. The current list of registered (potential) participants is a bit over 1100 (and probably rising) which certainly justifies the application of the label of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). George Siemens recently published his reflections on open courses of this kind.

PLENK2010 seems to be a timely extension of our recent collaboration on the upcoming e-book – G. Siemens, S. Downes & F. Kop (Eds.), Personal learning environments and personal learning networks (working title): Athabasca University Press – and a follow up of some of the issues raised around the PLE conference 2010 in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago.

Though I have never tried to run courses on the scale of a MOOC there are some striking parallels between what George & Co. are promoting in respect to free-choice of loosely-coupled tools as an important part of (re-)mediation of (learning) activity, and my own educational intervention work of recent years. Since I am slowly working my way back into facilitating “courses” (if that is the right term…) in higher education, I am curious to see what works (and what doesn’t) in the context of #PLENK2010.

If nothing else… it is going to be interesting if my (more theoretical) reflections on the concept of personal learning environments will resonate at all with course participants. It looks like we will find out sometimes in late November when I am (tentatively) scheduled for a live session in the week focusing on “Critical perspectives on PLE/PLN” (so far only a place holder).

[Sebastian Fiedler]

Sebastian Fiedler Finally, we received the review comments for our text on “Modeling the personal adult learner: the concept of PLE re-interpreted”. The final version of this text will go into G. Siemens, S. Downes & F. Kop (Eds.), Personal learning environments and personal learning networks (working title): Athabasca University Press.

As usual, some of the review comments are helpful while others make little sense at all. What particularly amused me was the following: we make an explicit statement that we see our overall contribution as a reply to Johnson & Liber (2008) and that we want to extend the discussion of what these authors put forward.

Now, one of the reviewers actually wrote the following final statement commenting on our text:

“It seems to assume that the reader understands Johnson & Liber’s article on personal learning environments.”

Hell, yes… it does!!!

[Sebastian Fiedler]

References:
Johnson, M., & Liber, O. (2008). The personal learning environment and the human condition: from theory to teaching practice. Interactive Learning Environments, 16(1), 3-15.

Sebastian Fiedler

On March 10. I will attend a workshop that is part of the E-Learning Symposium 2010 at the University of Technology Dresden (TU Dresden). The session will touch upon Personal Learning Environments, E-Portfolios, and Knowledge Management issues.

[Sebastian Fiedler]