I’m taking a MOOC right now. That is a Massively Open Online Course. There are almost 1,500 people in the class. The classroom is spread all over the world. We all learn (notice I didn’t say “study”) about PLEs, or Personal Learning Environments. This is a relatively new idea. You build your own environment to learn things. The Environment can be your friends, experts, software, libraries, web sites, schools. There are usually six parts. Let me quote from Rita Kop (one of my “teachers”.)

The components that were formulated in Stephen Downes’ vision for a PLE at the start of the PLE project of the National Research Council of Canada are the following: 1. A personal profiler that would collect and store personal information. 2. An information and resource aggregator to collect information and resources. 3. Editors and publishers enabling people to produce and publish artifacts to aid the learning and interest of others. 4. Helper applications that would provide the pedagogical backbone of the PLE and make connections with other internet services to help the learner make sense of information, applications and resources. 5. Services of the learners choice. 6. Recommenders of information and resources.

Here is a quick slide show about PLEs that I made for my students.