"In an extensive report on PLEs, researchers with the Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards (CETIS) derived the following principles when examining current learning technologies (JISC-CETIS, 2007).De jämför också personliga lärmiljöer (PLE) med lärplattformar (LMS):
In a similar report, Johnson et al. (2006) identified five major themes as a critique of current learning environments:
- Learning opportunities should be accessible to students, irrespective of the constraints of time and place.
- Learning opportunities should be available continually over the period of an individual’s life.
- Effective teaching should have as its central concern the individual learning needs and capabilities of a student.
- The social component of learning should be prioritized through the provision of effective communication tools.
- Barriers to learning, whether they are institutional, technical, or pedagogical, should be removed.
- desire for great personal ownership of technology;
- desire for more effective ways to manage technological services;
- desire for the integration of technological activity across all aspects of life;
- removal of barriers to the use of tools and services; and
- desire to facilitate peer-based working." (Veletsiano, s 183f).
"Following is a summary of LMS characteristics.
De pekar på några nackdelar med LMS:
- LMSs concentrate on the course context.
- All resources are loaded and linked within the overall structure of a course.
- LMSs have an inherent asymmetric relationship between instructor and learner in terms of control of the learning experience.
- The learner’s role is one of passive acceptance of content and the limited permissions set by the LMS.
- Every learner experiences content exactly the same way. Each learner interacts with content in an identical fashion." (Veletiano, s 184).
Och de betonar att LMS är ett slutet system, exklusivt för de som studerar på och arbetar med en viss kurs, vilket gör att man begränsar möjligheterna att dela med sig och att inspireras av andra utanför undervisningsgruppen:
- "Accessibility has only partially been achieved by moving the medium of dissemination onto the Web. However, barriers to accessibility remain, in the form of institutional procedures and usability.
- Institutionalization of learning technology creates an additional barrier through a milieu of interface constructs putting extraneous burdens on learners who must navigate between these systems.
- Current pedagogical practice is still teacher-centric. The promise of e-learning in enabling effective management of a diverse student population has only seldom been realized. At its worst, the VLE can be characterized as a giant photocopier.
- The process of education is primarily institution-centric, rather than learner-centric. (JISC-CETIS, 2007)" (Veletiano, s 185).
"some LMSs offer student blogs, but the blogs may not be accessible to readers outside the LMS. While an LMS can include Web 2.0 elements to its systems, it is rooted in the traditional instructor-centric model of instruction. Curricula are determined, courses are designed, networks extend only to the boundaries of the institution, and participation is limited to students paying tuition, and often only to the students in a particular course" (Veletiano, s 187).När de jämför lärplattformar med personliga lärmiljöer (PLE) tar de också upp några fördelar med PLE:
"Anderson (2006) details several advantages of the PLE over the traditional LMS. With PLEs, the learner has a sense of self or identity beyond the classroom. As they direct their own learning, learners control the environment in which they work. The learner personally organizes the environment instead of operating within an environment that makes sense to the instructor or institution. The learner has responsibility for his or her own content. No longer a passive consumer, the learner is now in an ownership role. The learner’s reach extends much farther than the traditional classroom and LMS. While taking part in various online communities of practice, the learner develops an online personality (Anderson, 2006)." (Veletiano, s 186).
och några utmaningar som man står inför om man väljer att skapa personliga lärmiljöer: man måste helt enkelt lägga mycket tid på att lära sig nya verktyg och på hur de kan samverka. Man måste bli mediekompetent:
"Because PLEs are generally comprised of several social software applications, the skills necessary to manage all of these applications are considerable. The rate at which Web 2.0 applications arrive, expand, and sometimes disappear creates a challenge to learners looking for new components for their PLEs. Successful PLE learners must be able to navigate multiple interfaces, passwords, and content formats to benefit from the myriad offerings on the Web. Sclater (2008) describes the daunting task of simultaneously juggling multiple learning contexts and interfaces. Any new system makes demands upon the user. Indeed, this user experience is common with any new tool or gadget. Each new tool represents what might be compared to a new grammatical rule to learn. Therefore, a multiplicity of tools represents an increase in complexity on the user. The user must manage this complexity, but the more tools a user has, the more difficult the management becomes. Not only must users learn new interfaces each time a new component is incorporated, but they must also learn how that new component interoperates with existing tools. PLE learners are required to spend higher proportions of their time learning and re-learning user interfaces of emerging Web 2.0 personal technologies (JISC-CETIS, 2007)." (Veletiano, s 188f).Andra problem är att PLE saknar funktioner som riktigt passar för till exempel betyg och andra lite mer personliga och känsliga uppgifter. Inte heller finns det någon enskild person eller grupp som driver utvecklingen framåt, såsom det funnits i till exempel utvecklingen av Linux. Avslutningsvis beskriver artikelförfattarna tre tänkbara utvecklingar:
"there are questions about how the PLE reconciles with the traditional elements of formal education, such as syllabi, assignments, grades, and schedules. And the PLE “movement” at this point lacks a recognized charismatic leader or champion to push the development of PLE standards (while successful open source initiatives such as Apache and Linux did have recognized leaders [Sclater, 2008]). Emerging technologies struggle to coexist alongside (and sometimes replace) current dominant technologies.
There are three scenarios in which PLEs could coexist with LMSs.
- The first scenario would be the PLE existing in a “parallel life,” dominating the informal learning space, while the LMS continues to dominate formal education.
- The second scenario would see LMSs gradually open their structures to include interoperability with PLEs.
- The third scenario would be the LMS attempting to co-opt elements of the PLE. This last scenario would likely reduce the transformative power of the PLE (Wilson et al., 2006)." (Veletiano, s 190).