Thembinkosi David Dyantyies professional studies 3 a-the final thing


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Thembinkosi David Dyantyies
Assignment 3A

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  • The Khan Academy (, which was founded by Salman Khan, often known as the one-man academy. He has amazingly created and shared on YouTube more than 2000 short tutorials, covering many areas including maths, science, biology and history. Recently, the Khan Academy launched a fantastic self-assessment and reporting system, enabling learners also to learn progressively through a knowledge map.  Then you have amazing collections of video lectures and talks in sites like Academic Earth (, YouTube EDU ( and TED Talks ( If you are looking for free courses out there, Einztein ( is a great starting point to begin the search. Okay, I will stop here, because I could go on for hours discussing this topic. However, from an educational-point-of-view, we need to ask ourselves whether we are also going to participate in these kinds of initiatives, and for a start, “how can we utilize these open educational resources to improve our own courses and programmes?”
  • So, what is a personal learning environment (PLE)? This is not a new concept, and has been discussed in the literature since the 1970s. However, until today, I have yet to find a satisfying definition of what this really means.
  • So, you want to develop a PLE? Where to start?
  • For example, I still use Delicious to store, organize, search, and manage my learning discoveries online. By doing so, I can easily access my collections from any computer device I use. Better yet, anyone else interested in my discoveries can easily access them through my unique Delicious URL ( Also, every time I add a new resource to Delicious, it is automatically tweeted on my Twitter stream (@zaidlearn).  And with the help of using tags, I can share particular collections with anyone, by sharing just one link. For example, here is my collection of useful PLE links. Isn’t that efficient and useful?
  • Though, Steve Wheeler’s useful diagram here comes closest to my understanding of the PLE concept ( First, we must remember that the PLE does not only include web tools and personal learning networks. It is much wider than that, as it also takes into account our experiences in the physical world, as well as learning through TV, music, paper based materials, radio and so on. Secondly, we need to realize today that content is not as important as knowing where (or who) to connect to, to find what we are looking for. In other words, we need to grow and nurture our personal learning network. Thirdly, we need to identify and chose the appropriate personal web tools, we want to use to support our lifelong learning. That is what we will discuss for the rest of this presentation.
  • So, what are the essential PLE tools?
  • Here are a few examples, or diagrams showing how a PLE might look like. After this presentation, you might want to spend some time exploring this collection of PLE diagrams to get more insights and ideas on how to develop your own PLE (
  • Tough question! Let’s instead explore some of the tools that I use in my PLE. You can see on this slide my most essential PLE tools. I have probably tried hundreds of learning tools, but if I had to narrow them down, these would make my preferred list. I wanted first to create a meaningful PLE diagram, but somehow, it didn’t turn out that way. So, please don’t try to make sense of this PLE diagram (art work). Also, I will not be able to discuss today all my essential PLE tools identified here, and will instead focus on these 5 essential tools in my PLE arsenal, and provide some deeper insights about how I use them.
  • Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that allows users to write brief text updates (140 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group, which can be chosen by the user.  I have to admit, it took me nearly one year to figure out how to use Twitter effectively for my own learning. Today, I would argue that Twitter has become my favorite learning tool in my PLE toolkit.    How did that happened? First, I started following people that I wanted to learn and interact with. So, I began following some of the most famous e-learning professionals in the world, and I soon realized that I was discovering resources, and getting deep insights into my passion like never before. Also, by following keywords or #hashtags enabled me to keep up with the latest trends and discussions being tweeted around the world. Those points alone, have kept me hooked on Twitter ever since.   Twitter is a great tool to discover and share trends ideas, experiences, news and resources (links). Moreover, tweets by nature are chunked perfectly for mobile learning. You could even use Twitter in the classroom by for example empowering students to ask questions using it. Not all students are comfortable asking questions out loud in the classroom or lecture hall.   If you haven't started tweeting yet, give it a shot! I would love to connect and discuss some learning ideas with you ( 
  • According to Mark Zuckerberg, “Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, families and coworkers.” I suppose nearly 700 million users around the world can testify to that.
  • But how can we use Facebook for learning and teaching? As students are increasingly connecting to Facebook via their smartphones, it might not be a bad idea using it for at least communicating with them and for collaboration activities.    Although, there was resistance from both teachers and students at my university (IMU) initially, they are today more open to using it, and some teachers are using it to interact with their students using Facebook Groups or Facebook Pages.  
  • Technical Challenges Tools overload: There are literally thousands of potential tools that we could use, and the challenge is to find the right tools that fit our learning needs. Firewall blocking: For example you want to encourage students to use YouTube, but the institution has blocked it for other reasons.Accessibility: Not everyone has easy access to technology and software.Usability & ease-of-use: Multiple tools, means multiple interface designs to learn.
  • Social Challenges Content ownership: Who owns the content developed using for example web 2.0 tools? Does the teacher, student or the institution own the content generated using such tools? Creative Commons might be the solution. Not all use social mediaDigital literacy skills: It varies from person to person, meaning we will be required to facilitate more training and support to bridge the gaps.Child Safety (e.g. cyber-bullying, unwanted exposures, and access to inappropriate content): A big issue, especially with younger school children. It is challenging to control this in a non-LMS world.
  • Pedagogical Challenges  Out of the comfort zone: How do we get teachers out of their old ways of doing and thinking? If it has worked for 20 years, why change? Plagiarism and authenticity: This applies both to students and teachers.  Instructional design: How do we do apply instructional design principles effectively in a PLE world? Testing and assessment: How do we assess creativity or artefacts created in a PLE world? Do we need to also transform our core assessment methods to nurture 21st century learners? I think so!   Wow! Okay, I don't have the answers to all these issues and questions at this moment. But, maybe if you invite me next year I should be a bit wiser to deal with some of them. 
  • In conclusion, I would say that there is:   No centralized system today that meets all our learning needs. A necessity to use a variety of tools to support our learning needs. NO perfect PLE model (but there are good examples that we can refer to).  Perfecting our PLE is a lifelong process (meaning it is not static and it will evolve as we explore and learn). Building PLE will become increasingly important in the future. Empower yourself and students to build PLE! 
  • If you want to explore PLE further, here are five experts that I would recommend adding to your Google Reader: Mohamed Amine Chatti Attwell Wheeler Downes Siemens
  • Thembinkosi David Dyantyies professional studies 3 a-the final thing

    2. 2. * Empowering Personal Learning Environments Zaid Ali AlsagoffTD 201121851
    3. 3. PLE is ...
    4. 4. What we see when we look at a computer: words and textual content • images and graphics • perhaps some video In other words – traditional paper-based media… But what does someone immersed in net culture see?
    5. 5. Social NetworkingA website is not aperson’sdescription ofthemselves…It is a presentationof themselvesthrough theirnetwork
    6. 6. ...Leslie, PLE Diagram)
    7. 7. For example…
    8. 8. * 1. Creative Commons: 2. Khan Academy: 3. Academic Earth: 4. YouTube EDU: 5. Einztein: 6. TED Talks: 201121851
    9. 9. TD 201121851
    10. 10. TD 201121851
    11. 11. *Personal Learning EnvironmentsTD 201121851
    12. 12. TD 201121851urce:
    13. 13. 201121851
    14. 14. * Personal Learning Environments (PLE) Steve Wheeler, University of Plymouth, 2011TD 201121851
    15. 15. Regarding the notion on PLES many researchers seem to pose their philosophies,As argued that Rather than integrating different tools into a centralized system,the idea is to provide the learner with a myriad of tools and hand over control to pupil to select, combine and use the tools the way they deems fit.( Mohamed A. C, 2012) TD 201121851
    16. 16. * PLE: Definition*Personal Learning Environments (PLE) are systems that help learners take control of and manage their own learning.*This includes providing support for learners to set their own learning goals, manage their learning; managing both content and process*communicate with others in the process of learning*and thereby achieve learning goals.
    17. 17. * PLE: Definition A PLE is :* A concept (based on Web 2.0 and social network) rather than specific software* A group of techniques and a variety of tools: *to gather information *explore/develop relationships between pieces of information *browser-based (potentially)
    18. 18. * PLE: Definition A PLE is :*An environment where you access learning from a variety of sources.* A place where you do your own work. It’s not dependent on the university/school.*A collection of tools and systems, not a single monolithic system.*A collection of tools and systems chosen by each individual learner, rather than the university. More often than not these tools and systems will not be owned or maintained by the university.
    19. 19. * PLE: Definition A PLE helps :*View the subject as a landscape as well as individual pieces of information*Create a personal repository of materials and relationships clustered around a unifying topic or concept*Document, reflect, communicate, collaborate
    20. 20. Source: William F Perry *PLE Diagram (1)
    21. 21. Source: Mohamed Amine Chatti *PLE Diagram (2)
    22. 22. Source: David Delgado *PLE Diagram (3)
    23. 23. *PLE: DefinitionIn contrast to traditional LMS-driven e-learning solutions, a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) takes a more natural and learner-centric approach and is characterized by the freeform use of a set of lightweight services and tools that belong to and are controlled by individual learners. (Mohamed A, C, 2009)The development and support for Personal Learning Environments would entail a radical shift, not only in how we use educational technology, but in the organisation and ethos of education..
    24. 24. *PLE: DefinitionRather than integrating different services into a centralized system, the idea is to provide the learner with a plethora of different services and hand over control to her to select, use, and mashup the services the way she deems fit.A PLE driven approach does not only provide personal spaces, which belong to and are controlled by the user, but also requires a social context by offering means to connect with other personal spaces for effective knowledge sharing and collaborative knowledge creation.(Mohamed A, c, 2009)
    25. 25. From Personal Learning Environment Building to Professional Learning Network Forming Professional networkAim organizing The meaning Forming of social and learning professional network for networks for Building PLE competence education on start pages development
    26. 26. AimTo analyze the experience gained in using of Web 2.0environment for competence development and forprofessional network organizing
    27. 27. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educatorsW3C “Social Networks Interoperability Roadmap”Incubator Group (XG) Federated Interoperable Framework
    28. 28. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educators Social NetworksSocial network sites can be defined as web-basedservices that allow individuals to:(1)construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system(2)articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection(3)view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.
    29. 29. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educatorsSocial Networks
    30. 30. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educatorsProfessionalNetworks Professional network generally refers to a professional network service, a virtual community that it is focused on professional interactions instead of social interactions.
    31. 31. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educatorsProfessionalNetworks
    32. 32. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educatorsSpecial-formed learningnetworks for life-long learnersA learning network is a group of personswho create, share, support and studylearning resources (“units of learning”)in a specific knowledge domain.
    33. 33. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educatorsSpecial-formed learningnetworks for life-long learners
    34. 34. Social-oriented applications and professional networks - new opportunities for learners and educatorsBecause of their possibilities for: data, information and “knowledgefusion” enhancing accessibility, productivityand innovative solutions research tools providing forming groups of personal and professional interests To be successful at knowledge creation, analysis and dissemination, learners need from network inter-personal and inter- group interactions
    35. 35. Building PLE on start pagesPersonal Learning EnvironmentPLEs building laid the foundations of somemain ideas:(1)learning is an ongoing process and tools to support this learning are needed(2)the role of the individual in self-organizing learning is important(3)learning can take place in different contexts and situations and cannot be provided by a single learning provider.(Attwell, G .2007)
    36. 36. Building PLE on start pages Personal Learning EnvironmentPLEs are systems that help learners take control of andmanage their own learning.This includes providing support for learners to set their ownlearning goals, manage their learning;managing both content and process;communicate with others in the process of learning andthereby achieve learning goals.
    37. 37. Building PLE on start pages Start pagesWeb 2.0 applications called “start pages” aredesigned to provide a personalized place on theinternet where users can mashup data, informationand knowledge available anywhere, anytime,including mobile login. Which is also undertook from(Wheeler, S. (2009)), philosophy in Cyber cultures in online learning.
    38. 38. *How to Create a PLE A PLE can be implemented by using some free Web 2.0 services available online.*Web Aggregators: * Netvibes * PageFlakes * iGoogle
    39. 39. *How to Create a PLEYou can also use a platform to create your own social network: Ning: Elgg:
    40. 40. * PLETD 201121851
    41. 41. * PLETD 201121851
    42. 42. * PLETD 201121851
    43. 43. Don’t just follow… ENGAGE! *#edchat - Education##edutech - Educational Technology#web20chat - Web 2.0#DistEd – Distance education and e-learning#innochat – Innovation in education#Lrnchat – Learning issues for educators#ellchat – English Language Learners TD 201121851
    44. 44. Facebook is a social utility that helpspeople communicatemore efficiently with their friends, families and coworkers. * TD 201121851
    45. 45. Social Learning (Facebook) Formal Learning (LMS) Informal • Course Notes Easy-to-Use • Assignments Sharing • Quizzes Communication • Grades Collaboration Communities Mobile Learning* Always Connected! TD 201121851
    46. 46. is an amazing tool for… *TD 201121851
    47. 47. *Technical Challenges* Tools overload* Firewall blocking* Accessibility* Usability & ease-of-useTD 201121851
    48. 48. *Social Challenges* Content ownership* Not all use social media* Digital literacy skills* Child safetyGraham Attwell make a valuable statement thatabout social challenges, for one he argues that :* Many learners may not have the confidence and competence to develop and configure their own tools for learningTD 201121851
    49. 49. *Pedagogical Challenges* Out of the comfort zone* Plagiarism & authenticity* Instructional design* Testing & assessmentTD 201121851
    50. 50. * NO centralized system today that meets all our learning needs.* A necessity to use a variety of tools to support our learning needs.* There is NO perfect PLE model.*Perfecting our PLE is a lifelong process.* Building PLE will become increasingly important in the future.* Empower yourself and students to build PLE! TD 201121851
    51. 51. George Siemens Steve Wheeler Mohamed Amine Chatti *Stephen Downes Graham AttwellTD 201121851
    52. 52. RERENCING LIST Attwell, G (2007). The Personal Learning Environments - the future of eLearning? eLearning Papers, vol. 2 no. 1.Mohamed A. C. (2012) Knowledge Management: A Personal KnowledgeNetwork Perspective Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(5) Mohamed, A .C. (2009) Discussion of a Web 2.0 Integrated E-Learning and Knowledge Management Concepts in Proceedings IADIS International Conference e-Learning 2009, vol. II, (pp. 26–30). Wheeler, S. (2009) imagine worlds, Emerging Cultures: Cyber cultures in online learning. Charlotte, NC Information Age., Accessed on the 12th of march 2013TD 201121851