A Mobile Information Management Framework Proposal for Development of Personal Learning Environments


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In this study, a personal information management framework, in which the learner can save his/her personal learning experiences and simultaneously or later he/she can evaluate his/her integrated learning experiences with his/her other experiences a person has, will be offered. By using this approach users can manage their personal and professional development more efficiently.

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A Mobile Information Management Framework Proposal for Development of Personal Learning Environments

  1. 1. A Mobile Information Management Framework Proposal for TheDevelopment of Personal Learning Environments Mehmet Emin Mutlu Future Learning 2012 IV. International Future Learning Conference on Innovations in Learning for The Future: e-Learning 14-16 November 2012
  2. 2. Introduction• Due to the fast changing nature of the information society, learning requirements of the individuals continue during their lifetime and formal education is not enough to meet all these requirements. Individuals mostly start learning process on their own to meet lifelong learning requirements in accordance with the current necessities (self-initiated), they continue this process at interest driven and learner-centered environments. For that purpose, they create personal and/or shared common learning spaces and they experience planned/not planned learning practices (Häkkinen and Hämäläinen, 2011).• In this study, a personal information management framework, in which the learner can save his/her personal learning experiences and simultaneously or later he/she can evaluate his/her integrated learning experiences with his/her other experiences a person has, will be offered. By using this approach users can manage their personal and professional development more efficiently.
  3. 3. Related LiteratureLifelong Learning and Life-Wide LearningLearning is a process which starts from birth continues till death (time horizon) and it happensconsciously or unconsciously everywhere during daytime (space horizon). This learning, whichinvolves entire life, called as lifelong learning.The space, which contains all the learning types from formal education to informal education,named as life-wide learning (Figure 1). Figure 1: Time-space dimensions of learning (Clark, 2005).
  4. 4. Related Literature Lifelong Learning and Life-Wide Learning The distinction between formal and non-formal learning environments is about where learning takes place. • Formal learning occurs within institutions established primarily to deliver education and training, often leads to recognized outcomes and qualifications. • Non-formal learning has intended education and training outcomes; however, the setting is out of the dedicated learning institutions, most often in places where learning is not the primary business. • Informal learning is distinguishable by an absence of primary intent. • It is often unplanned and without explicit emphasis on learning, yet may still lead to the acquisition of valuable skills, knowledge and attitudes (Clark, 2005) (Table 1). Formal Non-formal InformalTable 1: Life-wide learning (Clark, 2005). Adult and community Labor market programs Clubs education institutions Universities Professional associations Libraries Vocational education On-the-job training Museums and training providers High schools Work experience programs Art galleries Primary schools Volunteer organizations Playgrounds Pre-schools Childcare centers Families University of third age Learning circles Eldercare homes
  5. 5. Related LiteratureLifelong Learning and Life-Wide LearningWhen we check how much time lifelong learning consumes at which part of the individuals’ life;• formal learning starts at kindergarten stage (contains %9,25 of time),• increases at primary and middle school education (increases up to %18,5 of time),• starts decreasing at bachelor’s and master’s degree (contains %7,7 and %5,1 of time in turn) and• when school life ends except vocational trainings and refresher trainings (non-formal learning) it doesn’t appear in a person’s life.• Rest of the time is used at informal learning environments (Life Center, 2005) (Figure 2). Figure 2: Estimated time spent in school and informal learning environment (Life Center, 2005)
  6. 6. Related LiteratureTechnologies for Lifelong LearningIn order to technologically support formal and non-formal learningCMS, LMS, LCMS or systems named as virtual learning environmentsare used extensively at educational institutions. At VLES, when asemester ends, students’ environment is reset and new environmentsare created for new courses.Similar to that, when a student changes his/her educational institutionhorizontally or vertically the proof of his/her experiences belong tothat learning environments are left behind. In other words, studentcannot manage learning environment on his/her own during lifetime(Mott and Wiley, 2009). On the other hand, institutions usually do notaim to support informal learning. To fulfill needs of VLEs PLE concept isdeveloped.
  7. 7. Related LiteraturePersonal Learning EnvironmentsPersonal learning environment concept is used in 2004 for the first time(Jisc/Cetis, 2004); gained importance after web 2.0 technologies and socialmedia networks have become widespread.Ron Lubensky (2006) defined a PLE as “A personal learning environment is afacility for an individual to access, aggregate, configure and manipulate digitalartifacts of their ongoing learning experience”.According to Atwell, PLE is a technological environment constructed by anindividual and used in everyday life for learning (Attwell, 2007).In contrast to Virtual Learning Environments, PLEs are made-up of a collectionof loosely coupled tools, including Web 2.0 technologies, used for working,learning, reflection and collaboration with others (Attwell et al., 2009).
  8. 8. Related Literature Activity Explanation Tools that can be usedPersonal learning environments Accessing to Internet Personal learning process mainly realize on Internet Explorer, Mozillaoffer learners tools different than the Internet and cloud Firefox, Google Chrome, ... Planning learning Setting the personal learning objectives, Google Calendar, Google Goals,traditional learning with the help process preparation of work calendar, tasks and to- Tasks, To-do List plug-ins, …of web 2.0 and social network do lists Recording daily notes Capturing and recording of the all notes Evernote, Springpad, …technologies and enables them to and ideas and ideas to the internet and cloud with apractice different learning mobile device.activities. Finding the information Determination of sources of needed information Google Search, Google Blog Search, …A common list of learning Reaching to information Reaching the academic and encyclopedic Wikipedia, Google Scholar, sources information, and course content Google Books, Google News,activities made and tools used at MIT OpenCourseware, Openpersonal learning environments University Open Learn, iTunesU, YouTube Edu, Flickr,have been collected from various SlideShare, Scribd, …authors and summarized in Table Notify for new Automatically notifying from information Google Reader, Google Alerts,2 (White, 2010; Leslie, 2012; information updates …Milligan et al., 2006; Wilson et al., Creating the documents Creating new documents in learning Google Docs, Google Drive, process Microsoft SkyDrive, Gliffy,2006; Ivanova, 2009; Torres et al., Prezi, …2010; Zhao and Yang, 2009; Pérez- Storing the documents Storing of documents to the cloud Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox, …Sanagustín et al., 2008; Castañeda Collaborating Creating content with others WikiSpaces, pbWorks, …and Soto, 2010; Mutlu, 2012a). Creating a network Participating to social networks in order to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, learning from others and working together Google+, …Adaptability of PLE by user and discussingaccording to his/her own needs Communicate Synchronous or asynchronous conversation Gmail, Google Talk, Microsoft on a topic with others Live Messenger, Skype, …and own learning style makes PLE Sharing of information Storing of sources of valuable information Delicious, Diigo, …an important tool for lifelong sources and sharing them with others Sharing and publishing Sharing of new content created in learning Blogger, Facebook, Google+,learning and informal learning of information process Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa,(Attwell, 2007). SlideShare, Scribd, … Table 2: Activities and tools in personal learning environments
  9. 9. Related LiteraturePersonal Information ManagementA comprehensive definition of PIM is provided by Jones (2008) and it states: Personal InformationManagement (PIM) refers to both the practice and the study of the activities a person performsin order to acquire or create, store, organize, maintain, retrieve, use and distribute theinformation needed to meet life’s many goals (everyday and long-term, work-related and not)and to fulfill life’s many roles and responsibilities (as parent, spouse, friend, employee, memberof community, etc.)Researches towards personal information management are divided according to two outlooks: – Personal implementation of information management – Management of personal informationWhen we consider the personal learning environments, we see that functions of “personalinformation management” can be fulfilled for certain levels with common PLE tools
  10. 10. Related LiteratureRecording Life ExperiencesNowadays, high tech methods towards saving whole life experience of person are being examined.Steve Mann’s wearable computer experiments (Mann, 2012) and Gordon Bell’s MyLifeBits Project(Bell, 2012) are leading these methods.With all these applications, it is aimed to record everything heard, seen, told and read by a persondigitally and reach these records whenever they are needed.At first these applications were required to wear and carry heavy cameras, sensors, monitors butnowadays they have become more ergonomic. For example, Project Glass developed by Googleseems to provide opportunities for popularizing this technology in future (Miller, 2012).
  11. 11. Related LiteratureRecording Life ExperiencesIn the model, which is suggested by Teraoka for personal experience management,experience is defined as collection of events and/or activities from which an individualor group may gather knowledge, opinions, and skills according to Wikipedia(Wikipedia, 2012a).According to his model, there is a hierarchy between log, action and episodes(Teraoka, 2012), (Figure 3). Figure 3: Levels of trace of experience (Teraoka, 2012)
  12. 12. Related LiteratureRecording Life ExperiencesSome authors discuss lifelong learning and recording of the life activities together.• Barreau (2006) discussed Personal Information Management and context in learning environments.• Ballantyne (2012) developed a framework for implementation of e-portfolio with lifelong access.• Vavoula and Sharples (2009) discussed general requirements for the design of Lifelong Organizers based on findings from a diary- based study of everyday learning practice and also based on the design and evaluation of KLOS, a prototype Lifelong Organizer that supports learning projects, episodes and activities through the linking of learning content with semantic and episodic context.• In order to record life experiences, an approach called as “Life Experiences Management Framework” has been suggested by Mutlu and an information architecture suitable to this framework is developed and to test the applicability of the framework a software is developed too (Mutlu, 2012b).• Barret and Garret (2009) proposed ‘‘lifetime personal web space,’’ this online archive of a life’s collection of reflections, memories, digital artifacts and memorabilia, both personal and professional, has the potential to change the current paradigm of electronic portfolios, mostly institution-bound, and focus instead on the individual or the family as the center for creating a digital archive, which can be used in a variety of contexts across the lifespan, from schools to universities to the workplace (Figure 4). Figure 4: A scenario for a lifelong, life wide approach to lifetime personal web space, electronic portfolios, online videos and digital stories (Barret and Garret, 2009).
  13. 13. A Mobile Information Management System Based PLE Framework ProposalRationaleOrganization of Lifelong Learning and life wide learning: Individuals should have skills for self-organized learning and self-regulated learning in order to organize their lifelong learning and life-wide learning processes.Management of Learning Experiences: Learning activities are meaningful in formal education aslong as they can be defined beforehand. Informal learning processes in which mostly learningactivities take place on their own, learning activity may not be defined and planned beforehand.With this reason instead of “learning activity”, “learning experience” as a more general conceptwill be used in framework.There is a need for method to plan, direct, live, record, evaluate the learning experiences andrecognize the experiences lived before.
  14. 14. A Mobile Information Management System Based PLE Framework ProposalRationaleTo Record Learning Experiences: To record any experience belongs to our life means the thingtriggered that experience or our knowledge and abilities belong to that are recorded as well.Here, despite objective information belongs to an asset, recording subjective information such ascomments, memories, emotions, ideas etc. gains importance as well. This subjective informationrelates the asset or event to us, shapes our experience, and enables us to define necessaryconjunctions which help us to retrieve and evaluate this recorded moment later (Mutlu 2012b).As stressed by Teraoka, in order to record experiences in episodic memory not only activities,emotions and connections related to these activities must be recorded as well (Teraoka 2012b).Individuality of Learning Experiences: When we discuss life-wide learning process, even thoughlearning experiences can be lived alone or with other people, comments, memories, plansrecorded by individuals about these experiences are mainly private and individuals may not wantto share them with others without a detailed elimination.Because of the fact that, records belong to individuals’ learning experiences also belong to theirother life experiences as well and they cannot be isolated from each other.
  15. 15. A Mobile Information Management System Based PLE Framework ProposalRationaleContextual Learning Experience: Personal learning environment should make possible to recordall the learning experiences in life-wide belong and retrieve the content-context itself or itscomments. Contextual learning experience is defined below:In this study, we suggest to form the context of the learning experience not only with limitedinformation such as user’s location, user’s device, current time and the environment around theuser but also unlimited information which can be formed freely by user.Mobile PLE: The potential immensity of instructors, learning places and the learning moments inlifelong learning and life-wide learning, forces learner to be ready to learn from everyone,everywhere and every time. This requires personal learning environment to be carried toeverywhere.When we search for technologies that can be anywhere anytime, mobile Technologies takes thefirst place. As a result mobile learning environment must be the personal learning environmentwhich can be used lifelong.
  16. 16. The Proposal FrameworkThe framework we suggest (Life Wide Learning Experiences Management Framework) contains acycle of plan, live, record, personal and professional evaluation of life long and life wide learningexperiences (Figure 5). Figure 5: Life-Wide Learning Experiences Management Framework
  17. 17. The Proposal Framework Planning of Learning Experiences: It is possible to plan formal and non-formal education experiencesbeforehand (learning aims and effectiveness can be designed before); it may not be possible to plan all theinformal learning experiences. Unplanned self-learning experiences can be experienced. The important thingsare realizing, storing and using these experiences at self-evaluation stage while the experience occurs or afterthat.Living of Learning Experiences: Learning experience happens at a defined place (formal, non-formal, informalenvironment), defined time and defined period. Experience is a personal concept and it can occur with aprivate/common event/event series every situation, a content that can be the source or outcome of theexperience accompanies the experience.There are different types of learning experience:• In class learning experience: Formal and non-formal learning environment mostly contain in class and out of classroom activities.• Out of classroom formal and non-formal learning experiences: In formal education, while studying the course taught in classroom or doing homework PLE is used• Informal learning experiences: Each of the books read while resting, on vacation, on journey, music pieces listened, movies watched, museums visited, concerts attended, people met, places visited can cause learning experiences. Individuals may not realize they are having a learning experience at that time. Experienced learners can catch and record these experiences with systematical review later. Informal learning experiences may have happened out of PLE or before PLE is established. At this point, manual recording of out of PLE learning experience can happen later just like other out of learning life experiences.
  18. 18. The Proposal FrameworkRecording of Learning Experiences: Planned experiences can be recorded beforehandunlike unplanned ones. Recording the learning experience, is recording activities,content, people, places, assets, specifications, emotions, comments and behaviorsrelated to that experience.Because of this qualification of recording function, people can record their pastunplanned learning experiences when they remember them and prepare a learningexperience inventory. Most people do not notice the existence of the informal learningexperiences in their life. Learning experience inventory help them to be aware of theseexperiences and while they are gaining experience, this will help them to recognizethese experiences fasterEvaluation of Learning Experiences: Recording realized learning experiences providesan objective way to evaluate learner’s planned learning experience performance.The person sets learning goals for a specific period (annual, weekly, monthly, periodicaletc.), plans his/her learning activities to reach that goals and at the end of that specificperiod he/she accounts his/her performance and updates his/her plans. Learningexperiences cannot be isolated from other experiences, plans, aims and problems in aperson’s life.
  19. 19. The Proposal FrameworkInformation ArchitectureWith the aim of designing information architecture for recording learning experiences, “LifeExperiences Management Framework” will be used as a base (Mutlu, 2012). In this framework, itis assumed that individuals can record their life and as well as learning experiences as asset listsand activity lists.In that initial framework suggested, asset and activity lists can be formed by 20-30 various datafields collected in four groups as definitive fields, location fields, time fields and content fields(Table 3). Definitive Fields Content Fields Time Fields Location Fields Title Textual Content Due Date Location Subtitle ImagePath Start Date MapPath Description AudioPath Finish Date … Priority VideoPath Reminder Type DocumentPath Done Category Web Site URL Change Date … … Creation Date … Table 3: Data Fields
  20. 20. Implementation of FrameworkTo Design a PrototypeTo apply the framework, under Windows 8 Release Preview operating system the softwarenamed AllMyListsMetro, which is prepared in Metro Style Application Development Environment,used as a base and the software is adopted for this framework.In this version of AllMyListsMetro users can choose one of 16 different templates to form a listand suitable items can be added to these lists. In prototype templates such as “Standart List",“Link List”, "To Do List", "Task List", "Note List", "People List", "Event List", "Place List", "IssueList", "Appointment List", "Meeting List", "Asset List", "Behavior List", "Feeling List", "Goal List"and "Feature List" are prepared. Users can form indefinite number of lists by using thesetemplates. Various information types such as text, picture, voice, video, location, person anddocument can be recorded to these lists.In the original “Life Experiences Management Framework” none of the information belong to thewebsites visited by the user is recorded. In recent study, “Link List” is added to the framework’sarchitecture and AllMyListsMetro software is updated to enable users to create PLE (Mutlu,2012c)
  21. 21. Implementation of FrameworkMain Functions of the PrototypeAccording to the developed prototype, users form a PLE document, which hosts all their listsIn the application location information can be getting via computer’s GPS. Moreover, files fromcomputer’s library can be added to image, audio and video fields like this; voice, image and videocan be captured via computer’s microphone and camera. Figure 6: Lists screen
  22. 22. Implementation of FrameworkExecuting the FrameworkBefore users start managing their learning experience with this prototype, start up a knowledge base to their previous lifeexperience and an initial PLE must be formed.Forming an initial knowledge base about previous life experiences: In order to form a knowledge base which contains records ofpeople’s previous life experiences we need to create suitable lists for people, places, events, behaviors, emotions, assets,specifications and all the items together with all the comments related to these items must be entered to these lists:• Lists of people (family members, friends, colleagues, school friends, etc.)• Lists of place (the places we have lived, visited, worked, studied, etc.)• Lists of events (educational events, healthcare events, family events, business life events, memories, journals, etc.)• Lists of behaviors (habits, routines, culturel behaviors, etc.)• Lists of emotions (happiness, regrets, doubts, etc.)• Lists of assets (objects, properties, cultural assets, etc.)• Lists of specifications (hobbies, achievements, abilities, issues, priorities, etc.)Seven fundamental list groups have been suggested as a starting point. Individuals can re-arrange these groups according to theirneeds. As the cycle is being used at learning experience management stage, upper information knowledge base will be enriched. Figure 7: “Event List” and “Event List Item” sample
  23. 23. Implementation of FrameworkCreate The Initial PLE: Users can form useful “start pages” by adding the web 2.0 that they are used to tools tothe prototype. At this stage, the PLE will be enhanced as the learner gained more experience. The lists belowcan be suggested as start pages:• Blog and Wiki lists• E- portfolio and VLE lists• File share lists (SlideShare, Scribd, Youtube, Flickr, etc.)• Open Educational Resources (MIT Courseware, OpenLearn, TÜBA Open Course, Yunus Emre, etc.)• Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, etc.)• Social Bookmarking Websites (Diigo, Delicious, etc.) Figure 8: “PLE Start Page” list sample
  24. 24. Implementation of FrameworkManagement of Learning Experiences: After users completed two starting stages, they canmanage the learning experience by completing the cycle below:• Plan: Define goals, aims, duties, task lists, meetings and appointments about learning. If there are no lists to enter these items, form them.• Apply: Do your planned learning activities by using PLE tools. Record the content, which happens outside the PLE (document, audio, Picture, video, etc.) as long as it is possible. In order to record unplanned learning activities to PLE carry your mobile device with you. At this stage when you need tools, which are not a part of starting PLE, create lists for them.• Record: Prepare items related to people, places, events, behaviors, attitudes, emotions, assets, and enrich the knowledge base of your personal experiences.• Evaluate: Evaluate your personal and professional development by interpreting your lifelong learning experiences. As a result of the evaluation enrich the lists and knowledge bases that contain issues, emotions, features, assets and priorities, at the planning stage.
  25. 25. Implementation of FrameworkPrototype PropertiesIn order to simplify and easy management of the process a design in which users canstore their own life and learning experiences “manually” is made. In a similar wayevaluation system is done “intuitively” at that stage.In this version data will be stored in AllMyListsMetro Application’s local folders. With asmall modification, this data can be stored and accessed in cloud storageenvironments such as Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive or DropBox.In AllMyListsMetro prototype individuals can store the entire PLE as a document. Theycan form and manage more than one PLE document at the same time. However, it isassumed that any PLE will cover all the lifelong learning activities of a person, it issuggested to duplicate PLEs lifelong (time line) not life wide. So, PLEs such as K12 PLE,graduate PLE, undergraduate PLE, business life PLE all of which is formed in differenttime lines and by time the education level of a person increases and differentiatesthey will be closed and archived.
  26. 26. Discussion and ConclusionIn this study formal, non-formal and informal learning experiences in lifelonglearning process have been suggested within a personal informationmanagement framework in which the individual can record and evaluatethem together with his/her other experiences. With PLE, as a part of thisframework, individuals can do and support their learning experiences.Eventhough the suggested framework is not tested empirically, it has beenassumed that it can be a postulate in which learners’ can balance theirpersonal and professional development and set their learning targets moreefficientlyAlthough, PLEs must be integrated with ever developing lifelogging systems inorder to make process of recording of place, time, content, event, commentand ideas of individuals’ learning experiences simultaneously or later on moreefficiently. On the other hand, studies must carry on in order adding sociallearning processes to architecture.
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