Week of...
12th September 2010
A tour of PLEs and PLNs

19th September 2010
Contrasting PLEs with LMSs

26th September 2010
The neXt/eXtended Web

3rd October 2010
PLE/PLN and learning theories

10th October 2010
Evaluating Learning in PLE/Ns

17th October 2010
Using PLEs successfully

24th October 2010
PLE/N Tools

31st October 2010
Personal knowledge management

7th November 2010
PLE/Ns in the classroom

14th November 2010
Critical perspectives on PLE/PLN


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Your Facilitators

Stephen Downes

George Siemens

Dave Cormier

Rita Kop

Course Facilitators

Stephen Downes

Stephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canada's National Research Council and a leading proponent of the use of online media and services in education. As the author of the widely-read OLDaily online newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his leading-edge work in the field of online learning. He developed some of Canada's first online courses at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. He also built a learning management system from scratch and authored the now-classic "The Future of Online Learning". At the University of Alberta he built a learning and research portal for the municipal sector in that province, Munimall, and another for the Engineering and Geology sector, PEGGAsus. He also pioneered the development of learning objects and was one of the first adopters and developers of RSS content syndication in education. Downes introduced the concept of e-learning 2.0 and with George Siemens developed and defined the concept of Connectivism, using the social network approach to deliver open online courses to three thousand participants over two years. Downes has been offering courses in learning, logic, philosophy both online and off since 1987, has 135 articles published in books, magazines and academic journals, and has presented his unique perspective on learning and technology more than 250 times to audiences in 17 countries on five continents. He is a habitual photographer, plays darts for money, and can be found at home with his wife Andrea and four cats in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

George Siemens

George Siemens is an internationally known writer, speaker, and researcher on learning, networks, technology and organizational effectiveness in digital environments. He is the author of Knowing Knowledge, an exploration of how the context and characteristics of knowledge have changed and what it means to organizations today, and the recently released Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning. Siemens is currently a researcher and strategist with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University. Previously, he was the Associate Director, Research and Development, with the Learning Technologies Centre at University of Manitoba. His research interests include social software, learning networks, emerging technology, learning analytics and visualization, and the design of organizations in response to social and technological change pressures. Together with Stephen Downes and Dave Cormier, Siemens has pioneered open connectivist courses that have included thousands of educators and students as participants. He is a frequent keynote speakers at conference detailing the influence of technology and media on education, organizations, and society. Siemens has maintained the elearnspace blog ( for ten years and for five years.. Additional background information is available at

Rita Kop

Rita Kop is a researcher with the NRC Institute for Information Technology, Learning and Collaborative Technologies Group. Her current research focuses on Personal Learning Environments and she has a strong interest in lifelong learning and especially in the effects of technology on human learning. She holds a recent Ph.D in the subject. She has been involved at all levels of technology integration in adult education, ranging from early adoption of e-learning in the university classroom to managing large projects that developed advanced technology applications in small and medium enterprises and learning opportunities in community education centres. Before she joined the NRC she was an assistant professor at Swansea University in the UK after a career as a teacher and head-teacher in Dutch primary education. At Swansea University she developed and managed their MA in Lifelong Learning program on which she taught courses such as ‘Theories of Knowledge and Learning' and ‘ICT in Society'. She has written extensively about networked learning, widening access to Higher Education and lifelong learning. Her research interests are personalized learning, distance education and knowledge and learning on informal online networks.