PLENK 2010

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The Daily

September 13, 2010

Week 1: A tour of PLEs and PLNS - diagrams, discussions, examples

In week one, we'll tackle the terminology and concepts of "personal learning environments" (PLE) and "personal learning networks" (PLN). A degree of overlap exists between these two terms - PLE has received greater adoption in higher education, while PLN seems to be more prominent among K-12 (primary/secondary) educators. A rough statement of distinctions:

A Personal Learning Environment is more of a concept than a particular toolset - it doesn't require the use of any particular tool and is defined by general concepts like: distributed, personal, open, learner autonomy. These conceptual attributes influence the types of tools individuals select to engage in learning. Often, PLEs are presented in contrast to organizational learning management systems...but we'll explore that distinction later in this course.

A Personal Learning Network is a structure that reflects relatedness to other people. Information sources (such as Google or databases) can be part of a PLN. A PLN is grown by adding new people or connections. A PLN is a reflection of social and information networks (and analysis methods). Introduction to Personal Learning Networks provides a short overview of PLNs.

Don't like those definitions of PLEs & PLNs? No problem - we'll tackle this in the discussion forums and blogs.

What to expect this week:

ActivitiesThis week is a "get started" week. As such, we're not asking too much of you other than:


On Monday (or late Sunday) you'll receive the first issue of the Daily (an email newsletter sent Monday-Friday each week of the course). This newsletter will include weekly readings (listed below), links to blogs or resources related to the course, and announcements about guest speakers.

Readings for this week:

EDUCAUSE: 7 Things you should know about PLE's (.pdf)

Learning Networks in Practice (.pdf)

Personal Learning Environments: Challenging the dominant design of educational systems (.pdf)

Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open and Social Learning (.pdf)

Scott Leslie's Mother of All PLE Diagram Compilation

The Design and Development of a Personal Learning Environment

Five points about PLEs and PLNs - Dave Cormier (Blog post)

Stephen Downes: Personal Learning Environments (Video)

Remember: Pick and choose from the readings. You do not need to read everything.


Elluminate session (access the site here: Elluminate session) with course facilitators.
Time: Conversions to different time zones
Note: in future weeks, we will have an invited presenter on Wednesday...
for this opening week, this will be an orientation and general discussion session.


Elluminate session (access the site here: Elluminate session) with course facilitators.
Time:: Conversions to different time zones

How To Get The Most Out of PLENK2010

Welcome to PLENK 2010. The course starts tomorrow, September 13, and we're ready to get going.

PLENK2010 is not your typical course. You should review these materials before taking the course in order to get the most out of this course.

-- If you haven't read it already, please read How This Course Works

-- Please view the video how to be successful in a MOOC

-- View the introductory Elluminate session recorded Friday on how to be successful in this course (this is a good way to make sure Elluminate is working on your system). You can always find this and other recordings on the course recordings page.

-- Create a blog or some other type of content and submit your RSS feed. If you don't know how, view the How-To video. Then, once you have your feed set up, submit it here.

-- Review the course overview in the Course Wiki.

Tomorrow (Monday) you'll get your first Daily newsletter and the readings and discussion will start. Let us take this opportunity to remind you that you are not expected to read everything. Pick and choose. Find your own niche within the course and make it uniquely your own.

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this course? Feel free to forward The Daily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here.

Copyright 2010 ~ Stephen Downes ~ George Siemens ~ Dave Cormier ~ Rita Kop
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License