Anticipating PLE 2.0

Last summer I wrote 31 posts on this blog which explored how Personal Learning Environments could be formulated, utilized and contrasted with other approaches to learning. In hindsight, that exploration resembles pioneer species taking root on barren ground. The initial development of PLE possibilities now appears to me as the first stage in a continuing evolution. PLE's, as they've been conceived thus far, function as an extreme solution which yields lots of unintended consequences. Here's some facets of the next phase of PLE's evolution that I'm anticipating.

A mash-up of DIY and DIT:
Do-It-Yourself learning can breed isolation and alienation, in spite of all the connectedness enabled by Web 2.0 tools. As Janet Clarey suggested, the self-service opportunities can become burdens that lose sight of the value of DIY. I've recently read four books that all identify emerging patterns in teens and twenty-somethings of Do-It-Together accomplishments, civic mindedness and reciprocal generosity.

Backwards compatibility:

Version 1.0 of a PLE functioned as a stand-alone application. It only worked with self-directed learning. Compatibility problems arose with:
  • LMS/VLE platforms for delivering and monitoring the completion of required content
  • Classroom attendance and synchronous curriculum activities
  • Digitized portfolio development and job-seeking with evidence of completed learning
  • Learning from printed materials that cannot be tagged, searched with keywords, pasted as quotations or subscribed to its feed
Version 2.0 will eliminate the these compatibility problems and integrate these other sub-routines into comprehensive learning processes.

Accommodation of declining reading comprehension and writing skills
Version 1.0 required robust reading skills, as well as new tools literacy. PLE's inherently disregarded the changes initiated by the video/conversational/networking culture. It assumed that print literacy is here to stay. Version 2.0 will embrace more of the storytelling and self expression conveyed by 9232 hours per day of new uploads to YouTube.

Self diagnostic and self healing
PLE 1.0 was vulnerable to system crashes. When learning stopped happening, the PLE was abandoned. It often functioned as a vicious cycle that drained the typical learners of their motivation, curiosity and creativity. Version 2.0 will evolve protocols for restoring learning when it's been disrupted by anti-learning ecologies. New safeguards will protect motivation, curiosity and creativity.

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