One of my favorite aspects of learning from other bloggers is realizing my assumptions from others using different premises. The more this occurs, the better overview I get of the entire arena of possibilities.
This morning I imagined a picture of four entrances into the PLE arena. I see my favorite and the chosen access points of others. Together we cover many of the premises for exploring this vast realm of possibilities.
Freedom entrance: Most educators and advocates of PLE's come through this access point. The value of PLE's appears to dwell on the freedom from indoctrination, passive acceptance of expertise and coercion to comply with uniform requirements. PLE's are portals into any free ranging exploration of online resources. Look for Stephen Downes to show you a way into the PLE arena from this perspective.
Life-long learning entrance: PLE's are attractive to educators who support those facing workforce reentry, rebounding from technological obsolescence, upgrading skills levels in their current trade and choosing a career change. PLE's empower the more confident and self-selective learning that grows outside school environments. Check out Michele Martin to get a handle on this door into the PLE arena.
Community development entrance: PLE's are powerful vehicles to come together to move issues forward, synthesize combined alternatives, or join forces in shifting the narrative in larger contexts. By consciously learning from each other and the processes of interaction, the ensuing realizations create bonds, common ground and collaborative possibilities. Set your coordinates for the Future of Learning in a Networked World to come into the arena on this basis.
Reflective practice entrance: PLE's endlessly juxtapose frames of reference, underlying assumptions and conflicting priorities. There is an amazing supply of issues to reconsider, view from other perspectives, and combine into more inclusive understandings. Observing others gaining new insights fuels this ongoing reflective practice. Here's lookin at y'a kid. Welcome to my door.