Powered by Elgg

John Pallister :: Blog :: A Personal Learning Environment, about to be born?

January 25, 2009

 My learning was being affected by my deteriorating eyesight. The optician wanted me to play a game where I watched the little green dot jumping around the screen while I focussed on the red dot in the middle; I had to press the button whenever I could see the green light flash on and off. At the same time the optician was shining his torch and looking into my eyes. He explained that he was testing my peripheral vision. Not being an addict for games of any sort, I found my self thinking about learning environments; about the need for the learner to focus, to avoid, or at least to be selective of the massive range of distractions that present themselves to learners. I had attempted to understand the effect that social distractions on learning http://elgg.jiscemerge.org.uk/jpallis001/weblog/1744.html  and  the need to create space for learning to happen http://elgg.jiscemerge.org.uk/jpallis001/weblog/1724.html     One hour later I was looking through my new lenses on to the world, ready to learn again. Walking down the high street, a chap with a loud speaker was telling me and anyone else who would listen, that we should reflect on and repent our sins and that if we did, all would be well. He had the technology to transmit his message; he had a message that he wanted to share; some people were listening, a few were engaged. I was picking up other noise from the market traders selling their wares, trying to entice me, by attracting my attention, to buy.  A couple of adolescents were wanting my attention and the attention of any and everyone as they showed off their skill on their skateboards and their interesting hair styles.  I was trying hard to ignore the distractions, I was reflecting, not just on my sins, but on the conference that I had attended, in 1990, in that hotel, that I had just walked past. I was organising my learning, sorting things out in my head. The debate about Personal Learning environments drifted in to my head.  I had followed numerous discussions that were attempting to define PLEs. I had begun to wonder if we were over cooking the PLE bit. http://elgg.jiscemerge.org.uk/jpallis001/weblog/1767.html  I decided that, really, it was what the learner ‘does’ in their Personal Learning Environment thatdetermines what they will learn and that this is more important than the environment itself. http://groups.google.co.uk/group/eportfolios-and-plts/browse_thread/thread/0550e67b9ef63b66?hl=en# On Friday I delivered a CPD presentation on PLTs and Functional Skills http://www.slideshare.net/jpallis001/introduction-to-personal-learning-and-thinking-skills-and-functional-skills-presentation  I found myself talking about independent learners working in an active, problem solving environment. I was talking about learners, learning in an environment where they were expected and required to operate independently.  To develop PLTs and Functional Skills we need to provide learners with opportunities to develop, practice and apply these skills. In most cases this will require a shift in emphasis from teaching to learning. Might it be that the introduction of PLTs and Functional Skills will be the catalyst that will result in schools creating learning cultures that recognise Personal Learning? A PLE is about to be born?

Posted by John Pallister

You must be logged in to post a comment.