Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies/Introduction of PLE

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There have been many changes in the field of e-learning. The biggest difference is that the learner generates content. As an example,the content of the book titled with "Web_2.0_and_Emerging_Learning_Technologies" is constructed by learners who take part in the collaborative acedemic project Curt Bonk from Indiana University,USA [1].

The technology and tools which support the learner to produce content have made rapid proliferation, almost, worldwide, since the emergence of blog. These technologies and tools can be divided into two types. One is to help the users to create content, such as Flickr, YouTube, Slideshare, and Haokanbu from China, etc. The other is to assist users to adopt new ways of managing knowledge and improving efficiency, such as RSS,Tag,Social Bookmarking,etc. The generic term for these different technologies and tools is social software, and its purpose is to support group interaction[2].

(Blogs and wikibooks are parts of a PLE but not everything. I consider PLE a concept, rather than a website, software, or any other online community. In addition to some examples of web 2.0 software and websites, a deeper illustration of the emerging concept should be provided.)

In addition, the development of open source exercises a great influence on education[3]. Open source projects such as MIT's OCW, OpenCourseWare Consortium, Wikipedia, including Linux and OpenOffice,etc., offer more opportunities.

All these changes have showed that the learner has more power controlling the learning environment. This was described by Stephen Dowens(2007) in that the management of learning migrates from the institution to the learner[4].This is the premise of what the PLE explores.

(A personalized learning environment (PLE), as the name suggests, is personal and differs individually. In an introduction of the concept of PLE, I expect a general idea at first and later some details and examples, which might be clearer for readers who have no idea of PLE before.)


[1]Curt Bonk(2007),The Web 2.0 and Participatory e-Learning(Course Announcement),Retrieved December 8, 2007 from: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R685_Fall_of_2007.htm

[2]Futurelab(2006),Social software and learning, Retrieved December 8, 2007 from: http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/publications_reports_articles/opening_education_reports/Opening_Education_Report199/

[3]oedb(2007),How the Open Source Movement Has Changed Education: 10 Success Stories,Retrieved December 8, 2007 from: http://oedb.org/library/features/how-the-open-source-movement-has-changed-education-10-success-stories

[4]Stephen Downes,(2007),Learning networks in practice,Retrieved December 8, 2007 from: http://partners.becta.org.uk/page_documents/research/emerging_technologies07_chapter2.pdf