Next Generation Personal Learning Environments at Online Educa

The annual Online Educa conference took place in frozen Berlin last week. Despite the weather conditions, the conference was attended by key people in the e-learning industry and academia. Alexander Mikroyannidis from KMi was there and gave a talk at the Next Generation Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) workshop organised by the British Institute for Learning and Development (BILD).

Karen Velasco from the BILD talked about what constitutes a PLE, its benefits as well as drawbacks, and introduced the vision of the ROLE project on responsive and user-centred learning environments. Alexander Mikroyannidis then talked about the transition of traditional Learning Management Systems towards the PLE paradigm and what this transition means for the Open University. Alexander described the technological advances being made within ROLE and the benefits that these bring to the Open University student.

The second half of the workshop featured a discussion between participants about the potential of PLEs, and particularly:
• What is the potential for the lifelong learner?
• What is the potential for workplace learning?
• What is the potential for the eLearning market?
• What are your/your organisation’s specific needs from PLEs?

The discussion brought up some interesting issues regarding the portability of PLEs, the opportunities they offer for networking, as well as privacy and other organisational restrictions. The discussion was carried on after the end of the workshop over beer and chips at the BILD pavilion.

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