Personal Learning Environments

Hwang, Naomi

ID: Inquiry and Design Thinking

LaSota, D. (2017, February 8). Personal learning environments (PLE) [Video file]. Retrieved from

Summary: In this video, Dan LaSota, an instructional designer at University of Alaska Fairbanks’ eCampus, breaks down the four main aspects of Personal Learning Environments. First, we connect with information when we come into contact with it. Then, we collect information, whether it’s in our memory, on phone apps, in a notebook, etc. We collect information so that we can retrieve it, and our ability to retrieve it helps us in our collection processes. Third, we reflect, or think, about the information, actively processing or cogitating about it. Lastly, we may share information with others, allowing others to access it as well. At the end of the video, LaSota discusses why an examination of one’s Personal Learning Environment can be valuable to oneself or for students. He compares it to taking inventory of our resources and tools. He also discusses how students may start with the first or second steps when they are learning in school, but may may not move on to the third or fourth steps. He suggests technology tools for augmenting student learning such as Diigo and Google Drive.

Evaluation: While this video is not the most engaging and just shows LaSota talking and writing, I found that it broke down the concept of Personal Learning Environments in a valuable and clear manner. LaSota’s discussion of the value of understanding our own PLEs was a lightbulb moment for me, because he pointed out that if we do not understand the ways we connect, collect, reflect, and share information, we will not know what we are missing out on. Examining our own PLEs is like taking an inventory of the methods and tools we use in each. It is only after taking inventory that one may realize what methods and tools we are not utilizing or could add to our “arsenal”. If our students could reflect on their own inventories, or reflect on how they engaged in each of the four aspects after a unit, a project, or even a lesson, they maybe able to understand their learning styles better and become better students.

Digital Projectors for Interactive Teaching

I finally found an article interesting enough to post here on the classroom blog.

Kids around a table using an interactive projector.

Nelson, K. (2016). 10 game-changing ways to use an interactive classroom projector. Retrieved from
This article describes modern technologies, like digital projectors, used for interactive teaching, turning any surface into a whiteboard which then detects fingers or a special pen so it moves like the touchscreen on a tablet or smartphone. Think of the possibilities in that. Maps, history, geography, all able to be interacted with and change how classrooms work.