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.

Personal Learning Environment

Name: Needham, Theresa

Personal Learning Environment: Instructional Design

Valjataga, T., & Laanpere, M. (2010). Learner control and Personal learning environment: A challenge for instructional design. Interactive Learning Environments,18(3), 277-291.

Summary: Giving the learner control over the learning process shifts the learning from teacher to student driven. This type of learning mirrors ‘real world’ inquiry. The main benefit of giving students increased control over their own learning plan is that it can encourage the students to become an individual who is capable of self instruction; therefore, become a life-long learner.

Evaluation: Unlike many articles, this particular text is a scholarly article and one must be prepared to read through the writer’s study.It is interesting to read the writer’s thoughts on self direction and the actual responses of student who participated in the study.

Personal learning environments (PLEs): A collection of definitions

Buchem, I. (2010). Personal learning environments: A collection of definitions. Retrieved from

This is a PowerPoint presentation with a collection of 14 different definitions for “Personal Learning Environment.”

I am including this in the blog, because as I was reading articles about personal learning environments  I got frustrated that I did not have a clear definition in my mind of exactly what researchers meant by that term.  They all seemed to picture a PLE a little differently.  When I went to find a single definition I could not do so.  It seems there is no one agreed upon definition. But reading through these 14 different definitions the author has gathered from different sources, does a lot to help a reader gain a clearer understanding of what a PLE is and can look like.