Barriers to Personal Learning Environments

Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, Jan 19, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The barriers to personal learning environments (PLEs), according to Graham Attwell, include concerns that "many learners may not have the confidence and competence to develop and configure their own tools for learning" along with "fear by organisations of loss of institutional and managerial control." The former is yet another reiteration of the presumption that learners are cast into the wild with no fallback or support, which simply isn't part of the PLE model. The latter is more of a concern, since there simply isn't a clearly defined role for institutions in the use of PLEs. I've tried to mitigate that lack of clarity to some degree with the Connectivism course last fall, and will soon make it even more clear with some work on serialized feeds.
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