"The idea behind the e-Portfolio," writes Graham Attwell in this long discourse on PLEs, "is that students should be able to use their own tools for learning." What the PLE represents, then, is not some new tchnology that offers us another way to manage (or test) student learning, but rather the idea of (and maybe some technological support for) allowing students to take charge of their own learning. For example, to draw on Attwell's examples a bit, the process of reflection - exploring what they have done or achieved - involves the employment of cognitive tools (such as, say, 'articulating an opinion' or 'defending an opinion') as much as technological tools. The purpose of presenting the content isn't so that it can be evaluated by some authority but rather to place it in focus, in context, so it can be reflected on by the creator (and his or her peers). What defines a PLE, then, is purpose, and not merely function. Good paper, well worth reading.