Sociologically Speaking

Classrooms used to look like this:

Now they look more like this:

With this change comes a drastically different learning landscape. Instead of being passive information consumers, learners are now active co-producers of content, and pedagogical tools are working to keep up with the change.

PLEs represent an attempt to develop educational technologies that transcend the traditional model of schooling. They represent an attempt to move education from “school-led learning to learner-led learning” (Atwell, 2009).

Critical to this transition is the paradigm shift from learners engaging with institutional provisions to institutions engaging with the learner. PLEs are literally an attempt to flip the traditional educational model and place the learners at the steering wheel.

This comes with another shift: instead of thinking about education as completely separate from students’ lives outside school, PLEs demand that there is continuity between learning inside and outside the classroom. For this to work, education cannot be regarded as isolated from real life. It must be one continuous plain so that students can forge connections between academic subject matter and informal learning.

“In the new knowledge intensive era, the one-size-fits-all, centralized, static, top-down, and knowledge-push models of traditional learning initiatives need to be replaced with a more personalized, social, open, dynamic, emergent, and knowledge-pull model for learning” (Chatti, Agustiawan, Jarke, & Specht, 2010)


[Resources: Attwell, G. (2009). The social impact of personal learning environments.  In S. Wheeler (ed.). Connected minds, emerging cultures: Cybercultures in online learning. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. Pp. 119-138.

Chatti A. C., Agustiawan M. R., Jarke M., & Specht M. (2010). Toward a personal learning environment framework. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments1(4), 66-85.]


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