Example of a Personal Learning Environment: Google

This post will provide an example of what a personal learning environment looks like. For a clear definition of the term, check out the next post, Could You Already Have a PLE? and the first post, PLNs and PLEs: Definitions. For another example, click back to the previous post.

Example: Google Homepage

Google is a great example of a PLE. If you have a Google account, you have access to a tremendous number of customizable resources, such as the ones listed here (although not limited to these!).

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We’re just going to look at one of these pages in depth, so let’s go with Google News.


Here it is, my Google News homepage. I haven’t customized it yet, but look at home Google explicitly gives me the option to personalize this site. If I choose to personalize it and have a say in what content is presented to me, then I start creating my own personal environment on the platform.

Notice that it gives me the option to personalize both the topics and news sites I want information on.

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Now, after my personalization choices, notice how the Google News page changed.




After personalization

You can see that although many of the topics stayed the same, the news sites changed. For instance, on my original homepage, Google displayed two Fox News articles; after personalization, it showed me zero.

In addition, based on my personalization, Google customized a “suggested for you” page. Since I haven’t spent much time on Google News yet, and since my personalization is so new, there was only one recommendation.

Even in the “suggested for you” page, I can tell Google whether or not I’m interested in an article.






To be honest, Google nailed this one.

Take a look at the previous example of a PLE, Pinterest. Which platform would you prefer to use to create your own PLE? Do you already have one of these platforms? Answer these questions in the comments!


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