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.

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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.

 

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Original

 

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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.

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

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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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