Buchem, Ilona

“Collaborative Mind Mapping (BYOL): Let’s work on a definition of the PLE concept together!”

1. Background

Amidst all the different conceptualizations of Personal Learning Environments a comprehensive definition of what PLE is and how it can support learning, is still missing. The scope of the term stretches from technical solutions, through philosophical approaches to didactical design principles. The perception of what comprises a PLE is ever-emerging due to ongoing technological advances and innovative applications. Additionally, different types of PLEs, such as mobile PLEs (mPLEs), adaptable PLEs (aPLEs) or 3D PLEs as well as neighboring concepts, such as Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) or Personal Working and Learning Environments (PWLEs) are emerging and require a conceptual localization.  Given this abundance there is a need to integrate the various aspects of PLEs into a comprehensive concept.

2. Aims

The aim of this collaborative mind mapping session will be to create a comprehensive mind map of the PLE concept considering four perspectives, i.e. (1) technology, (2) content, (3) pedagogy and (4) social interaction. The aim is to integrate different aspects, types of PLEs and neighboring concepts in a comprehensive definition of Personal Learning Environments. In this way different perspectives of the PLE conference participants can be bundled together in one collective mind map.

3. Format

The format of the session will be collaborative mind mapping with elements of BYOL (bring your own laptop).  An initial mind map with main branches will be set up as a starting point using mindmeister software. Participants will have set up their mindmeister accounts prior to the workshop and bring their own laptops to the workshop to be able to work on the map. During the workshop participants will be divided into five groups each working on one main branch of the PLE mind map.  Each group will be supported by a different moderator. In order to create a continuous thread of dialogue and to encourage sharing of ideas, moderators will actively stimulate knowledge exchange in the group.  At the end of the session, key points will be discussed in the whole group und connections between different aspects established on the map.

4. Impact

The created collective mind map of the PLE concept will be available online for further refinement after the conference and will be presented to the scientific community as the outcome of the PLE conference. In this way the mainstreaming of the PLE concept will be actively supported.

Nouira, Chahira

“How well do you know your PLE? An exploratory learning journey on the role of Personal Learning Environments in institutional”

How well do you know your PLE?
An exploratory learning journey on the role of Personal Learning Environments in institutional learning

The workshop will offer a collaborative space to reflect on making the connection between PLE and institutional learning.
Format of the Workshop:
- Highly participatory and open process
- This workshop is a true instance of learning community: learning together not only thinking together
- Creativity is key: several facilitation techniques will be offered to capture all the ideas
- Graphic facilitation: as we move forward in this journey, all the participants will be drawing the bigger picture together.
Expected outcomes:
- A better understanding and identification of PLE
- The role of Technology in institutional learning
- e-stuff is important but let´s don´t forget that it is not about the “e” but rather “We”


Perifanou, Maria; Attwell, Graham

“Design your favorite iphone/ipods applications for your mobile Language Learning PLE ”

Language learners have two communities of learning: the learning community in the classroom, and the target language community (Alm A., 2006). Effective technology tools, strategies, and resources assist foreign language instruction by fuelling the students’ natural motivation to speak another language and get inside another culture (Paulsen, 2002). Authentic, meaningful, interactive, student-centered, Web-based learning activities can improve student performance in much the same manner as learning the language and culture while studying abroad. Web 2.0 applications can open up the classroom walls, and provide a broader range of opportunities for authentic and varied language interaction. Mobile devices such as iphones and ipods as new educational platforms that have no space and time limits are used to support communication, for content delivery and creation, to encourage personal engagement, and in contextual learning. So it is no longer a question of whether to take advantage of these electronic technologies in foreign language instruction, but of how to harness them and guide all the students in their use helping them to build their Personal Learning Environments.
The workshop will focus on the use of mobile devices such as iphones and ipods on creating a Personal Language Learning Environment.
There will be four sections to the workshop:
1) An introduction to the most important applications that  are available for Language Learning (5min)
2) A research review on the uses of iphones and ipods in Language Learning (5min)
3) Division of participants in groups and discussion on the creation of an evaluation model of a good language learning application. (15min)
4) Design of one or more iphone/ipods applications for a mobile Language Learning  PLE (25min)
5) Explanation and Evaluation of the  proposals (10min)


Simões, Paulo; Mota, José

“Twitter: The Heart of your PLE?”

This workshop will explore and discuss the possibilities of using Twitter as the heart of a Personal Learning Environment and how, through Twitter and its related applications, one can develop and maintain an effective network and an aggregated online presence. Due to the huge potential of Twitter as a network building tool, connecting people and resources, it can be construed as the “pump” that keeps the flow going, feeding information in and out of the PLE. This information may be later aggregated, filtered, organized and transformed using the features present in Twitter and in other services or applications that interoperate with it, and also through the use of the other tools and services present in a PLE.

After a brief presentation of Twitter’s potential to serve as the heart of a PLE, participants will start by presenting themselves on Twitter, using a defined hashtag, and follow one another, to set up the environment in which we will communicate online. They will then proceed to more elaborate actions, like using hashtags, groups and lists to organize their network, and learn how they can manage multiple identities (i.e. accounts) on Twitter. Finally, they will explore ways in which they can aggregate and manage their Twitter stream, Facebook account and pages, blogs, social bookmarking, etc. using Hootsuite, and learn how to synchronize/connect Twitter with other services that they may be using, like Facebook or several Google services (e.g. iGoogle, Buzz, Google Reader, etc.).

All together they will create an environment where they can search, filter, save and publish their content. At the end of the workshop participants should be able to understand the potential of Twitter as a core piece (the Heart) in a PLE and to start building/developing their Twitter presence and network from this perspective, if they so wish.

Considering the contents and services that will be used, participants in the workshop should have:

- a Twitter account
- some basic notions of how Twitter works
- a Delicious account
- basic experience in the use of some of the services (social bookmarking,Facebook, some Google Services, for example)
- their own laptop (we are assuming the room will not be equipped with computers).


Stieglitz, Dirk; Turner-Attwell, Joanna

“Audio-podcasting as self-reflection process within your PLE”

This workshop will show how practitioners can use audio podcasting to reflect on their learning processes and future learning goals. We will introduce web services such as AudioBoo and audio editing software like Audacity and Garageband. We will also explore and discuss some ideas and practice of radio feature programmes, storytelling and oral history, including how they can support the idea of podcasting for self-reflection processes. Another objective of the workshop will be to show typical preparation steps of audio work in general, like scripting an interview, setting up the technology and how it can than be published and shared on and through the internet.

Together with the audience we will produce different kinds of audio clips representing the different ideas and approaches for audio podcasting as part of a PLE. The workshop will work with Laptops (Windows & Mac OS X), Microphones, mobile recorder etc. The workshop will be structured as follows: 15 min. presentation and introduction, 10 min. Organizing and explaining the group work, 25 min. group work (in which the workshop conductors will support the groups), 10 min. presentation of group work and final words. The process and the products of the workshop will be documented afterwards on the Pontydysgu website (and if possible on the conference website as well).

We aim to make participants  aware of the huge potential of audio podcasting as an important part within a PLE and will introduce them to the technical aspects of podcasting and the necessary skills.
Because of the technical setup and the equipment, the workshop will be limited to a group of 9-10 participants. Participants will need to bring their own Laptop with them. We will prepare a small information package before the workshop so participants can prepare software on their computer for the workshop.