OLTD 504 – Personal Learning Environments

This blog post is a response to the article “Web2.0, Personal Learning Environments, and the Future of Learning Management Systems”

I found this article interesting and agreed with a lot of the things that it said.  I do not see how the LMS systems used by universities can hope to keep up with the advances being made by different web2.0 companies, and I think it is unrealistic to expect them to do so.   Instead, I feel like schools need to be incorporating the tools that students are already using, and build resources that can integrate these tools into their courses.  Many students have already created Personal Learning Environments cobbled together from the many different social resources on the web, and it seems easier to me to work with these tools, than to try to design something completely new.  Don’t try and reinvent the wheel.  Having said that, it you are going to create a self-contained social site through Ning or another social network creator, I believe you will get more buy in if you have your new site able to connect with the otherweb2.0 tools that your students are using. As Clarence Fischer says in the article:

“The multiple systems accessed through a web browser model encourage learners to draw the best from every environment.  They also arguably reduce the institutional risk of a single point-of-failure, where a crucial system such as the LMS of authentication system going down can mean that all student-facing systems are inaccessible. “

The one down side of this that Fischer mentions is that spreading your work across multiple platforms requires you to remember multiple addresses and passwords to gain access to you work.  A lot of sites now allow you to log in using your Google, twitter, or Facebook login, so this is starting to get more streamlined, but it can still be a pain at times.  It would be great to have a dedicated site that manages all of you logins and passwords.  Now that I think of it, I’m sure there is somewhere.  I will have to investigate…

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One response to “OLTD 504 – Personal Learning Environments”

  1. Justin Mark says :

    Hi Ben,

    I focused on a similar topic on my blog this week, and like you I agree that LMSs are facing an uphill battle when trying to compete with open and often free Web 2.0 tools that are being already widely used by students. What I find interesting is that Universities seem to be adopting the LMS for the security and legitimacy that they bring to their programs. Similarly for our uses in OLTD, I felt it was nice to be able to host discussion, within the confines of a safe and private environment. Something I am grateful for however is the wide range of Web 2.0 tools are instructors have employed and exposed us to. Enjoy the rest of your Easter weekend. Cheers Justin

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