If you are not aware, let me talk a little about my research. My research is about designing/developing Personal Learning Environment (PLE) for Higher Education. Obviously, I’m very interested to know how actually a person (especially in higher ed) learns and how this person uses technology in learning. I’m particularly concerned about what criteria is essential for a student to learn more effectively especially in this Web 2.0 era where web applications/tools are abundant in this type of learning environment.
While looking for more information, I found that there are a lot of researchers out there, who have similar research interest with the same goal of making the learning environment better. I have connected with these researchers by Twitter, live discussion in Elluminate, and RSS their blogs. I’m glad there are so many supports out there during my research and I don’t really feel isolated with research (though I alone have to write and finish it). Eventually, while connecting with these researchers, they would introduce their new idea and new discussion that can spark off more new idea.
PLE should let you in control of what you need in learning. That’s what Symbaloo and NetVibes can do for you. Let you in control how your (personal) learning environment should be. Of course, they can be used for many other purposes other than learning. You can use them as bookmarks to your favorite sites and create any links you like all in one page. You can fully personalized your page in whatever ways possible.
I have tried out both Symbaloo and NetVibes. Personally, I prefer NetVibes, though Symbaloo has better (colorful) interface. This is truly personal preference and highly dependent on the way I like to learn. Everyone has different preference, of course. This makes this research more difficult, trying to know everyone’s preference. Anyway, here are how my PLEs look like:
I have created links that I use most frequently in my Symbaloo. My UM Student Portal, UM Siswa Mail, my blog, email, Google Reader, etc. One thing I dislike is I have to click on the link to open it on another page. It would be nicer if everything in the same page. Just a thought!
I feel Netvibes is more what I envision PLE should look like in higher education. I love that I can have a place to write note, create a tasklist, add in Twitter’s and email. I can actually add more stuff but right now these are all I need for my research and learning.
I have created another page with all the RSS blogs that I follow. All in one page, with real feeds.
This is how I wish PLE in higher education should function and probably much more. There’s still concern about support/scaffolding from educator to be included in PLE. I’m sure for HE management, the most concern aspects are assessment and formalization. Much to ponder upon still…