"The PLE project recognises the fundamental flaws in Virtual Learning Environments or Learning Management Systems (VLE, LMS), but falls short in its vision of an alternative. At this stage in the project it is suggesting that the PLE be a desktop application for a student (sounds a bit like my old Perfect LMS idea) or a singular portal online.
At risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll have to repeat my defining question about Internet enhanced learning, but this time in response to the PLE.
Question to the PLE: Why do we need a PLE when we already have the Internet? The Internet is my PLE, ePortfolio, VLE what ever. Thanks to blogger, bloglines, flickr, delicious, wikispaces, ourmedia, creative commons, and what ever comes next in this new Internet age, I have a strong online ID and very extensive and personalised learning environment. Actually I think the PLE idea is better envisioned by the futurist concept known as the Evolving Personalised Information Construct (EPIC). I think we already have EPIC, so why do we need the PLE?
To extend the statement: We insignificant little teachers and our out of date schools and classrooms don't need to be investing in media projects like VLEs, LMS and even PLEs. Our dam walls of knowledge have burst! and no amount of sand bagging will stop the flood that is clearly discrediting our authority over learning. Media, and with it communications, will evolve (as it certainly has in the last 50 years or more) well beyond the limitations of our classrooms, with investments and broadcast influence we can't even fathom. Why waste our precious money and time on projects that only serve to suspend our true position within that media scape. The PLE makes me think of ELGG, and it all makes me wonder why it is we educationalists still think we are even relevant anymore. The people (yes that includes us) are learning how to read and write for themselves, and in an amazing act of collective generosity, the people are teaching each other - why do they even need our classrooms... is it perhaps only credentialism that we offer? Or is it also sense of security and safety? Is it false?"
(Leigh Blackall, 13 November 2005)
Fig.1 "Lords of Graphite" by 5star (Neil Caldwell).
"The JISC Pedagogical Vocabularies project was a short study, managed by CETIS, to scope the potential for identification, development and use of pedagogical vocabularies for the UK post-16 and HE communities. After a period of data gathering and community consultation, a Working Group of experts from various sectors and communities developed two reports along with recommendations to JISC that will be used to inform future development in this area, in collaboration with JISC partners."
(Joint Information Systems Committee, UK)
1). Pedagogical Vocabularies Review, which inventories existing pedagogical vocabularies, including flat lists, taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies and classification schemes, relevant to the UK post-16 and HE education sectors, with reference to current work in Europe. Final Draft, 23rd December 2005.
"This paper presents a rational model developed to make sense of various elearning platforms currently in use in Australian universities. The conceptualisation and organisation of the elearning platforms is underpinned by an educational psychology framework of social construction of meaning, data visualisation and story telling for meaning making. The model explains how various elearning platforms can be integrated to represent a threedimensional, hierarchical construct that has the potential to aid understandings about the utility of information systems (IS) for learning and teaching. The model shows that LAMS, which has gained increasing popularity in Europe (Laurillard & Masterman, 2010), is usefully depicted as a ‘middle ground’ system, successfully bridging conventional LMSs and more advanced IS, referred here as (MU)VLEs (Multi-User Virtual Learning Environments). The model has important implications on how university lecturers, classroom teachers and students come to engage with an increasingly complex elearning environment."
(Eva Dobozy & Patricia Reynolds, LAMS Conference Sydney 2010)
Dobozy, E. & Reynolds, P. (2010). From LMS to VLE or from supermarkets to airports: Classifying elearning platforms using metaphors. Proceedings of the 5th International LAMS Conference 2010. http://lamsfoundation.org/lams2010sydney/papers.htm
"For the past decade, the LMS market has evolved from providing tools that were purchased at the departmental level to enterprise-class systems purchased at the institutional or even system-wide level. However, since about 2004 the market has been fairly consistent, dominated by Blackboard corporate strategy.
Blackboard went public in 2004, signaling a real market worth of investors' attention. In 2005 – 2006, the market was dominated by Blackboard's acquisition of WebCT, the number 2 player in LMS, resulting in a somewhat extended Department of Justice approval cycle. Starting in 2006, Blackboard was awarded the infamous '138 patent and subsequently filed suit against Desire2Learn, the new number 2 player in LMS. About this same time, open source started to become a viable alternative to proprietary systems in general, and Blackboard in particular, in the form of Moodle and Sakai. From 2006 – 2009, open source became fully established for campus-wide or system-wide LMS deployments. In late 2009, Desire2Learn successfully fended off Blackboard patent lawsuits, ultimately resulting in all 38 claims being ruled invalid by a US Court of Appeals. On the heels of these efforts in 2009, Blackboard purchased Angel, taking another competitor out of the market."
(Phil Hill, 4 August 2011, e-Literatee-Literate)
Fig.1 "LMS Market Share", [http://www.deltainitiative.com/higher-education/lms-strategy]
"Pearson today made a major move to increase access and collaboration in higher education by launching OpenClass. A key component of Pearson's vision to increase access, achievement and affordability, OpenClass offers institutions and instructors the ability to engage and interact with their students using the collaborative technologies that students are embracing - at no cost.
OpenClass is a new kind of self-service learning management system (LMS) delivered from the Cloud. It is easy to use and completely free. There are no hardware, licensing or hosting costs, thus enabling widespread adoption of new learning approaches that encourage interaction within the classroom and around the world.
'Now, educators and students are able to communicate and collaborate in new ways across institutions and around the globe - providing a richer, more personal and more connected learning experience. At no cost,' said Matt Leavy, CEO of Pearson eCollege.
OpenClass integrates seamlessly with Google Apps for Education™ and will be available starting this week in the Google Apps Marketplace™, Google's online storefront for Google Apps™ products and services. With single sign-on and a unified navigation bar, instructors and students can launch OpenClass from within Google Apps or access their Google applications from OpenClass. Launching OpenClass in the Google Apps Marketplace™ provides institutions with the easiest path to adoption and an avenue to reach institutions already familiar with the benefits of cloud-based solutions.
'We're excited to have OpenClass in the Google Apps Marketplace,' said Obadiah Greenberg, Google's Business Development Manager for Education. 'OpenClass is tightly integrated with Google Apps for Education, our free suite of communication and collaboration applications. Through the Google Apps Marketplace, schools will have access to OpenClass. We are happy to offer this complementary learning management system to the millions of students, faculty and staff already using Google Apps.'
'OpenClass has huge potential for higher education,' said Adrian Sannier, Senior Vice President of Learning Technologies at Pearson. 'OpenClass accelerates what technology will do for learning with a free, open and innovative platform that easily scales and lets students work via social media, with an intense focus on learning that elevates achievement.'
Pearson, working closely with its design partners, will rapidly advance the capabilities of OpenClass to leverage the rich data and social foundations of the platform and the ability to release new functionality frequently. Design partners include Abilene Christian University, Arizona State University, Central Piedmont Community College, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Monash University, Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Rice University, the University of Wisconsin Extension and Columbia University. Many of these institutions are already teaching courses on OpenClass this fall.
'We truly believe that OpenClass is a disruptive technology for education,' said Kevin Roberts, Chief Planning and Information Officer at Abilene Christian University. 'Pearson's commitment to providing an open and free platform is monumental. The days of 'business as usual' in higher education are gone. OpenClass is a powerful tool to help us move forward into the connected, mobile and open world that we live in.'"
(Susan Aspey, Pearson press release 13 October 2011)