Personal Learning Environments: Challenging the networked ecosystems with people agency

Just over a year ago, we held a symposium in which we analysed where we were on issues related to Personal Learning Environments (PLE), yes, we were not talking about personalisation, nor about adaptive learning, but about PLE, that elusive concept that we have been talking about for over 15 years but which, being little or nothing linked to productive or remunerated issues, has a “discreet” predicament. We talked about that symposium in the entry: LET’S TALK ABOUT PLE IN TEEM 2021 of the TEEM2021 congress and we were able to write a summary article about the session we held at that congress, Personal Learning Environments as a Framework for Flexible Learning: Exploring Consensus, Asking Questions and Tracing Challenges (yes, it is just in Spanish but I’m sure the DEEP_L translation would help you to read it if you want ;-)), where the organisers of the Symposium (Graham Attwell, Nada Dabbagh and myself) collected the conversations of that time and explained where we were as far as PLE was concerned.

As a result of that symposium, we launched a special issue for the RED magazine “Revista de Educación a Distancia” (Vol. 23 Núm. 71 (2023) , which we titled like this post and which was published on January 1st, with the new year, and of which I leave you the list of contents below:


I would highlight that new names and areas of PLE research appear in the issue articles. Also,  some of the articles “listen” to what we said at the symposium, that some melons are opened, that there is variety in the discourse, but that we always, always talk about PLE, not personalisation, but about making learning more personal.

I hope you will be interested enough to read some of the articles and find them interesting and thought-provoking enough to comment on them and continue the conversation.

I want to thank my colleagues Graham and Nada, my gang in this effort as Guest Editors, the authorship teams who have participated, the people who sent in their proposals and who – for whatever reason – could not be included in the issue, the people who helped us by reviewing the articles and, of course, the journal’s team who altruistically maintain this channel of disseminating research. Without all of you, this would not be possible. Thank you.

Now, let’s read!

let’s talk about PLE in TEEM 2021

This 2021, after many time without being together “formally” to talk about Personal Learning Environments, and after almost 5 years without the #PLECONF, some PLE-people (and friends)  have decided to try to reedit that amazing spirit and incredible conversation about PLE that are, at least from our point of view, more relevant than ever before.
For doing this, we have organized a track in the 9th edition of the Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality (TEEM) conference chaired by Nada Dabbagh, Graham Attwell and myself.
This track (Track 11) intends to pick up the spirit of the PLECONF. Therefore we will try to make a different approach in our session that allows us to learn and share. To achieve this, we have asked our authorship teams to record a video with the most critical points of their papers, and THIS is going to be their actual presentations of their papers.
Now, we have most of them and want YOU to review them and have a first approach to the conversation.
The  PLE TRACK session at TEEM Conference will be on October 28th, Thursday, at 17:30 (Central European Time) and will have a duration of 1 hour and a half and we intend it to be an interactive online discussion It means it will not be a traditional presentation session.
Still, we will have collaborative discussions on fundamental aspects that can help us to understand the PLE topic better and advance our understanding of it:
  • what do we know about PLE?
  • what aspects still give us questions about PLE?
  • And what are the future research and development challenges around PLE?

Therefore, THIS is an invitation to take part in TEEM 2021 and on this #PLE session. To watch some of the videos (preferably all of them) and join us in the session… ah! and be prepared to discuss and talk

Supporting Students’ Control and Ownership of Learning in the Multimodal Learning from a PLE Perspective
Urith N. Ramírez Mera and Gemma Tur
Has Covid-19 emergency instruction killed the PLE?
Luis Pedro and Carlos Santos
Deeper Mapping: PLE diagrams, PKM Workflows and Scholarly Ontologies
Mike Cosgrave
Personal Learning Environments as Digital Spaces that are Collaborative, Adaptive, and Autonomous
Nada Dabbagh and Maurine Kwende
The Personalized Learning Interaction Framework: Expert Perspectives on How to Apply Dimensions of Personalized Learning to Workforce Training and Development Programs
Helen Fake and Nada Dabbagh
Personal Learning Environments: looking back and looking forward Graham Attwell

A letter difference, not different; two complementary approaches for learning

Atikah Shemshack and Shanshan Ma

Digital Skills for Building and Using Personal Learning Environments

Maria Perifanou and Anastasios Economides.


We still miss two more videos, as soon as we have them we will upload them here… please, join us!, see you online at the next PLE conversation!