PLE Murder Mystery

On Thursday and Friday this week I was lucky enough to run two workshops at the PLE Conference held at Monash University.  The PLE Conference is a two day conference held in two cities, Melbourne and Berlin.  This year’s program, Personal Learning Environments: Learning and Diversity in the Cities of the Future, was full of presentations looking at the use of PLEs in education and examined the use of technology enhanced learning.

A PLE, or a Personal Learning Environment includes methods, tools, communities, and services constituting individual learning infrastructures or ecosystems which learners use to direct their own learning and pursue their learning goals.

The first workshop I did was a Murder Mystery.  Although I have never participated in a Murder Mystery dinner party I love the idea of immersing yourself in a character for an evening of mystery!  So I thought why not add that to a presentation.  I hoped that by placing the participants in different situations and looking at PLEs from different perspectives would help to make clear our understandings of PLEs and the different ways we use them.  In the session, participants were able to play the devils advocate and possibly the opportunity to play a role that went against their true beliefs of Personal Learning Environment.

The setting for the Murder Mystery was the launch of PLE – a new program that brings together different tools of collaboration, work flow and networking.  At the launch were a variety of people, some who loved the idea, others who felt a PLE should not be forced upon someone and of course those who were anti technology all together.  As part of the launch I shared a few of the tools which would appear as part of the make believe program’s suite of tools.

Unfortunately for Paula Louise Evans, the CEO of PLE, she was the victim of the afternoon and the other characters spent the rest of the session trying to determine the killer. Needless to say we all had a lot of fun.  The conference participants were wonderful getting in to their characters and there were many robust conversations about PLEs.

My second workshop looked at my Personal Learning Environment.  After having participants choose a photo that best represents their Personal Learning Environment, I used Richard Olsen’s White Paper, Understanding Virtual Pedagogies for Contemporary Teaching and Learning and the Collective Knowledge Construction Model to map some of the tools and networks I use as part of my PLE.

Then came the fun part as we used some craft materials to make a visualisation of our Personal Learning environment  It was really interesting to see the different ways people think of their PLEs.

I enjoyed being part of the conference and enjoyed the opportunity to see how others are using technology to enhance learning experience and enjoyed the opportunity to tackle questions such as what is the difference between personal and personalisation.  If you would like to check out any of the tweets for the conference you can do so with the Storifys of Day One and Day Two.









2 thoughts on “PLE Murder Mystery”

  1. Thanks for sharing your presentations Mel. Looking a the slides I wish I could have been there too. So much to learn. I particularly liked your reference to the CKC model. I also like the way it how modern learning could look like. I am curious about the Stephenson quote on one of the last slides. I have seen it before usually in reference to connectivism and how knowledge is stored in the networks. I am wondering if collecting people is like collecting books? Do you think that Stephenson is referring to knowledge existing in people or only in the network?

    1. Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for your comment. I too have seen the Stephenson quote in reference to Connectivism but actually she works in anthropology and organisations. She looks at how networks, both formal and informal, are the strengths of organisations and how they can motivate and bond those within an organisation.

      There is an interesting article on her website, What Knowledge Tears Apart,Networks Make Whole, that talks about how there is so much knowledge out there but what is key is to choose the people and skills in our networks and goes on to talk about the role of trust in this circumstance.

      Most of her thinking is around organisations but it is interesting to read and think about it in an education and personal learning network context. She also looks at not only our global networks but the networks within organisations.


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