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Beyond Management: Personal Learning Environments

Stephen Downes’ presentation at ED-MEDIA 2009 is available: Beyond Management: Personal Learning Environments. The talk is an advancement (integration) of Stephen’s ideas over the last several years and looks like a precursor to his large PLE research project at NRC. During the talk, he makes a distinction between complicated and complex that resonates with my own work around learning theory (and Dave Snowden’s Cynefin framework, Ronald Barnett’s work on super complexity). In this distinction we find the driving motivation for reform of education. Web 2.0 is an instantiation of change. It is not the core change. The shift from settled and stable information (complicated – like a jigsaw puzzle where every piece has a place in our curriculum) to adaptive and emerging (complex – like a weather system where numerous combinations of factors will produce outcomes that cannot be fully predicted) is the core change. New education models must be built on this change. Any system that is out of synch with the market it intends to serve risks irrelevance.

One Comment

  1. Clint Smith wrote:

    PLEs for me are part of the rise and rise of informal learning, and I’ve been thinking for a long time about what a learning-centred desktop should look like, and whether organisational-level PLEs are a contradiction in terms or just what everyone needs to get started. I look forward to Stephen’s crystal ball number.


    Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink