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Personal learningenvironments PLEs are defined as an approach that integrates informal andformal teaching with tools and technologies which are part of web 2.0. Web2.0 refers to the collection of applications common to internet users such asblogs, wikis, social media, and other forms of collaboration and instantcommunication. The force behind the momentum to make PLEs available to ourstudents is a belief that students are younger and more technologically adept,sometimes termed -digital natives.- The argument is that these digital natives, who were born into a totaldigital age, will learn better if they have the tools they commonly use, suchas social networking and IM, to complete their school work. PLEs involvecollaboration among peers through a variety of technologies. While much of theacademic research seems to have accepted the premise that our younger studentsthink and learn in a unique way, other research supports the idea that a totaldedication to PLEs might be an error and might work against the ability ofstudents to learn. These arguments, pro and con, are found within this paper aswell as a brief discussion of the challenges the implementation of PLEs mighthave on a university’s ability to support such a process. There are significantconcerns about the readiness of faculty for the implementation of PLEs. Thereis concern, as well, regarding the ability of universities to pay the costs ofmodifying their online learning system infrastructure to support full access toweb 2.0 within the university’s current technology and security systems.


Personal Learning Environments, Digital, Web 2.0

Cite this paper

Davidson, P. 2017 Personal Learning Environments and the Diversity of Digital Natives. Open Access Library Journal, 4, 1-7. doi: 10.4236-oalib.1103608.

Author: Phillip L. Davidson



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