Improving on the Collection of PLE Diagrams

I first started the collection of PLE Diagrams in June 2008 with no more planning other than “gee, it sure seems like there are a lot of PLE Diagrams out there, I wonder if I collected a lot of them whether we might not be able to learn something from different people’s conceptions of their PLEs.” And so off I went and gathered 25 or so images from around the web into a wiki page.

But it seems to have taken on a bit of a life of it’s own, soon to break 50 diagrams, many of which have been contributed by others on their own. And increasingly I see it cited as a resource in online classes and other sites. Both of which are fantastic! Both of which scare the bejesus out of me. Because I’m not an archivist, nor even really an academic researcher, and my attitude towards this as well as pretty much anything else I create (especially on that wiki) is that it is meant to be very disposable.


  • Is the collection useful to you? What have you gleaned from it? How have you used it?
  • What would make it better?
  • Would it be *more* useful to you if it were someplace else, say Wikieducator, that perhaps seemed more neutral (though, arguably, less easy to edit)? Would you be more willing to contribute to it if it were?
  • Would you be interested in helping to grow or maintain the collection? What would you be willing to do to make it better?

Let me know. It’s not going anywhere, at least not for now, and there’s no rush or compulsion, nor am I under any delusion as to its lasting academic value. It was, as is everything I do, something I simply “just shared” (without planning to) and this is simply an effort to engage with others to see if there is nt some way to improve on it. Let me know. – SWL

7 thoughts on “Improving on the Collection of PLE Diagrams”

  1. “What would make it better?”

    It would be great that you took the 50 models, put them “one on top of the other” (as if you printed them on acetate transparent paper), discover what parts overlap again and again, and try to write a great blog post about what are the common issues you found that constitute what we could call the “core” of “any” PLE.

    Yes, I can do that myself, but you surely know them much better than anyone.

    And… errr… well, you just volunteered by putting the question, didn’t you? 😉

    BTW, thanks for the compilation. Yes, it’s useful: I suscribed long ago to the RSS feed 🙂

  2. Ismael, you are right – I did try to tease out a little of this by grouping the diagrams into different orientations (“Tool” “Use/Action,” “People”) but more could be done for sure. This was partly what prompted this email – as the collection gets to a certain size, it becomes cumbersome, and depending on how people are using it (and what they themselves might be willing to help with) there are different ways to re-do it that might incorporate a more folksonomic approach or at least involve more people’s perspectives/needs. At the end of the day, if no one else comes forward, that’s fine, I may or may not keep moving forward with it (I tend to not focus on one single area/approach for too long) – this was an attempt to engage in conversation to see if it was worthwhile and see if there were co-conspirators. Anyways, appreciate your feedback and glad that it is of some use/interest. Cheers, Scott

  3. Hi Scott – I use your list regularly…a key assignment in the Intro to Emerging Tech course at U of Manitoba requires learners to review the list and then select those diagrams that they find valuable.

    It’s a terrific resource, Scott. Thanks for making it available…


  4. George, it is really gratifying to hear it is being made use of. If you can think of a way to organize it differently that would work better for your learners, or indeed an activity in which they could improve on it, I am all ears. And like I said, I’m very open to it living somewhere else if that means it is seen as more of a public resource and thus hopefully more open to reuse/remixing by others.

  5. Scott – Don’t touch it! That is unless you’re going to add to it (apparently you have a right to be scared). I work in Academic Technology and this semester took my first class in many-a-year. My instructor asked us to 1) create a PLE, and 2) reflect on what a PLE is. Your collection really helped me gel the idea that a PLE is not a set “thing” and is highly customizable to the individual (hence the “personal” in PLE). I got a chuckle out of some of the diagrams, D’Arcy Norman’s in particular. I posted a link to your collection and got a short response from the instructor thanking me for sharing. Your list was truly valuable to me as both in my role as a student and as a technologist. Many thanks to you for it!

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