Team PLEs

Below, each member of the Week 8 team has posted a video clip or an image to describe their PLEs, in part or in whole, that they use for work, studying or for personal interests. We invite you to explore and share your own description of your PLE.

Chris Aitken

I am a former teacher and current instructional designer/developer at Alberta Health Services. We develop elearning courses for staff development in our clinical systems. Tools like Twitter, Diigo, Flipboard, and Google Reader have transformed how I learn and have made me a big believer in PLEs.
A short narrative of my PLE

Janet Barker

I am a secondary school mathematics teacher in British Columbia, Canada.  I am currently trying to implement some of what I have learned in the MET program by encouraging students to use the technology they have available to them to enhance their learning.  As much as I enjoy technology, my PLE is still pretty “old school” as you can see by watching the Prezi below.

Meggan Crawford

Meggan As a secondary school teacher in School District #43 in British Columbia, Canada I will complete my MET from UBC in the spring of 2013. In my time as a teacher I have consistently increased my use of technology to improve my classroom and my teaching. Recently I have become a big fan of Edmodo and Quizlet, which I use regularly in all of my classes, whether it is English, Social Studies, or Student Services!  I am also expanding my own educational horizons and doing professional development every day through my own Personal Learning Network on Twitter:

Twitter PLN

Danielle Dubien

I love learning and that’s why I’ve spent most of my adult life in school. During breaks in the real world, I’ve taught at the primary level and have written high school science online courses. Lately, I’ve worked on educational presentations for the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa and I’ve written teacher guides for activities that include the use of Google Docs, Twitter and online videos produced by TFO.

Click here to see the interactive version of my PLE map.

Dave Horn

After having been the Mathematics and Science Department head for two and a half years I am now the Director of Educational Technology as a result of my push to incorporate technology into the learning process and my progression through the MET program at UBC. I encourage students to use the tools (smart phones, cameras, and computers) they have available to them to build and demonstrate their understand of course concepts, whether it be in mathematics, science, or any other course they are in.

Gillian Sudlow

I am an Adult Educator with the Vancouver School Board in British Columbia. Working with adults, I encounter a variety of ages and abilities. Some students are digital natives while others have little to no experience with digitial technologies; however, almost all of my students are unaware of how to leverage digital tools to enhance their learning, nor do they possess adequate media literacy skills. In my practice, I make it a point to introduce students to learning technologies and encourage their development of media literacy skills. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-size image of my PLE which highlights some of the tools I use in my professional, personal and scholarly life.


46 Responses to Team PLEs

  1. Danielle says:

    Here is a link to my new PLE – one that is much more organized than just a thread of bookmarks!

    This is just a start but captures the essence of what I do on a daily basis. Symbaloo definitely allows learners to configure and develop their learning environment in a way that reflects their interests and goals. It is quite simple to manage and edit their learning space in a creative way. The pages or “webmixes” are visually appealing, easily shared and a great way to showcase learners’ work. Symabloo is a great example of education’s shift towards social learning and the ever changing ways that learners (and people in general) are communicating with each other.

    • gillian says:

      Looks like you’ve got a great handle on symbaloo. It’s amazing how putting all of our learning tools in one place puts all that we are capable of in perspective.
      Thanks for sharing.

      • Danielle says:

        Hi Gillan,

        It was a lot of fun! And now the page is completely full! I am amazed at how many resources I use on a regular basis. I will move onto colour coding shortly!


    • Donna says:

      That is really cool. Everything is there!

      • Sherman Lee says:

        Hi Danielle,

        It is rather amazing how the page can be completely filled within a few days of use! At first I had difficulties thinking up everything that I used, but as my days went on, it was easier to identify and remember what I usually do. This is rather cool! Thanks for sharing your experience!


  2. Deborah says:

    I have attached a link to a Wordle of my PLE below. When I read through the materials, I didn’t think I used that many applications to manage my learning. I was really surprised when I started to brainstorm to see how many I actually use on a regular basis. I started with the notion that I’m a visual learner, and then built the Wordle from there.

    Thanks for the flexibility to express my PLE in my own format. A great example of differentiation!


    • gillian says:

      We are glad that you enjoyed the experience of creating your PLE. I think a lot of us, myself for sure, were surprised at the amount of tools we use on a daily basis for teaching, learning and personal use.
      Your wordle is a great example of differentiated learning and how PLEs can support learners by encouraging them to not only try out new tools, but to also continue using the ones they are familiar with in new and interesting ways.
      Thank you for sharing,

  3. baek12 says:

    Thank you for sharing your PLEs. Here is a link to my PLE created with Symbaloo.

    I have used this tool to create web mixes for my students to access websites and tools to use in their learning. Using it to create a PLE makes sense to me as it is a visual representation of what I need to use during the MET journey. The beauty of this tool is that as my Learning environment expands I can easily add to and reorganize this web mix.

    • gillian says:

      Thanks for sharing your PLE. I agree with your point that Symbaloo is a great tool to use as your needs and experiences change. Lifelong learning needs such a tool to help us all manage our lifelong experiences.

  4. Firstly, thank you Team PLE for an amazing set of resources (I even Tweeted your Tools page and emailed to select colleagues!). I’ve learned a great deal, and you’ve provided me with the time to reflect on ‘where I am at’ with my PLE.

    Here is my PLE Video, I tried to simply open tabs for the various resources I use and run through them, but even so I forgot to include Diigo, and I’m sure there are others that have slipped my mind… I also did not include my iPad Apps and non-digital learning, and of course the physically present human beings in my life have a huge impact on my learning, from coffee with my amazing Mother to staff meetings and committees I’m a part of.

    One important area for reflection I will take away from this is that as I went through my learning resources, the majority were focussed on my output of information, and this has led me to reflect on how I collaborate and take on information.

    Thanks again for creating this amazing resource!

    • gillian says:

      Your PLE video is amazing – thank you so much for sharing. Hopefully your new found tool Symbaloo will enable you to get rid of your bookmarks and tabs to help you organize and grow your PLE. I believe aggregator tools like Symbaloo will certainly have future in the Edtech market.
      It seems to be a common trend that people forget pieces of their PLE – I think this exercise is a good reflection tool for many – I know it was for me!

      • Thanks, Gillian, you’re doing a great job of moderating! Funny that I didn’t think of using Symbaloo instead of my tabs for the video… but it was fun to make: thanks for making our assignment so creative and worthwhile! Chelsea

    • Helen says:

      Chelsea, thank you for sharing your personal learning environment for both professional and personal tools. I find it amazing to see the variety of options you use regularly. There are some commonalities in PLE’s (the go-to tools for everyone) and lots of different ones that I had not heard about before. Interesting method for sharing them too! Helen

      • Thanks, Helen, it was fun to make. I’m interested in the idea of keeping personal and professional tools separate. These days (maybe it’s because I’m a geek 🙂 I find I talk about work concepts in social settings, and from that gather more inspiration through connections that get made from seeing the concept we are discussing from different perspectives. I also feel like the inspiration I find in personal email and Facebook are often relevant hooks to the understandings I’m working on in my teaching practice. With the addition of MET, the lines are even more connected. The literature that includes the concept of non-linear learning (Doll, 2008, for example) resonates with me, in that it indicates that we can be more open in our perception of how we develop understanding. I’m interested in the purpose of categorizing our lives and how it impacts our learning. How do you find the blurring of the separation between personal, work and learning impacts your happiness/success/achievement in each area? Should we make an effort to maintain the separation?

        Doll, W. E. (2008). Complexity and the culture of curriculum. (Vol. 40, pp. 190-212). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

    • Dan says:

      Hey Chelsea,

      I just took a look at Codecademy’s site and it seems great! I especially like that they show you how to code games. Have you heard of Ladies Learning Code (men are welcome to join)? It’s a non-profit organisation in Toronto. Check out this article about how it got started:
      And here’s the organisation’s site:
      Does anyone else know of similar organizations? Is anyone else game to start one up?


      • Hi Dan,

        Thanks for the links, I hadn’t heard of Ladies Learning Code, great idea! I have too much on my plate right now, but it definitely seems like a great avenue for a venture!


  5. Marie-France Hétu says:

    Loved Symbaloo! I have already registered for this cool app and look forward to using it right away. This is a tool I can really use to organize the various learning tools and apps I have learned to use in this MET program. I can also see how I could have my students organize their own Symbaloos to keep track of their learning tools and store homework and presentations in one convenient spot.

    Thanks for sharing this new app I can now add to my learning tool kit.


    • blog admin says:

      Glad we could add a new tool to your PLE!

    • Helen says:

      I have to agree with you Marie-France. I had heard about Symbaloo before but had not really investigated closely. This may be the aggregate tool I’ve been looking for to get all my bookmarks organized – work, learning, fun, family – all together in one place. Something new for my personal learning toolbox too! Helen

  6. Dennis says:

    I thought this was a great idea and appreciate the open format for posting. It really made me think about how I learn and want my students to learn (just for the sake of learning).

    You can view my personal learning environment on a Prezi.

    I did not list every learning tool as it seems I forgot TV, radio, newspapers and conversations around the lunch table. We are always learning anywhere and everywhere.


    • blog admin says:

      Thanks for sharing your PLE prezi. Very creative. Yes, the open format has so far yielded some great results including yours.
      I think the key for many of us is realizing how large and diverse our PLEs really are!

  7. Claire says:

    This is an excellent activity. I use both Safari and Firefox and bookmark in both. I save articles and file those in DropBox so that I have access on my device of choice and I use Diigo off and on. I also have an ed tech. blog that I add content to. I save bits and pieces I gather from Twitter, Linkedin, and from colleagues. I’m sometimes overwhelmed with the number of places I visit and the amount of content I’m attempting to track.

    Thanks for introducing me to symbaloo. I’ve spent the last few hours getting organized. So far I’ve created pages for frequently visited sites, art, dance & drama, education, and tech ed. My email accounts, blogs, school moodle site, business website, UBC sites, and places I visit often fill one page. You can visit my art page at: I have more bookmarked sites to add to the page but I’ve made a dent in my list. The remaining pages don’t have content yet but I’m encouraged as I’ve made a great start into pulling all my bits and pieces together using this wonderful organizational tool.

    In September I’m certain I’ll be sharing symbaloo with students and colleagues. I’ve been wondering how I’ll keep track of all my students individual blogs and Picasa albums that I’m encouraging them to create. This is a perfect solution.


  8. Marie-France Hétu says:


    I love to use VoiceThread as a PLE . . . I have used it a few times in this MET program and intend to use it with my FSL class this upcoming session in August. You can view a sample of how I used VoiceThread to represent my MET Arts-Based Identity Project at:


  9. Jon says:

    Well done Group 8! This presentation on PLE’s is awesome! I have used a few of the applications that you have mentioned, but haven’t heard of Symbaloo or Thinglink prior to this experience. I really like the open concept of Thinglink as it has the potential to be used with younger students as they wouldn’t have to keep remembering passwords and such. Cool tool to collaborate with that’s for sure!

    As for my own PLE, the Twitterverese has been hands-down the most utilized PLE. Reaching out and connecting and sharing with other like minded individuals has been extremely rewarding for myself and for the students that I teach who are usually on the receiving end of trying new ideas that are discovered on Twitter. Alongside Twitter, I have also began contributing in my own way with a blog that I often will try and connect others to. Since “they” are all sharing, I thought it was best that I would reciprocate

    Thanks again for a great presentation! I really enjoyed it!



    • Helen says:

      Thanks for sharing your blog link. Nice metaphor! You’ve inspired me to share mine too. It’s challenging to keep up to all the cool tools available and I’ve been trying to keep a separation between personal, work, learning. It’s getting pretty messy in my PLE toolbox. I thought a blog was the best way to capture and create some organization, but it’s too time consuming to keep up, so I’m looking to clean up, refine and find a new way to organize everything. Helen

      • Jon says:


        The name domain was probably the most challenging bit of the whole process thats for sure. I agree it is tough to keep it all separate, but in the end it really all blends together somehow as learning occurs in all facets. The blog does take time extra time, but i have found the MET paper submissions to be a really solid foundation to add to my blog, its purposeful and relevant to my own education and for the students that I teach.


    • blog admin says:

      Thank you for your kind comments regarding our presentation – glad you enjoyed it! Thank you also for sharing your blog with all of us.
      Thinglink was new to me as well, and yes the fact that one does not require a password would definitely be a plus for younger students.

  10. bperrygore says:

    I have enjoyed the reading an examples of PLEs and I especially enjoyed the walk through by the young girl in the first video.
    I have enjoyed the process of reflecting on how my PLE has developed, and become scattered, over time.
    I presently use Delicious for bookmarking all sites, have my daily sites on my toolbar and a select few on Symbaloo for those I use frequently but not daily.
    I have a website on which I house all of the practice site for students. These are arranged in topics making it easier for them to follow.
    Although I use Khan Academy a fair bit I also have a youtube channel on which I house tutorial videos and solutions to some long problems which I have created.
    Since I have many different forms of media that I use for my teaching I created a word document allowing me to keep track of the different online and offline activities, projects,etc. I find the tabs in Notebook view to be useful as they allow me to easily to divide my work into topics. This has also proven to be a good resource for teachers who are new to teaching the course.
    I feel that I am at the point where I need to consolidate but I am not sure exactly how that is going to work. I have looked at Live Binder which might be something that I might try this summer. I think that by the end of this week I will have some ideas from others in the cohort. It is a great idea to share these.

    • Helen says:

      Bridget, I have just started using Live Binder and have begun to collate sites of interest into ‘binders’ for my teaching in the fall – a place to gather relevant links and information that my students can then access for more information or interesting ideas. Helen

      • Janet says:

        Hi Helen and Bridget,
        I was just at a tech meeting this week where one of the topics that came up was LiveBinder. I haven’t investigated it yet, but the person talking about it said it was fantastic. From what she said, it sounded like she had basically created her own PLE as well as organized links to numerous topics and apps all in one handy place.

        Thanks for bringing it up, Helen 🙂
        Janet B.

    • blog admin says:

      Hi Bridget,
      Looks like you have a very active digital PLE. I too have looked at Livebinder and it really does seem like a great resource for teachers who need to shed some paper. It’s one I look forward to exploring myself.

  11. Helen says:

    Thank you Group PLE! This was an interesting activity to do – part reflective, part creative, part connected. My tendency is to start most things off with a mind map or concept map, so that’s what I did here. I was inspired by Gillian’s graphic image/ concept map and used my favourite, easy to use tool (Mind Node) to create my response. As it began to emerge, I had to re-configure and rethink since some of the tools, applications, and activities didn’t fit in the way I had anticipated. Here is the link to my ‘sort-of’ finished product (knowing that any PLE is never in a finished state, but always being recreated).

    • etec522grp4 says:

      You have hit on a great point, “PLEs are never finished”. They in fact should continue to evolve and shift as the learner covers new material and shifts their approach in how and what they are learning.


    • blog admin says:

      Glad to be a source of inspiration ;P.
      I have to give Mind Node a try – it does look much simpler than C-maps – though it was a new exercise for me adding in graphics.
      One thing I think many of us found as we created and reflected on our PLEs was that it is ever-evolving and I know as soon as I posted it I had forgotten a few things.

  12. Sherman Lee says:

    Thank you very much for putting together this wonderful activity. I actually had quite a bit of fun doing it and I think it is a rather graphical way of reflecting on how my learning looks like. I have never really looked at my personal learning environment as a big picture. It was had to think of things I use on a daily basis at first but it quickly built up. Thinking back to how learning used to be without the internet (or at least very limited access of it), students today probably face a very different world and hence has different expectations for us, educators. It is only natural as even a lot of the tools I use logged on my PLE are ‘smart’ in the way they recognize your interest due to your frequency of use of certain portions of their site / application.

    Here is my PLE to share:


    • Dan says:

      Thanks Sherman!
      I’m glad you enjoyed your experience. It was fun to work on this project and to discover what tools other people use to learn.

      When I think back to what resources I used in my science studies, I can only remember books, research articles and experiments. I also remember going to a conference to present my research using a poster made of paper glued to a cardboard support. After that, we started using mega-huge printers that spit out posters as large as a table cloth (a large table cloth!). You’ve got me curious as to how university science is being taught these days.


  13. Leonora says:

    Thank you group 8 for introducing these cool PLE tools and this great hands-on activity. I had organized my resources/most commonly used tools under Delicious and as I was trying to complete this activity I encountered a few glitches with their server so I am very grateful for this timely exercise 🙂
    Here is a link to my PLE
    I am not surprised by the positive responses on your survey – Symbaloo is very intuitive to use.
    I will definitely keep using it and encourage my colleagues and students to do the same.


    • blog admin says:

      Thanks for sharing your PLE Lenora and I am glad that you enjoyed the experience. I think Symbaloo is a great aggregator tool as well and can surely complement other tools we already use like Delicious.

  14. Jody says:

    Hi Everyone. Sorry about the delay in this posting, but this last week has been hell…I ran our graduation and I had to pack up 10 years of stuff as I’m switching schools in September. Anyway, this Symbaloo is awesome…I wonder if my board has it blocked…probably does…as many of the tiles would be blocked…sigh…anyway, here is my first attempt:

    • Janet says:

      Hi Jody,

      Symbaloo has definitely been a hit! I hadn’t heard of it until our group started working on this project, but after watching the video of the grade 7 student using Symbaloo to organize her PLE, I was hooked. I have already shown it to some colleagues who loved it right away, too. For me, it is just so visual and simple to use. As easy as bookmarking a page to create a tile, but easier to access and accessible from any computer. I know Delicious is too (and other sites), but Symbaloo just jives with my brain better.

      A couple of weeks ago, our district decided to lift some of its filters/blocks. Enough teachers had shown why the sites needed to be available and how they could be used educationally and that the blocks were creating more headache than they were solving. It will certainly take a little more vigilance on the part of the teachers, come September, as some sites that are definitely not appropriate will now probably be accessible, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

      Thanks for contributing to our activity 🙂

  15. Donna says:

    Hello Chris, Danielle, Dave, Gillian, Janet and Meggan,

    Thanks for a great week 8 of activities with PLE’s. It was very informative and once again my eyes have been open to many new things. Here’s my PLE that I created. It would be an interesting project to try having my students create their own:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s