Tapping into your personal curiosity: Personal Learning Environments and Inquiry-Based Learning

While we are working on the overall schedule and programme, I thought I would provide a few “programme previews” here and there… so that you can start to form an idea of all the good things that are in the pipeline for July 16. to 18.

So, let me start with an “Alternative Session” that will be offered by Dr. Alexander Mikroyannidis from the Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University, UK.

This is what Alexander is going to address in his workshop:

Alternative Session:
“Tapping into your personal curiosity: Personal Learning Environments and Inquiry-Based Learning”

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) enables learners to take the role of an explorer and a scientist as they try to solve issues they came across and that made them wonder, thus tapping into their personal feelings of curiosity. IBL leads to structured knowledge about a domain and to more skills and competences about how to carry out efficient and communicable research.

A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is an innovative paradigm conceptualizing the aggregation, manipulation and sharing of digital artefacts by learners, within a flexible and versatile online space. The PLE follows a learner-centric approach, allowing the use of lightweight services and tools that belong to and are controlled by individual learners.

The European project weSPOT (http://wespot.net) adopts a PLE-based approach in order to support learners and educators in IBL (Mikroyannidis, Okada, & Scott, 2013). The project focuses on IBL with a theoretically sound and technology-supported personal inquiry approach. weSPOT supports the meaningful contextualization of scientific concepts by relating them to personal curiosity, experiences, and reasoning. weSPOT addresses several challenges in the area of science education and technology support for building personal conceptual knowledge (Mikroyannidis, Okada, Scott, et al., 2013).

This workshop will enable participants to understand how a PLE can be used to support them in their research, learning or teaching tasks, following an IBL methodology. Participants will first be introduced to the concepts of IBL and PLEs and the related technologies. They will then be able to use the toolkit developed by the weSPOT project in order to carry out a research inquiry. More specifically, they will be using the weSPOT inquiry space (http://inquiry.wespot.net), an online personal and social environment for performing scientific inquiries. Participants will be asked to use this environment in order to build a PLE that will help them investigate their preferred research topic. They will have the opportunity to try out the tools offered in this environment and perform their inquiry either individually or collaboratively in groups. At the end of the workshop, there will be time for reflection and discussions on the weSPOT toolkit and IBL/PLEs in general.


At the end of the workshop, participants will have acquired:

  • A good overview of the different pedagogical approaches for IBL in relation to PLEs.
  • An awareness of the range of resources, tools and methods available to enable PLEs for IBL.
  • An understanding of how IBL can be applied in their own research, learning, or teaching context.

Stay tuned for more “programme previews” over the next few days and weeks!

Dr. Sebastian H.D. Fiedler – Tallinn Conference Chair

Submission of accepted academic papers: guidelines and new deadline

We have decided to move the submission deadline for all accepted academic papers to
July 1.
I am sure some of you appreciate the little extra time for working on your text. And we think we can afford this extension.

I also want to use the opportunity to remind all authors of accepted academic papers that you need to submit your texts following the guidelines below:

  • Title
    Titles should be informative and stimulate interest.

  • Author(s)
    State the author(s) name(s) and affiliations

  • Abstract
    Articles must include an abstract of around 300 words providing sufficient information on the research.

  • Section headings
    Use a maximum of three levels of headings. Do not number the headings.

  • Figures
    Figures, graphics, and/or images should be at least 300 dpi.

    It is the author’s responsibility to ensure figures, graphics and/or images used in his/her paper are cleared of copyright and/or that she has the rights from the copyright holder to reproduce those figures, graphics and images. When figures, graphics, and images are reproduced, a parenthesis should be added to the figure legend stating the following: (Reproduced with permission from xxx.)

  • References
    References need to follow APA style.

  • Length
    Academic papers should not be longer than 8000 words including tables, captions, and references.

  • File format
    Please submit your final papers as pdf-files.

Based on the experiences of last year we have decided that we don’t provide a particular template at this point in time. Formatting templates most likely become part of the picture after the conference in the context of some of the publication projects we are still negotiating.

So, as long as we all stick to a 12 point (readable) font, bold for headlines, and the brought guidelines above… things should be fine.

We are looking forward to your contributions!

Dr. Sebastian H.D. Fiedler – Tallinn Conference Chair

Another special issue on Personal Learning Environments published

The Journal of Literacy and Technology (JLT) has just published a Special Issue titled “Personal Learning Environments: Current Research and Emerging Practice“. The issue includes papers from the PLE Conference 2013 (Berlin/Melbourne) and is thus the second special issue – after eLearning Papers Issue No. 35 published in the fall of 2013 – that features contributions from the 2013 edition of the Personal Learning Enironments Conference Series. This new special issue of JLT is edited by Nancy Rubin (Columbia University, USA) and Ilona Buchem (Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany).

Registration for PLEConf 2014 now open!

The registration for the 5th International Conference on Personal Learning Environments 2014 is now open!

Go and get your ticket while they last.

We offer an “Early Bird” regular registration for 220 Euro and a student registration for 120 Euro.
Note that for the “Early Bird” registrations your bank transfers have to be received by June 25th.
[Early Bird registration is closed]

After June 25th regular registration is Euro 270 and student registration is Euro 170.
Both types of registrations include the admission to all conference sessions, coffee breaks, and lunches.

Tallinn Old Town

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Tallinn in July!

Dr. Sebastian H.D. Fiedler – Tallinn Conference Chair

International scope of accepted contributions

Just a short note on the international scope of all accepted contributions to The 5th Personal Learning Conference…

We will have contributions from researchers working in
Brazil, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Come and join us in Tallinn this summer!

Dr. Sebastian H.D. Fiedler – Tallinn Conference Chair