Inspired by earlier editions of the PLE conference

Dr. Gemma Tur Ferrer from the School of Education of the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, has recently launched her new personal website titled UNlearning & UNteaching. In her second post Gemma shares how much her work has been inspired by taking part in earlier editions of the PLE conference.

Thanks, Gemma… for this personal account and for supporting the ongoing discourse around PLEs with your contributions.

Gemma Tur Ferrer

The name of my new site is especially dedicated to the PLE people … When I started my research life at University I happily  attended the first PLE Conference. I didn’t know it was the UNconference with UNkeynoters. I just thought that the PLE UNstyle was the style… I learned so much and felt so at home that I felt I could manage in what was for me a new world.

I learned there that teaching and learning with technology means giving the power to the learner; that  technologically-based teaching methodologies have to be student-centred and aimed at self-regulated learning or it is not worth using ICT. I learned that the PLE was a pedagogical approach and that its research is devoted to understanding how to transform the learning process with technology. And it has changed the way I understand learning and teaching now in the emergent new educational contexts with technology. Reading and listening to scholars in educational technology at the PLE Conference means learning about relevant social and educational research.

Therefore, there was no other option for me but to dedicate my site to the PLE Conference… UNlearning and UNteaching for me is the only way to carry out research related to transformational educational practices with ICT. And this is something, which along  with the PLE people, I will work hard to achieve.

By the way, are you attending the PLE Conference 2014? I think you should consider attending it

We sincerely hope that this years edition of #PLEConf provides more experiences of this kind.

Come and join us in beautiful Tallinn in July for some great (un)conferencing on Personal Learning Environments… and beyond.

Dr. Sebastian HD Fiedler – Tallinn Conference Chair

Invited (un)keynote: Your environment is not my environment

I am very happy to announce that Prof. Aaro Toomela has kindly agreed to challenge us with an (un)keynote titled “Your environment is not my environment”. Aaro will focus on the problem that we don’t seem to have a clear understanding of what we mean by “environment”. After presenting the problem and a proposal for a solution, Aaro will discuss with us whether we agree that the problem indeed exists and whether his proposal makes any sense.

Aaro Toomela Aaro Toomela is a Professor of Cultural Psychology and Neuropsychology at Tallinn University, Estonia. He has published widely. Aaro worked as a child neurologist before he moved into the field of Psychology. He currently works on a general theory of mind.

Stay tuned for more programme previews in the coming days!

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

Update on reserved Hotel rooms

We still hold a number of hotel rooms in two hotels that have agreements in place with Tallinn University. With the holiday season getting closer the hotel folks are getting a little more antsy. So, we have been told that Park Central is only willing to hold rooms until June 17th and Nordic Hotel Forum until June 19.

More details about these hotel options and how to book them can be found in the “Where to stay” section.

In case you are looking for alternative accommodation there is a wide selection available on platforms like or Also AirBnB lists a growing number of private accommodation in town.

Tallinn Old Town - Main Square

“Bodystorming” on “Assistive Thinking” – Exploring the socio-material entanglement of PLEs

And here comes another programme preview from the “alternative session” department…

Sabine Reisas and Prof. Heidrun Allert from the Department of Media Education & Educational Computer Sciences at the University of Kiel, Germany, will offer the following session:

Sabine ReisasHeidrun Allert

Alternative Session:
“Bodystorming” on “Assistive Thinking” – Exploring the socio-material entanglement of PLEs

Life in a knowledge-based society puts specific requirements on thinking, working and learning. In order to to be able to meet these challenges we support and improve communication and thinking through technology. In this process we create technologies making our ability to think and communicate look restricted again. We are imperfect. We do not cope well. Every solution produces unforseen contingencies. How do humans distribute thinking and acting through technology? Which epistemic practices emerge? How does this influence our concept of PLE? How do we create, re-produce and change our PLEs in practices? How do we negotiate PLEs regarding those uncertain and emerging working and learning situations that are inherently socially entangled and mediated by technology?

The workshop introduces the notion “assistive thinking” which was developed in the context of the multilateral project “Creating Knowledge through Design & Conceptual Innovation” co-funded by the European Union (project website: ). The project aims to foster creative and critical thinking among students and professionals of various disciplines, enabling them to generate innovation and knowledge. Based on the educational model “Design as Inquiry” we see “Design” a general mode of inquiry that aims to gain insight by means of reflective intervention. This perspective is used as an underlying foundation for the exploration of technology and its means for personal/ social practices. From this perspective, we claim that the design of a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is an ongoing epistemic activity that is mutually entangled with materiality/ technology and the accompanying social interactions.

The workshop aims to foster a conversation about “the role of exploring artifacts (resources/technology) in practices” and their affordances. Furthermore we want to discuss, if technical options of ubiquitary and hybrid computing are conceivable and preferable in society. What are personal and social implications? What options are socially accepted and adopted? How are opportunities explored, percieved and used? How does exploring and intervening in the world, negotiating meaning, decision making, and problem solving challenge our way we design our PLEs? In this sense, we will explore the constitutive entanglement of technology and human epistemological practices.