PLE Proceedings 2013: “Learning and Diversity in the Cities of the Future”


Yesterday I received the notification that the Proceedings of the PLE conference 2013: “Learning and Diversity in the Cities of the Future”, with Illona Buchem, Graham Attwell and Gemma Tur as the main editors, have been already published.

In these proceedings you can find papers related with the relationship between Personal Learning Environments and Smart Cities. Specifically, three main questions were addressed during the conference:

  1. How can Personal Learning Environments support diversity, cross-boundary learning and interdisciplinary transformation of urban spaces?
  2. How to design and implement Personal Learning Environments as part of inter-connected social and technological infrastructures of smart cities?
  3. What PLE scenarios can be envisaged to engage learning and diversity in cities of the future?

You could find in these proceedings the paper that I presented together with Illona Buchem about “Personal Environments in Smart Cities” in which we discuss how different teachers envisaged PLE scenarios for the smart city using etiquetAR. This paper, as well as others in these proceedings, can be found in the Special Issue of the EU eLearningPapers, Issue No. 35, titled “Personal Learning Environments”, or the Special Issue of the Journal of Literacy and Technology, JLT, Volume 12, No. 2, titled “Personal Learning Environments: Current Research and Engineering Practices”, two of the special issues that were derived from this conference.

There are several interesting papers in these Proceedings. But, in this post I would like to recommend two of the papers that are specially interesting for me, due to my research interests.

The first paper is the one by R. Aladjem and R. Nachmias called “The mobile as an ad hoc PLE-Learning serendipitously in urban contexts”.

In this paper, the authors present a pilot study in which they analyze the use of mobile devices as an “ad hoc tool” to support learners “on-demand”. 21 persons participated in the study. Participants were asked to use their smartphones with any application (they could select the applications) for learning about a new city. The results show that they selected and use the applications depending on three themes: network availability (which was identified as a very relevant issue for the participants on how they address their discovery of the city), social (for being in contact with friends and family and getting and facilitating information during the trip) and awareness (participants become more aware of their contributions to other travellers community).

The second paper is the one by Y. Peter, E. D. Villasclaras-Fernández and Y. Dimitriadis called “ThirdSpace: orchestrating collaborative activities in PLEs for formal learning”.

This paper presents ThirdSpace a complementary technology to the WebCollage authoring tool that publishes the learners’ and teachers’ activities in learners’ PLEs.

Let’s see what happens this year in the new conference. I’m sure that there will be other interesting contributions :).