University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 490-499
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The irruption of the Internet of Things and the use of Smartphone offer many opportunities to learn in different contexts apart from the strictly formal one (Weller, 2011). Consequently, non-formal and informal fields take nowadays an important place in the education process of Higher Education students.

This paper will point out the process of construction of an instrument (Canvas) whose aim is to analyse and enrich the Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) of a group of 30 master students of the Faculty of Education of the University of Granada. In that context, it might therefore be relevant to analyse how Higher Education students consider their PLE is and what they would need to enhance them.

The Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks (PLN), in that sense, constitute a new ecology that integrate the different tools, activities and resources a person makes use of to learn (Adell and Castañeda, 2010). They are considered not as a group of tools and digital devices, but as an environment which include the importance of mature technologies and non-digital resources (Santamaría, 2010). These are the pedagogic principles of PLEs which are currently seen as lifelong learning promoters.

In this regard, we have made a tool called “Canvas for the identification of the University students’ PLE” of the group chosen. It is composed by four categories: Personal data; the current PLE; the ideal PLE; how to enrich the PLE. At the same time, the second, third and fourth categories are classified into three levels:
a) searching and accessing to the information;
b) creating, editing and publishing information; and
c) participating and thinking over in the PLN.

In that way, each single category and level integrates a group of items which the student has to answer in an introspective way in order to raise awareness of his own PLE in a pedagogic sense.

The presentation will also discuss about facts, data and results which show how effective the Canvas, as an instrument useful to collect information about the students’ PLE and to obtain a prototype PLE of the group selected. Thus, it has been generated an auto-learning in an individual level. That situation has led the student to plan his own strategy in order to enrich it in relation to the prototype one previously formed by the group.

It concludes that “Canvas for the identification of the University students’ PLE” is an instrument not only used to collect information, but it has also been used so that students think about the importance of systematizing and promoting the construction of the PLE/PLN of each university student. Futhermore, this instrument allow students to develop learning strategies to reelaborate the PLE during their lifetime depending on their needs and their socio-labour context.
Personal Learning Environments (PLEs), Higher Education, Canvas.