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In comparison to ASTD͛s 2009 su rvey (see below) (ASTD.Org, 2009), for the same question
͞How do organizations use e-learning?͟ a rise in most of the aspects can be seen in 2010
survey. This shows that the use of e-learning as the method of providing training and
learning within the organizations has been increasing. These surveys show into what extent
and in what ways the organizations utilize the e-learning methods for in-house training and
development. Both the surveys are multiple choice and they focus on ͞for what purposes
the organizations use e-learning and to what extent͟ and not on ͞how many organizations
use e-learning methods͟.

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Personal Learning environments are not only an application but also a new approach for
utilizing new technologies for learning and training. PLEs provide learners with their own
personalised spaces under their own control to develop and share their ideas. PLE
applications, if used within organizations, have the capability to facilitate training and
development and at the same time develop organisational learning within the enterprise.
Moreover, PLEs can facilitate a more holistic learning environment, combining together
sources and contexts for learning hitherto separate. Learners learn how to take
responsibility for their own learning. Critically, PLEs can abridge the walled gardens of the
in-house learning ecosystem with immense learning opportunity from the o utside world.
And importantly, the learners can develop the judgements, skills and know-how for using
new technologies in a rapidly changing world. (Ê      Ê 
Ê     
Ê  )

Scenario

For instance, let us consider a scenario of the critical work environment of a senior sales
professional in a big corporation like CISCO. A sales professional͛s job is quite dynamic and
very much client-facing. Hence, it also requires lots of travel and out-of-the-office job as
well. A sales professional is supposed to educate the clients and collaborate with their own
staff from the organization such as account managers, pre-sales officials and product
managers and that too on the move. Furthermore, there is also high requirement of
personal skills enhancements and self-controlled personal learning simultaneously because
of the nature of the job of sales professional. In addition, it would immensely help these
sales professionals if they can easily access information from outside world (i.e. social
learning) on their devices (laptops, PDAs, tablet PCs etc.) easily which would enable them to
have a better world view of their products and their clients as well. To accommodate all
these needs and to ensure intermittent flow of knowledge and ideas on the either side
which is not dependent on location and time, there is a need to have a common, portable
and integrated platform like a Personal Learning Environments (PLE) which provides the
sales professionals (learners, in this case) the chance to access learning and knowledge in
their own way and provide them with the flexibility of self-customization and to do learning
whenever they want to. The major benefit that a PLE would derive for the sales
professionals in this scenario is that it would enable them to feel comfortable and at ease
with in-house learning and knowledge sharing because of the flexibility, availability,
portability and independence provided by the PLE and would also facilitate exchange of
information from the outside wo rld through social learning tools incorporated in it . In a way
the sales professional, with the help of a PLE can experience the benefits of ͚learn -as-you-
go͛.

K  

ASTD.Org. (2009).  


  . Retrieved August 04, 2010, from
http://www.astd.org/LC/2009/0109_trends.htm

Key Terms

O
 
 Tools which can be used and improved by the end users freely and can
also be used to utilize open content.


 


! A learning method which allows sharing network resources and
enabling smooth sharing and exchange of data and information.
"
!E-learning method which involves more dynamic content and up -to-date
information and keeps developing along with the technological changes.
#  
!Learning method in which the learner and the trainer is present and
the exchange of knowledge and learning takes place simultaneously.
   "
! It refers to old practices of delivering learning through computer
based training systems and online learning.
$ c A classroom where learners assemble to acquire learning with the help
of a physical trainer or online trainer who delivers the training with the help of online
materials.
#  
! Learning method in which the learner can access the learning
system anytime, anywhere and is not dependent on any physical or virtual trainer.

Key Insights (Virtual Learning ʹ Now!)

iV Dnderstanding the current status of virtual learning in organizations.


iV Brief discussion about current forms of virtual learning.
iV Brief discussion about few leading trends in Virtual Learning.

Key Insights (PLE)

iV Dnderstanding the core idea of personal learning environments.


iV Dnderstanding the technological concept involved.
iV Dnderstanding the usability of the PLEs.