In this paper I discuss personal learning environments and their diverse benefits, uses, and implications for life-long learning. Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) are Web 2.0 and social media technologies that enable individual learners the ability to manage their own learning. Self-directed learning is explored as a foundation for the use of PLEs. I outline the optimal criteria for social media tools to be used as PLEs: they must be easy to use, open, dynamic, and offer collaboration options. I discuss individual PLE tools with examples and possible uses. I list implications for educators and individual learners. I conclude the discussion with ideas for future study of PLEs in formal and informal learning.
Autodidactic Heutagogy Personal learning environments PLE Self-directed learning SDL SymbalooEDU Social media Web 2.0