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Angelos Konstantinidis :: Blog :: my metaphor for PLE's and VLE's

November 02, 2009

The experience of using computers gives me the feeling of playing a game; sometimes I win (find what I need, do what I want to do etc.), sometimes I loose (can’t fix the damn machine, can’t download something etc.), but I always enjoy playing and that’s why I am returning back.

I started quoting my own metaphor of using computers only to say that I will try to apply a game metaphor for both VLE’s and PLE’s.

 

VLE (webct, moodle)

A VLE is a massive multiplayer online game. People play with it and accordingly learn from it but they have to stay inside game’s “margins”. When someone “finishes” playing and turns off the computer, the game is still there played by a lot of people; even if some of its gamers are sleeping or working. Accordingly, in VLE’s the discussion board is always open, anyone who is registered can contribute anytime. You can go to sleep or to work, but when you return back something new happened. Despite this, you can still read new posts or finish uncompleted tasks and hence continue “playing”.

In addition, gamers have to follow certain game rules; if they breach these rules they face the potential danger to been thrown out of the game by the authorities. In that sense they are somehow restricted. In VLEs there is always a sense of authority and of course there are always some rules to follow. Gamers can also communicate with each other (through the game or using extra tools; i.e. email-skype) and even structure groups inside the game. Accordingly participants communicate through VLE or/and other tools and they can follow one course or another (in that way they structure groups).

Finally, a MMOG can be a free game or a commercial one (moodle-webct). When it is free usually it is more open; some courses in moodle are open to anyone. Unfortunately, commercial games are usually more “fancy”, so if you like games usually you have to buy one (or more Wink).

 

PLE (igoogle, pebblepad)

A PLE is one’s game collection. In that sense it can be comprised of miscellaneous games: tableboard, online, mmog, free, commercial. Your game collection is your game story (summative in that sense, like pebblepad), you started with one game, then you proceeded to another, after that you played with some friends a multiplayer game etc. On the other hand, occasionally we try new games; when playing a new game we reflect a lot on that. Accordingly, when something is under development (i.e. a perspective, a thought , an idea) it is there in our PLE to reflect on that idea. Thus, our game collection is not only summative, but it also conceals dynamic. Besides, we must not forget that in every collection we have favorites, i.e. games we usually play; if you look at your igoogle screen you will notice that the links you use most are on the top. Finally, like games a PLE can be free (like igoogle) or commercial and thus glossy (like pebblepad; impressed by flash player, but I consider it redundant Money mouth).

My picture for PLEs can be illustrated somehow by one game only: the snakes and ladders. It is summative (our story in the game) and there is a dynamic and reflection (we can choose whether to follow a ladder or not or we must return back sometimes due to a snake).

 

 

snakes and ladders

 

Posted by Angelos Konstantinidis

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