This year I was honoured to act as the General Chair of the 4th international PLE Conference, which took place 10-12 July 2013 in Berlin at Beuth University of Applied Sciences with a parallel event in Melbourne at Monash University.

The PLE Conference is dedicated to Personal Learning Environment and is an international scientific conference taking place annually, each time in a different city. Following the successful events in Barcelona in Spain 2010, in Southampton, UK in 2011, Aveiro, Portugal and Melbourne, Australia in 2012, the 4th International PLE Conference 2013 was held in Berlin, Germany and in Melbourne, Australia. The aim of the PLE Conference 2013 is to create a space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experiences and research around the development and implementation of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) – including the design of environments and the sociological and educational issues that they raise.

This year, the special theme for the conference was learning and diversity in cities of the future. The focus was on how to design Personal Learning Environments in order to support diversity, cross-boundary learning and interdisciplinary transformation of urban spaces as part of highly interconnected social and technological infrastructures of smart cities.  As in smart urban spaces, people, organisations and objects become interconnected by means of new technologies and media, innovative, sustainable and inclusive solutions for connected learning become crucial not only in terms of emerging technologies but first and foremost in terms of (i) human knowledge and skills, (ii) diverse and inclusive communities, as well as (iii) learning and knowledge networks.

In search for an intelligent exploitation of networked urban infrastructures for learning and the extension of the current understanding of Personal Learning Environments, the PLE’13 Call for Papers looked for concepts, scenarios, technologies, frameworks as well as educational approaches for constructing PLEs to support learning in smart urban spaces. We are currently working on the Conference Proceedings and the Special Issues – the Special Issue of eLearning Papers (Issue 34) and in the Special Issue of the Journal of Literacy and Technology (JLT) – which will include best papers from the PLE Conference 2013. The publications are scheduled mid September.

I would like to take this opportunity and thank all of you who supported this year’s conference as a member of the Organising Committee and/or as a member of the Scientific Committee!  It has been a great experience and the success of this year’s conference would not be possible without you!!!

We will soon have the recordings of the sessions featured at  BeuthBox campus TV.  For the time being have a look at the pictures from the conference on Flickr, e.g. here + here + here + here + here + here + here +  here + here + here – and have a look at the latest updates including links to slides on SlideShare in our PLE2013 Facebook group.

I am just reblogging here Mar Pérez-Sanagustín’s blog post about our submission for the workshop “Horizon 2020: Smart Cities learning” that will take place at the Alpine-Rendez-Vouz 2003. I am really looking forward to this workshop and to finding out about other ideas on Smart Cities Learning!

Mar Pérez-Sanagustín's blog

Last week we where informed that the paper I wrote together with Ilona Buchem entitled “Multi-channel, multi-objective, multicontext services: the GLUE of the smart cities learning ecosystem” t has been accepted for the workshop “Horizon 2020: Smart Cities learning” that will take place at the Alpine-Rendez-Vouz 2003.

The paper presents an idea that stems from the concept of   Glocalization by Meyrowitz (see the post I wrote few weeks ago) together with the ideas by Ilona about the chapter she wrote “Twitter as a serendipitous Learning Space“.  Here you have the link to the special issue where you can download the paper.

Smart devices in combination with other digital tools have occupied the cities transforming citizens’ urban experience. People are connected any time and anywhere with their global identities changing their relation to the local. People live in glocalities, where the local and the global co-exists. Glocalities are…

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