The PEOPLE partnership consisted of seven adult education organisations from all corners of Europe, involved with adult learners from various social backgrounds. The organisations aimed at introducing the concept of Personal Learning Environments into their pedagogical practices.
Personal Learning Environments based on social media tools emphasize peer learning. The use of PLEs is especially useful for fostering active citizenship and integrating disadvantaged target groups into the mainstream of society. The idea of the partnership was to use the pedagogical advantages of PLEs in collaborative peer learning in order to motivate our learners and to better facilitate their learning process. The concept of PLEs gave a successful platform for experimenting with various learner-centred approaches.
The aim of the project was to jointly build competences for using social media PLEs in various lifelong learning contexts (seniors, unemployed, minorities), and exchange good practices, adapting them to each institution and country. During the partnership, we compared various social media tools and chose the most relevant ones for our organisations. We taught trainers and learners to use the tools as PLEs. We also studied how adult learners choose suitable tools for themselves and exchanged good practices on teaching and learning with the aid of PLEs.
PLEs were used by partners in a variety of courses in various subject areas, from foreign language study, sustainable development, tourism and culture to tutoring skills. The use of PLEs helped our learners, not only to learn about the subject area, but also to master some vital digital skills needed in today’s society.
The results of the partnership are a thorough understanding of the concept of PLE in lifelong learning contexts as well as new skills, pedagogical methods and good practices for using PLEs in teaching and learning. An added benefit is an understanding of the cultural aspects of each partner country and how PLEs can be adapted in very different environments.