Personal Learning Environments (PLE) are systems that help learners take control of and manage their own learning. This includes providing support for learners to
* set their own learning goals
* manage their learning; managing both content and process
* communicate with others in the process of learning
and thereby achieve learning goals. There are many dimensions to a space of PLEs. One basic distinction is between those visions, or incarnations, of PLEs as pure Web 2.0 artifacts, and those running on local hardware, be that anything from a laptop to a handheld. In the latter incarnation, a further distinction is between those PLEs connected to the web, and those operating offline, perhaps in a field environment or a wi-fi free hospital. Off-line usage without connecting back to the web would be possible but would be an incredibly impoverishing use, since the common conception of a PLE is that it is to be used in pedagogic contexts that acknowledge (or even emphasize) the role of communication in learning.