Getting beyond centralized technologies in higher education
Centralized learning management systems still characterize the predominant institutional approach to computational support for teaching and studying in higher education. This approach contrasts sharply with the growing dissemination of decentralized, loosely coupled, and networked tools and services that provide increasingly powerful means to augment a wide variety of activities and practices outside of institutional boundaries. Recently, notions of personal learning environments (PLEs) have been brought forward and discussed as a viable alternative to the centralized approach to technological support for teaching and studying that most educational institutions employ. This symposium brings together a diverse group of international researchers to explore the current demarcation lines, potentials, limitations, and possible developmental paths of centralized, institutional approaches to technology support for teaching and learning on one side, and of networked, loosely-coupled tools and services and their surrounding practices on the other side.