I've been thinking more about personal learning environments and pondering how they might be different than e-portfolios. Is the PLE just a new label that seems to focus more on individual needs and has more latitude to include different kinds of tools? Did vendors and institutions kill the initial promise of e-portfolios by trying to turn the concept into a single tool (product) used to measure student achievement?
Some of this pondering came out of another attempt to represent what I'm trying to do with my thesis in a concept map. The last one was a bit of a mess -- at the start I thought it might be too narrow, but ended up putting out tendrils into everything else. So with this one I stepped back a bit, attempting to simplify the language (removing the jargon and getting away from protocols/tools/tech terms) and concepts to distill what a person might actually want to do with a proper personal learning environment.
I'm still most interested in that one box called "What You Want to Do", which is where learning goals and 43 Things comes in. Having tools to help learners chart the future has not really been considered a big part of the e-portfolio/PLA scene, but I think it is coming. Overall, this is a much bigger vision than I had anticipated, which means I'm probably off-track and going too broad for the thesis again. I ended up changing the label in the middle to "E-Portfolio" as I saw some old familiar elements emerging. Now I'll have to go back now to see how Dave, Helen, George and others did a way better job of conceptualizing this a year or two ago when e-ports were all abuzz...all part of the learning process, I guess.