Like others in the class, I like the analogy of a “walled garden” for VLEs. However, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve constructed a false dichotomy here. Don’t many VLEs have the capacity for students and educators to link outside the walled garden?
I think a closed system is very useful for certain groups of students, such as students who aren’t yet comfortable with the technology, or students who need a few rudimentary lessons before leaping into a particular field full bore.
I’m new to the concept of PLEs, but I think I can see how PLEs and VLEs could be immenseful useful, complementary tools.