This is an interesting post on a topic of interest to me; I have written a bit about the idea of PLE, and have developed two applications that would be considered LMSs in one of their guises. One of the uses I have for the LMS software is to help create my PLE. Of course, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare, Google, Collecta and a variety of other technologies also help make up my PLE, but they also are woven into the LMS. The reason I can do my PLE using LMS-like technology is because the LMS is a technology, while the PLE is a way of thinking. Lots of technologies can serve as a PLE, including a text editor or a few sheets of paper. I can see students in formal learning situations making use of a variety of technologies to create their own learning opportunities, including their institution’s so-called LMS (a 20th Century concept if ever there was one). You can learn from a network of people (I found this blog from my Twitter network) in formal situations, and you can learn from them in informal situations (like this). When is it a PLE and when is it a LMS? Seems to me to be an artificial distinction, or a distinction drawn between unlike categories.
The issue about power relations… So if I am in a course (institutional and teacher power) and do exactly the same thing as I would do in a purely personal learning situation, then it is not a PLE? Otherwise it is? I am confused, and babbling, but it would be interesting to see how you distinguish these unrelated things!