This paper reports on the results of the first stage of an exploratory research on the learning potential of Personal Learning Environment, not simply as a technological artifact but as an instrument to support the learning process. Firstly, we present PLE as an enriched concept. Secondly we identify the roles a PLE can play to improve the quality of the learning process. Thirdly, we explore ways for optimizing the learning potential of PLE from pedagogical, technological and institutional perspectives. Before concluding, we present very preliminary results that confirm the need for a better understanding of PLE.