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Barbara Lindsey

Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger and communities of practice - 1 views

  • Supposing learning is social and comes largely from of our experience of participating in daily life? It was this thought that formed the basis of a significant rethinking of learning theory in the late 1980s and early 1990s by two researchers from very different disciplines - Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger. Their model of situated learning proposed that learning involved a process of engagement in a 'community of practice'. 
  • When looking closely at everyday activity, she has argued, it is clear that 'learning is ubiquitous in ongoing activity, though often unrecognized as such' (Lave 1993: 5).
  • Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavour: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope. In a nutshell: Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. (Wenger circa 2007)
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  • Over time, this collective learning results in practices that reflect both the pursuit of our enterprises and the attendant social relations. These practices are thus the property of a kind of community created over time by the sustained pursuit of a shared enterprise. It makes sense, therefore to call these kinds of communities communities of practice. (Wenger 1998: 45)
  • The characteristics of communities of practice According to Etienne Wenger (c 2007), three elements are crucial in distinguishing a community of practice from other groups and communities: The domain. A community of practice is is something more than a club of friends or a network of connections between people. 'It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership therefore implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people' (op. cit.). The community. 'In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other' (op. cit.). The practice. 'Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction' (op. cit.).
  • The fact that they are organizing around some particular area of knowledge and activity gives members a sense of joint enterprise and identity. For a community of practice to function it needs to generate and appropriate a shared repertoire of ideas, commitments and memories. It also needs to develop various resources such as tools, documents, routines, vocabulary and symbols that in some way carry the accumulated knowledge of the community.
  • The interactions involved, and the ability to undertake larger or more complex activities and projects though cooperation, bind people together and help to facilitate relationship and trust
  • Rather than looking to learning as the acquisition of certain forms of knowledge, Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger have tried to place it in social relationships – situations of co-participation.
  • It not so much that learners acquire structures or models to understand the world, but they participate in frameworks that that have structure. Learning involves participation in a community of practice. And that participation 'refers not just to local events of engagement in certain activities with certain people, but to a more encompassing process of being active participants in the practices of social communities and constructing identities in relation to these communities' (Wenger 1999: 4).
  • Initially people have to join communities and learn at the periphery. The things they are involved in, the tasks they do may be less key to the community than others.
  • Learning is, thus, not seen as the acquisition of knowledge by individuals so much as a process of social participation. The nature of the situation impacts significantly on the process.
  • What is more, and in contrast with learning as internalization, ‘learning as increasing participation in communities of practice concerns the whole person acting in the world’ (Lave and Wenger 1991: 49). The focus is on the ways in which learning is ‘an evolving, continuously renewed set of relations’ (ibid.: 50). In other words, this is a relational view of the person and learning (see the discussion of selfhood).
  • 'the purpose is not to learn from talk as a substitute for legitimate peripheral participation; it is to learn to talk as a key to legitimate peripheral participation'. This orientation has the definite advantage of drawing attention to the need to understand knowledge and learning in context. However, situated learning depends on two claims: It makes no sense to talk of knowledge that is decontextualized, abstract or general. New knowledge and learning are properly conceived as being located in communities of practice (Tennant 1997: 77).
  • There is a risk, as Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger acknowledge, of romanticizing communities of practice.
  • 'In their eagerness to debunk testing, formal education and formal accreditation, they do not analyse how their omission [of a range of questions and issues] affects power relations, access, public knowledge and public accountability' (Tennant 1997: 79).
  • Perhaps the most helpful of these explorations is that of Barbara Rogoff and her colleagues (2001). They examine the work of an innovative school in Salt Lake City and how teachers, students and parents were able to work together to develop an approach to schooling based around the principle that learning 'occurs through interested participation with other learners'.
  • Learning is in the relationships between people. As McDermott (in Murphy 1999:17) puts it: Learning traditionally gets measured as on the assumption that it is a possession of individuals that can be found inside their heads… [Here] Learning is in the relationships between people. Learning is in the conditions that bring people together and organize a point of contact that allows for particular pieces of information to take on a relevance; without the points of contact, without the system of relevancies, there is not Learning, and there is little memory. Learning does not belong to individual persons, but to the various conversations of which they are a part.
  • One of the implications for schools, as Barbara Rogoff and her colleagues suggest is that they must prioritize 'instruction that builds on children's interests in a collaborative way'. Such schools need also to be places where 'learning activities are planned by children as well as adults, and where parents and teachers not only foster children's learning but also learn from their own involvement with children' (2001: 3). Their example in this area have particular force as they are derived from actual school practice.
  • learning involves a deepening process of participation in a community of practice
  • Acknowledging that communities of practice affect performance is important in part because of their potential to overcome the inherent problems of a slow-moving traditional hierarchy in a fast-moving virtual economy. Communities also appear to be an effective way for organizations to handle unstructured problems and to share knowledge outside of the traditional structural boundaries. In addition, the community concept is acknowledged to be a means of developing and maintaining long-term organizational memory. These outcomes are an important, yet often unrecognized, supplement to the value that individual members of a community obtain in the form of enriched learning and higher motivation to apply what they learn. (Lesser and Storck 2001)
  • Educators need to reflect on their understanding of what constitutes knowledge and practice. Perhaps one of the most important things to grasp here is the extent to which education involves informed and committed action.
Michael Johnson

E-Learning 2.0 ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes - 20 views

  • In general, where we are now in the online world is where we were before the beginning of e-learning [1]. Traditional theories of distance learning, of (for example) transactional distance, as described by Michael G. Moore, have been adapted for the online world. Content is organized according to this traditional model and delivered either completely online or in conjunction with more traditional seminars, to cohorts of students, led by an instructor, following a specified curriculum to be completed at a predetermined pace.
  • networked markets
  • In learning, these trends are manifest in what is sometimes called "learner-centered" or "student-centered" design. This is more than just adapting for different learning styles or allowing the user to change the font size and background color; it is the placing of the control of learning itself into the hands of the learner
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  • creation, communication and participation playing key roles
  • The breaking down of barriers has led to many of the movements and issues we see on today's Internet. File-sharing, for example, evolves not of a sudden criminality among today's youth but rather in their pervasive belief that information is something meant to be shared. This belief is manifest in such things as free and open-source software, Creative Commons licenses for content, and open access to scholarly and other works. Sharing content is not considered unethical; indeed, the hoarding of content is viewed as antisocial [9]. And open content is viewed not merely as nice to have but essential for the creation of the sort of learning network described by Siemens [10].
  • "Enter Web 2.0, a vision of the Web in which information is broken up into "microcontent" units that can be distributed over dozens of domains. The Web of documents has morphed into a Web of data. We are no longer just looking to the same old sources for information. Now we're looking to a new set of tools to aggregate and remix microcontent in new and useful ways"
  • Web 2.0 is not a technological revolution, it is a social revolution.
  • It also begins to look like a personal portfolio tool [18]. The idea here is that students will have their own personal place to create and showcase their own work. Some e-portfolio applications, such as ELGG, have already been created. IMS Global as put together an e-portfolio specification [19]. "The portfolio can provide an opportunity to demonstrate one's ability to collect, organize, interpret and reflect on documents and sources of information. It is also a tool for continuing professional development, encouraging individuals to take responsibility for and demonstrate the results of their own learning" [20].
    • Michael Johnson
       
      Also a place to receive and give feedback. I believe that one of the things that learners need to have to be prepared for learning in this space (social media or web 2.0) is the ability to evaluate, to give good feedback. Additionally, to be able to receive feedback constructively.
  • In the world of e-learning, the closest thing to a social network is a community of practice, articulated and promoted by people such as Etienne Wenger in the 1990s. According to Wenger, a community of practice is characterized by "a shared domain of interest" where "members interact and learn together" and "develop a shared repertoire of resources."
  • Yahoo! Groups
  • Blogging is very different from traditionally assigned learning content. It is much less formal. It is written from a personal point of view, in a personal voice. Students' blog posts are often about something from their own range of interests, rather than on a course topic or assigned project. More importantly, what happens when students blog, and read reach others' blogs, is that a network of interactions forms-much like a social network, and much like Wenger's community of practice.
    • Michael Johnson
       
      So, I believe he is saying that virtual communities of practice that form naturally are more real and approach what Wenger was talking about better than contrived "communities" put together in classes. That may be true. but does it have to be? If people come together to with a common purpose and the instructor allows the students freedom to explore what is important to them then I would hope that this kind of community can develop even in formal educational settings. Relevance is a key issue here!
  • "We're talking to the download generation," said Peter Smith, associate dean, Faculty of Engineering. "Why not have the option to download information about education and careers the same way you can download music? It untethers content from the Web and lets students access us at their convenience." Moreover, using an online service such as Odeo, Blogomatrix Sparks, or even simply off-the-shelf software, students can create their own podcasts.
  • Web 2.0 is not a technological revolution, it is a social revolution. "Here's my take on it: Web 2.0 is an attitude not a technology. It's about enabling and encouraging participation through open applications and services. By open I mean technically open with appropriate APIs but also, more importantly, socially open, with rights granted to use the content in new and exciting contexts"
  • The e-learning application, therefore, begins to look very much like a blogging tool. It represents one node in a web of content, connected to other nodes and content creation services used by other students. It becomes, not an institutional or corporate application, but a personal learning center, where content is reused and remixed according to the student's own needs and interests. It becomes, indeed, not a single application, but a collection of interoperating applications—an environment rather than a system.
  • This approach to learning means that learning content is created and distributed in a very different manner. Rather than being composed, organized and packaged, e-learning content is syndicated, much like a blog post or podcast. It is aggregated by students, using their own personal RSS reader or some similar application. From there, it is remixed and repurposed with the student's own individual application in mind, the finished product being fed forward to become fodder for some other student's reading and use.
    • Michael Johnson
       
      I like the idea of students passing on their work to be fodder for someone else's learning. In this way we change to from a learner to a learner/teacher! (See Dillon Inouye's work and Comments from John Seeley Brown)
  • More formally, instead of using enterprise learning-management systems, educational institutions expect to use an interlocking set of open-source applications. Work on such a set of applications has begun in a number of quarters, with the E-learning Framework defining a set of common applications and the newly formed e-Framework for Education and Research drawing on an international collaboration. While there is still an element of content delivery in these systems, there is also an increasing recognition that learning is becoming a creative activity and that the appropriate venue is a platform rather than an application.
    • Michael Johnson
       
      see http://ineducation.ca/article/open-learning-cms-and-open-learning-network
    • Michael Johnson
       
      Jon Mott has some cool ideas related to this paragraph.
  • Words are only meaningful when they can be related to experiences," said Gee. If I say "I spilled the coffee," this has a different meaning depending on whether I ask for a broom or a mop. You cannot create that context ahead of time— it has to be part of the experience.
  • game "modding" allows players to make the game their own
  • he most important learning skills that I see children getting from games are those that support the empowering sense of taking charge of their own learning. And the learner taking charge of learning is antithetical to the dominant ideology of curriculum design
  • The challenge will not be in how to learn, but in how to use learning to create something more, to communicate.
    • Michael Johnson
       
      I still think part of the challenge is how to learn. How to wade through a sea of all that is out there and "learn from the best" that is available. Find, organize, evaluate, analyze, synthesize, as well as create. I agree with Chris Lott (@fncll) that creativity is vital! (I am just not so sure that it is a non-starter to say that we should be moral first...though it could be argued that we should become moral through the creative process).
  • "ubiquitous computing."
  • what this means is having learning available no matter what you are doing.
  • A similar motivation underlies the rapidly rising domain of mobile learning [24]—for after all, were the context in which learning occurs not important, it would not be useful or necessary to make learning mobile. Mobile learning offers not only new opportunities to create but also to connect. As Ellen Wagner and Bryan Alexander note, mobile learning "define(s) new relationships and behaviors among learners, information, personal computing devices, and the world at large"
  • And what people were doing with the Web was not merely reading books, listening to the radio or watching TV, but having a conversation, with a vocabulary consisting not just of words but of images, video, multimedia and whatever they could get their hands on. And this became, and looked like, and behaved like, a network.
  •  
    Stephen Downes' take on eLearning and what the future holds
Barbara Lindsey

Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0 (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE CONNECT - 1 views

  • But at the same time that the world has become flatter, it has also become “spikier”: the places that are globally competitive are those that have robust local ecosystems of resources supporting innovation and productiveness.2
  • various initiatives launched over the past few years have created a series of building blocks that could provide the means for transforming the ways in which we provide education and support learning. Much of this activity has been enabled and inspired by the growth and evolution of the Internet, which has created a global “platform” that has vastly expanded access to all sorts of resources, including formal and informal educational materials. The Internet has also fostered a new culture of sharing, one in which content is freely contributed and distributed with few restrictions or costs.
  • the most visible impact of the Internet on education to date has been the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, which has provided free access to a wide range of courses and other educational materials to anyone who wants to use them. The movement began in 2001 when the William and Flora Hewlett and the Andrew W. Mellon foundations jointly funded MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative, which today provides open access to undergraduate- and graduate-level materials and modules from more than 1,700 courses (covering virtually all of MIT’s curriculum). MIT’s initiative has inspired hundreds of other colleges and universities in the United States and abroad to join the movement and contribute their own open educational resources.4 The Internet has also been used to provide students with direct access to high-quality (and therefore scarce and expensive) tools like telescopes, scanning electron microscopes, and supercomputer simulation models, allowing students to engage personally in research.
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  • most profound impact of the Internet, an impact that has yet to be fully realized, is its ability to support and expand the various aspects of social learning. What do we mean by “social learning”? Perhaps the simplest way to explain this concept is to note that social learning is based on the premise that our understanding of content is socially constructed through conversations about that content and through grounded interactions, especially with others, around problems or actions. The focus is not so much on what we are learning but on how we are learning.5
  • This perspective shifts the focus of our attention from the content of a subject to the learning activities and human interactions around which that content is situated. This perspective also helps to explain the effectiveness of study groups. Students in these groups can ask questions to clarify areas of uncertainty or confusion, can improve their grasp of the material by hearing the answers to questions from fellow students, and perhaps most powerfully, can take on the role of teacher to help other group members benefit from their understanding (one of the best ways to learn something is, after all, to teach it to others).
  • This encourages the practice of what John Dewey called “productive inquiry”—that is, the process of seeking the knowledge when it is needed in order to carry out a particular situated task.
  • ecoming a trusted contributor to Wikipedia involves a process of legitimate peripheral participation that is similar to the process in open source software communities. Any reader can modify the text of an entry or contribute new entries. But only more experienced and more trusted individuals are invited to become “administrators” who have access to higher-level editing tools.8
  • by clicking on tabs that appear on every page, a user can easily review the history of any article as well as contributors’ ongoing discussion of and sometimes fierce debates around its content, which offer useful insights into the practices and standards of the community that is responsible for creating that entry in Wikipedia. (In some cases, Wikipedia articles start with initial contributions by passionate amateurs, followed by contributions from professional scholars/researchers who weigh in on the “final” versions. Here is where the contested part of the material becomes most usefully evident.) In this open environment, both the content and the process by which it is created are equally visible, thereby enabling a new kind of critical reading—almost a new form of literacy—that invites the reader to join in the consideration of what information is reliable and/or important.
  • Mastering a field of knowledge involves not only “learning about” the subject matter but also “learning to be” a full participant in the field. This involves acquiring the practices and the norms of established practitioners in that field or acculturating into a community of practice.
  • But viewing learning as the process of joining a community of practice reverses this pattern and allows new students to engage in “learning to be” even as they are mastering the content of a field.
  • Another interesting experiment in Second Life was the Harvard Law School and Harvard Extension School fall 2006 course called “CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion.” The course was offered at three levels of participation. First, students enrolled in Harvard Law School were able to attend the class in person. Second, non–law school students could enroll in the class through the Harvard Extension School and could attend lectures, participate in discussions, and interact with faculty members during their office hours within Second Life. And at the third level, any participant in Second Life could review the lectures and other course materials online at no cost. This experiment suggests one way that the social life of Internet-based virtual education can coexist with and extend traditional education.
  • Digital StudyHall (DSH), which is designed to improve education for students in schools in rural areas and urban slums in India. The project is described by its developers as “the educational equivalent of Netflix + YouTube + Kazaa.”11 Lectures from model teachers are recorded on video and are then physically distributed via DVD to schools that typically lack well-trained instructors (as well as Internet connections). While the lectures are being played on a monitor (which is often powered by a battery, since many participating schools also lack reliable electricity), a “mediator,” who could be a local teacher or simply a bright student, periodically pauses the video and encourages engagement among the students by asking questions or initiating discussions about the material they are watching.
  • John King, the associate provost of the University of Michigan
  • For the past few years, he points out, incoming students have been bringing along their online social networks, allowing them to stay in touch with their old friends and former classmates through tools like SMS, IM, Facebook, and MySpace. Through these continuing connections, the University of Michigan students can extend the discussions, debates, bull sessions, and study groups that naturally arise on campus to include their broader networks. Even though these extended connections were not developed to serve educational purposes, they amplify the impact that the university is having while also benefiting students on campus.14 If King is right, it makes sense for colleges and universities to consider how they can leverage these new connections through the variety of social software platforms that are being established for other reasons.
  • The project’s website includes reports of how students, under the guidance of professional astronomers, are using the Faulkes telescopes to make small but meaningful contributions to astronomy.
  • “This is not education in which people come in and lecture in a classroom. We’re helping students work with real data.”16
  • HOU invites students to request observations from professional observatories and provides them with image-processing software to visualize and analyze their data, encouraging interaction between the students and scientists
  • The site is intended to serve as “an open forum for worldwide discussions on the Decameron and related topics.” Both scholars and students are invited to submit their own contributions as well as to access the existing resources on the site. The site serves as an apprenticeship platform for students by allowing them to observe how scholars in the field argue with each other and also to publish their own contributions, which can be relatively small—an example of the “legitimate peripheral participation” that is characteristic of open source communities. This allows students to “learn to be,” in this instance by participating in the kind of rigorous argumentation that is generated around a particular form of deep scholarship. A community like this, in which students can acculturate into a particular scholarly practice, can be seen as a virtual “spike”: a highly specialized site that can serve as a global resource for its field.
  • I posted a list of links to all the student blogs and mentioned the list on my own blog. I also encouraged the students to start reading one another's writing. The difference in the writing that next week was startling. Each student wrote significantly more than they had previously. Each piece was more thoughtful. Students commented on each other's writing and interlinked their pieces to show related or contradicting thoughts. Then one of the student assignments was commented on and linked to from a very prominent blogger. Many people read the student blogs and subscribed to some of them. When these outside comments showed up, indicating that the students really were plugging into the international community's discourse, the quality of the writing improved again. The power of peer review had been brought to bear on the assignments.17
  • for any topic that a student is passionate about, there is likely to be an online niche community of practice of others who share that passion.
  • Finding and joining a community that ignites a student’s passion can set the stage for the student to acquire both deep knowledge about a subject (“learning about”) and the ability to participate in the practice of a field through productive inquiry and peer-based learning (“learning to be”). These communities are harbingers of the emergence of a new form of technology-enhanced learninglearning 2.0—which goes beyond providing free access to traditional course materials and educational tools and creates a participatory architecture for supporting communities of learners.
  • We need to construct shared, distributed, reflective practicums in which experiences are collected, vetted, clustered, commented on, and tried out in new contexts.
  • An example of such a practicum is the online Teaching and Learning Commons (http://commons.carnegiefoundation.org/) launched earlier this year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • The Commons is an open forum where instructors at all levels (and from around the world) can post their own examples and can participate in an ongoing conversation about effective teaching practices, as a means of supporting a process of “creating/using/re-mixing (or creating/sharing/using).”20
  • The original World Wide Web—the “Web 1.0” that emerged in the mid-1990s—vastly expanded access to information. The Open Educational Resources movement is an example of the impact that the Web 1.0 has had on education.
  • But the Web 2.0, which has emerged in just the past few years, is sparking an even more far-reaching revolution. Tools such as blogs, wikis, social networks, tagging systems, mashups, and content-sharing sites are examples of a new user-centric information infrastructure that emphasizes participation (e.g., creating, re-mixing) over presentation, that encourages focused conversation and short briefs (often written in a less technical, public vernacular) rather than traditional publication, and that facilitates innovative explorations, experimentations, and purposeful tinkerings that often form the basis of a situated understanding emerging from action, not passivity.
  • In the twentieth century, the dominant approach to education focused on helping students to build stocks of knowledge and cognitive skills that could be deployed later in appropriate situations. This approach to education worked well in a relatively stable, slowly changing world in which careers typically lasted a lifetime. But the twenty-first century is quite different.
  • We now need a new approach to learning—one characterized by a demand-pull rather than the traditional supply-push mode of building up an inventory of knowledge in students’ heads. Demand-pull learning shifts the focus to enabling participation in flows of action, where the focus is both on “learning to be” through enculturation into a practice as well as on collateral learning.
  • The demand-pull approach is based on providing students with access to rich (sometimes virtual) learning communities built around a practice. It is passion-based learning, motivated by the student either wanting to become a member of a particular community of practice or just wanting to learn about, make, or perform something. Often the learning that transpires is informal rather than formally conducted in a structured setting. learning occurs in part through a form of reflective practicum, but in this case the reflection comes from being embedded in a community of practice that may be supported by both a physical and a virtual presence and by collaboration between newcomers and professional practitioners/scholars.
  • The building blocks provided by the OER movement, along with e-Science and e-Humanities and the resources of the Web 2.0, are creating the conditions for the emergence of new kinds of open participatory learning ecosystems23 that will support active, passion-based learning: learning 2.0.
  • As a graduate student at UC-Berkeley in the late 1970s, Treisman worked on the poor performance of African-Americans and Latinos in undergraduate calculus classes. He discovered the problem was not these students’ lack of motivation or inadequate preparation but rather their approach to studying. In contrast to Asian students, who, Treisman found, naturally formed “academic communities” in which they studied and learned together, African-Americans tended to separate their academic and social lives and studied completely on their own. Treisman developed a program that engaged these students in workshop-style study groups in which they collaborated on solving particularly challenging calculus problems. The program was so successful that it was adopted by many other colleges. See Uri Treisman, “Studying Students Studying Calculus: A Look at the Lives of Minority Mathematics Students in College,” College Mathematics Journal, vol. 23, no. 5 (November 1992), pp. 362–72, http://math.sfsu.edu/hsu/workshops/treisman.html.
  • In the early 1970s, Stanford University Professor James Gibbons developed a similar technique, which he called Tutored Videotape Instruction (TVI). Like DSH, TVI was based on showing recorded classroom lectures to groups of students, accompanied by a “tutor” whose job was to stop the tape periodically and ask questions. Evaluations of TVI showed that students’ learning from TVI was as good as or better than in-classroom learning and that the weakest students academically learned more from participating in TVI instruction than from attending lectures in person. See J. F. Gibbons, W. R. Kincheloe, and S. K. Down, “Tutored Video-tape Instruction: A New Use of Electronics Media in Education,” Science, vol. 195 (1977), pp. 1136–49.
Michael Johnson

Teaching in Social and Technological Networks « Connectivism - 17 views

  • The model falls apart when we distribute content and extend the activities of the teacher to include multiple educator inputs and peer-driven learning.
  • Skype brings anyone, from anywhere, into a classroom. Students are not confined to interacting with only the ideas of a researcher or theorist. Instead, a student can interact directly with researchers through Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and listservs. The largely unitary voice of the traditional teacher is fragmented by the limitless conversation opportunities available in networks. When learners have control of the tools of conversation, they also control the conversations in which they choose to engage. Course content is similarly fragmented. The textbook is now augmented with YouTube videos, online articles, simulations, Second Life builds, virtual museums, Diigo content trails, StumpleUpon reflections, and so on.
  • Traditional courses provide a coherent view of a subject. This view is shaped by “learning outcomes” (or objectives). These outcomes drive the selection of content and the design of learning activities. Ideally, outcomes and content/curriculum/instruction are then aligned with the assessment. It’s all very logical: we teach what we say we are going to teach, and then we assess what we said we would teach. This cozy comfortable world of outcomes-instruction-assessment alignment exists only in education. In all other areas of life, ambiguity, uncertainty, and unkowns reign. Fragmentation of content and conversation is about to disrupt this well-ordered view of learning. Educators and universities are beginning to realize that they no longer have the control they once (thought they) did
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  • I’ve come to view teaching as a critical and needed activity in the chaotic and ambiguous information climate created by networks.
  • In networks, teachers are one node among many. Learners will, however, likely be somewhat selective of which nodes they follow and listen to. Most likely, a teacher will be one of the more prominent nodes in a learner’s network. Thoughts, ideas, or messages that the teacher amplifies will generally have a greater probability of being seen by course participants. The network of information is shaped by the actions of the teacher in drawing attention to signals (content elements) that are particularly important in a given subject area.
  • While “curator” carries the stigma of dusty museums, the metaphor is appropriate for teaching and learning. The curator, in a learning context, arranges key elements of a subject in such a manner that learners will “bump into” them throughout the course. Instead of explicitly stating “you must know this”, the curator includes critical course concepts in her dialogue with learners, her comments on blog posts, her in-class discussions, and in her personal reflections. As learners grow their own networks of understanding, frequent encounters with conceptual artifacts shared by the teacher will begin to resonate.
  • Today’s social web is no different – we find our way through active exploration. Designers can aid the wayfinding process through consistency of design and functionality across various tools, but ultimately, it is the responsibility of the individual to click/fail/recoup and continue. Fortunately, the experience of wayfinding is now augmented by social systems. Social structures are filters. As a learner grows (and prunes) her personal networks, she also develops an effective means to filter abundance. The network becomes a cognitive agent in this instance – helping the learner to make sense of complex subject areas by relying not only on her own reading and resource exploration, but by permitting her social network to filter resources and draw attention to important topics. In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
  • Aggregation should do the same – reveal the content and conversation structure of the course as it unfolds, rather than defining it in advance.
  • Filtering resources is an important educator role, but as noted already, effective filtering can be done through a combination of wayfinding, social sensemaking, and aggregation. But expertise still matters. Educators often have years or decades of experience in a field. As such, they are familiar with many of the concepts, pitfalls, confusions, and distractions that learners are likely to encounter. As should be evident by now, the educator is an important agent in networked learning. Instead of being the sole or dominant filter of information, he now shares this task with other methods and individuals.
  • Filtering can be done in explicit ways – such as selecting readings around course topics – or in less obvious ways – such as writing summary blog posts around topics. Learning is an eliminative process. By determining what doesn’t belong, a learner develops and focuses his understanding of a topic. The teacher assists in the process by providing one stream of filtered information. The student is then faced with making nuanced selections based on the multiple information streams he encounters
  • Stephen’s statements that resonated with many learners centers on modelling as a teaching practice: “To teach is to model and to demonstrate. To learn is to practice and to reflect.” (As far as I can tell, he first made the statement during OCC in 2007).
  • Modelling has its roots in apprenticeship. Learning is a multi-faceted process, involving cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions. Knowledge is similarly multi-faceted, involving declarative, procedural, and academic dimensions. It is unreasonable to expect a class environment to capture the richness of these dimensions. Apprenticeship Learning models are among the most effective in attending to the full breadth of Learning. Apprenticeship is concerned with more than cognition and knowledge (to know about) – it also addresses the process of becoming a carpenter, plumber, or physician.
  • Without an online identity, you can’t connect with others – to know and be known. I don’t think I’m overstating the importance of have a presence in order to participate in networks. To teach well in networks – to weave a narrative of coherence with learners – requires a point of presence. As a course progresses, the teacher provides summary comments, synthesizes discussions, provides critical perspectives, and directs learners to resources they may not have encountered before.
  • Persistent presence in the learning network is needed for the teacher to amplify, curate, aggregate, and filter content and to model critical thinking and cognitive attributes that reflect the needs of a discipline.
  • Teaching and learning in social and technological networks is similarly surprising – it’s hard to imagine that many of the tools we’re using are less than a decade old (the methods of learning in networks are not new, however. People have always learned in social networks).
  • We’re still early in many of these trends. Many questions remain unanswered about privacy, ethics in networks, and assessment.
  • We’re still early in many of these trends. Many questions remain unanswered about privacy, ethics in networks, and assessment.
  • The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality.
  • In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
  • In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
  • In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
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    Discusses the role of teachers in the learning  process through social networks: He gives seven roles 1. Amplifying, 2. Curating, 3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking, 4. Aggregating, 5. Filtering, 6. Modelling, 7. Persistent presence. He ends with this provocative thought: "My view is that change in education needs to be systemic and substantial. Education is concerned with content and conversations. The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality."
Michael Johnson

Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age - 12 views

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    Key Principles: Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions. Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. Learning may reside in non-human appliances. Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual Learning. Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill. Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist Learning activities. Decision-making is itself a Learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.
Anthony Tony

The Best Way to learn Different Languages - 0 views

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    Learning a new language might not be that easy for people but there are more benefits indeed. The first reason of Learning different languages is that you learn more about different cultures and people.
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    Learning a new language might not be that easy for people but there are more benefits indeed. The first reason of Learning different languages is that you learn more about different cultures and people.
Hanna Wiszniewska

Career Point: Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008 - 1 views

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    Interesting list - some tools worth (re-)considering... Enjoy!
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    from the site: "This list has beens compiled from the contributions of 223 learning professionals (from both education and workplace learning) who shared their Top 10 Tools for learning both for their own personal learning/ productivity and for creating learning solutions for others."
Barbara Lindsey

Chinesepod and Connectivism: More connections lead to more learning » Moving at the Speed of Creativity - 0 views

  • More cognitive and affective experiences lead to more thinking, more synaptic connections, and more learning. To this end, we have sought to leverage guesswork, repetition, stories, context, in-depth discussion, etc, to offer what Siemens might call ’frequency, diversity, and depth of exposure’ to the content. I’ve always maintained that learning is multi-dimensional, and deepened when you approach the subject from different angles.
  • we are connectors, or resources who point learners at key patterns or elements that help strengthen their connection to a piece of information (and emphasize the skill of being able to identify patterns).
  • Teachers do NOT provide digital access to notes and materials, and students are quizzed regularly about the content on which they have taken textual notes to see if this traditional “broadcast/spray model” of learning has been effective. (Or at least if the items included in the quiz have temporarily been stored in short term memory.) We MUST move beyond this traditional “banking model” of education, and I’m convinced the impetus for these changes is NOT coming and is not GOING to come from “inside the system” of traditional education.
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  • How many of the teachers we work with on a daily basis understand the foundational elements of connectivisim? VERY, VERY few in my estimation. Why don’t they understand? Because they have not EXPERIENCED connectivisim. It is not enough to show or be told. One must EXPERIENCE the power of networked learning to understand it and appreciate its potentials.
  • blended learning conference event which is K-12 Online.
  • participate and share the upcoming K-12 Online Conference which starts next week with our pre-conference keynote. The conference is free, it’s global, and the co-learners involved (that includes YOU as well as presenters and other participants) are all providing a rich context for experiential, connectivist learning.
  • if your local educational organization agrees, you can even earn professional development credit for your participation and time!
  • we are not limited in our access to expert teachers and co-learners if we want to learn
  • Ken challenges me by thoughtfully connecting his educational practice with learning theories which build on and powerfully extend those which I’ve studied in graduate school.
  • We can take, ourselves, an online blended course on a topic of interest so that we can personally EXPERIENCE and therefore appropriate / claim for ourselves / understand with depth some of the benefits as well as drawbacks of online learning contexts.
  • Blended learning, because it offers the possibility of appropriating best practices from BOTH face-to-face as well as online/virtual learning contexts, can provide greater opportunities for authentic learning and meaningful connections than any other educational modality.
social learning

Assessing Learning Initiatives - 0 views

  • How do you assess whether your informal learning, social learning, continuous learning, performance support initiatives have the desired impact or achieve the desired results?
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    How do you assess whether your informal learning, social learning, continuous learning, performance support initiatives have the desired impact or achieve the desired results?
Geoffrey Smith

Digital Dialects language learning games - 18 views

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    Digital Dialects offers a nice selection of educational games and activities for learning 55 different languages. Most of the games are designed to learn and practice the basics of each of the 55 languages listed on the Digital Dialects homepage.  Another good website for learning and practicing language basics is Literacy Center.net. Literacy Center offers games for learning and practicing French, Spanish, German, and English. The Literacy Center is a 501c non-profit with a contract from the US Department of Education.  Applications for Education The educational games and activities found on Digital Dialects and Literacy Center are great for students just beginning to learn a new language. The games provide instant feedback to students and parents so that they can monitor progress and choose a skill or set of vocabulary terms to practice. 
Kathleen Cercone

Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day: Top 100 Tools for Learning Spring 2008 - 0 views

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    The Top 100 Tools for Learning Spring 2008 list has now been finalised from the contributions of 155 Learning professionals from education, workplace Learning and continuing professional development., You can view the list here: Top 100 Tools for Learning Spring 2008 I've also categorised the Top 100 tools by type of tool - and you can view that list here: Learning Toolbox 2008 I'm now working on the free Summary PDF, and that should be available shortly to download. I've...
Tony Rodgers

EdTech Toolbox: Top 100 Tools For Learning 2011 - 0 views

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    "Great list produced every year from C4LPT - Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies. Here are the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011. This the 5th Annual Survey of Learning Tools finalised on 13 November 2011. This year's list is compiled from the Top 10 Tools lists of 531 Learning professionals worldwide - from education, training and workplace Learning. "
Dennis OConnor

The rise of K-12 blended learning: Profiles of emerging models | Innosight Institute - 2 views

  • Definition of blended learning In a field with significant confusion around what K−12 blended learning is, the 40 programs converged under a simple, umbrella definition. First, in all of the blended programs, the students learned in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home at least some of the time. Second, in all of the cases, the students experienced online delivery with some control over the time, place, path, and/or pace. These two requirements, then, start to distinguish blended learning from other types of learning.
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    Synopsis of Innosight Institute report.  Link to pdf full white paper.  Cutting edge analysis of k-12 blended learning models.  A must read for any educator working with blended learning.
Val Lyons

White Paper on 21st Century Skills Learning Environments - 0 views

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    White Paper on 21st Century Skills Learning Environments:\n\nThis white paper has been created to provide an overview of research and expert opinion on 21st century Learning environments, one of the four support systems in the Partnership‟s 21st Century Skills Framework. Its purpose is to offer a descriptive view of the places, tools, people, and policies that make up 21st century Learning environments and, we hope, inspire its readers to work towards their realization.
Dennis OConnor

Virtual School Meanderings By Michael Barbour K-12 Certificate Series: University of Wisconsin-Stout « - 5 views

  • Continuing the Certificate Series, where I have been describing and discussing each of the certificates in online teaching that are focused on the K-12 environment. The sixth one I wanted to discuss was the E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate Program at University of Wisconsin-Stout.
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    Michael, Thanks for letting your readers know about our program. I am the advisor for the E--Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate program. I also wrote and teach two of our 5 classes, E-Learning for Educators and the E-Learning Practicum. Our graduate classes are offered by the University of Wisconsin Stout, School of Education. (We are not an extension program.) I'm delighted to be able to talk with those interested in K-12 Virtual Education. I was a public school teacher for 25 years before I went fully online. Working online has been a journey of discovery and a constant reminder of the joys of being a lifetime learner. As you mention we do mix together all kinds of educators in our classes. A typical course will include K-12 classroom teachers, some K-12 online teachers and a good number of community college and university instructors. We also see health educators and some corporate trainers. Folks join us from around the country and the world. It's an eclectic mix of people who all share an interest in teaching online. Our goal is to help people become experienced professional online teachers as a way to expand and grow their careers. To accommodate everyone's interests we have our materials highly differentiated. K-12 teachers have the option of investigating the great resources from iNacol. They are encouraged to build useful quizzes and surveys and to craft discussion prompts as they practice facilitation skills. The topics for all projects are learner selected. We emphasize a practical hands on approach where participants can use what they learn and make right away. The great thing is to see a strong community of practice develop between all kinds of educators. Everyone is richer for it. When it comes to the E-Learning Practicum, I customize each student's experience. I have managed some placements with K-12 Virtual Schools. More often, K-12 teachers take one of two options. Both involve teaching with one of our cooperating
Christopher Pappas

Free Webinar Camtasia Studio 8 for e-Learning Case Studies - 0 views

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    FREE Webinar "Camtasia Studio 8 for e-Learning Case Studies" Exclusive Offer for http://elearningindustry.com Members Tuesday, September 25th - 4 PM Eastern Forever it seems that Articulate and Captivate have been known as the first choice tools for E-learning. When Instructional Designers thought of Camtasia Studio they would most likely thing of linear software demos but not any more. With the arrival of Camtasia Studio 8 the is now a third option that is not only much less expensive than the competitors but also allow for a rich media experience along with a crystal clear screen capture engine and a vast array of outputs. This is content you don't want to miss! "Camtasia Studio for E-Learning- 4 Case Studies" Next Tuesday, Sept. 25th--> 4:00 p.m EST/1:00 p.m PST REGISTER FOR THE LIVE WEBINAR: http://learncamtasia.com/eLearningIndustry
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    FREE Webinar "Camtasia Studio 8 for e-Learning Case Studies" Exclusive Offer for http://elearningindustry.com Members Tuesday, September 25th - 4 PM Eastern Forever it seems that Articulate and Captivate have been known as the first choice tools for E-learning. When Instructional Designers thought of Camtasia Studio they would most likely thing of linear software demos but not any more. With the arrival of Camtasia Studio 8 the is now a third option that is not only much less expensive than the competitors but also allow for a rich media experience along with a crystal clear screen capture engine and a vast array of outputs. This is content you don't want to miss! "Camtasia Studio for E-Learning- 4 Case Studies" Next Tuesday, Sept. 25th--> 4:00 p.m EST/1:00 p.m PST REGISTER FOR THE LIVE WEBINAR: http://learncamtasia.com/eLearningIndustry
Christopher Pappas

Educational Video Production: When educators become Producers - 0 views

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    Multimedia age has changed the role of teachers. The need for audiovisual aids to support e-learning, mobile learning, distance and blended learning have reformed the role of educators, who are now becoming producers to enrich their teaching with mediums like podcasts, videos, animations, interactive presentations.. etc. Why to use Video technology in education? Video Technology has been proven to be a very powerful tool in motivating, engaging and instructing within the educational concept. Because of the advantages of transformability and transferability that video provides, has open the horizons of teaching and learning. Video can enhance the learning experience by showing places and phenomena that otherwise could not be seen, which adds "experiential value" (Koumi, 2006) in students understanding. Moreover video allows demonstration of procedural activities in detail when used for instruction and allows personal improvement as it can be a valuable tool for self-reflection.
Christopher Pappas

What I'm learning from Harvard: A MOOC story - 0 views

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    What I'm learning from Harvard: A MOOC story Taking a bit of my own advice, I recently started working through a computer programming MOOC from Harvard, with the goal of distilling out teaching tips and online course ideas from a student's perspective. While learning some useful job skills, I will share my experience to help designers of MOOCs and traditional online classes think about best practices in their course design. http://elearningindustry.com/subjects/general/item/408-learning-from-harvard-mooc-story
David Wetzel

See How Easily You can Create a Project Based Learning Activity - 0 views

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    Project Based Learning is an instructional approach built upon authentic Learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of Learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the science or math classroom.
Rhondda Powling

Technology Integration Matrix - 0 views

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    not only applicable for K12
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    The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells as illustrated.
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