I’m going to be talking to you about the SocialLearn project, about where it came from, what we’re doing now, and our plans for the future.
As many of you will know, SocialLearn arose out of discussions and workshops around the future of education IET played a leading role in these – and an important role was played by Martin Weller in drawing this together. SocialLearn emerged from thinking about how universities are shifting away from this model…
… towards this model And making use of the OU’s expertise, and the available technology in order to do it.
We were also interested in linking up different silos, so that we don’t all have to keep reinventing the wheel. If there’s a good tool or site at the OU, or on the wider web, we want to be able to make use of it
Not only do we want to link up the different data silos, we want to get around the time silos which are a feature of study with the OU. Conventionally, institutions are either engaged with the paying student, or not.
Non-formal and informal learning is a huge part of authentic, life-wide learning. In combination with Open Educational Resources, SocialLearn can sustain OU engagement with learners between periods of formal study, and help them build and sustain learning relationships with peers before, between, and after formal studies
So, with these ideas in mind, SocialLearn has been developed. In 2009 it was developed as an outward-facing commercial platform, and everything went fairly quiet because that was commercially sensitive Then there was a decision to make it much more OU-focused and to carry out small-scale pilots, and everything stayed fairly quiet because it wasn’t being released outside the OU. However on 1 July there will be a keynote about it at EdMedia (some of these slides come from that presentation) and so the model is becoming more open. In the meantime, however, we are still locked down and only accessible to OU staff, including ALs, and research students.
So here’s the current situation.
Here are some of the key areas of interest identified by our pilot users
1. <ul><li>www.open.ac.uk/sociallearn </li></ul><ul><li>A learning hub and a companion piece </li></ul><ul><li>Harnesses the power of the web and social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Puts learners in control of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what they learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how they learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with whom they learn </li></ul></ul>
2. From Industrial Era educational institutions.. . Slide: Hardin Tibbs
3. ...to Post-Industrial Era educational institutions... Slide: Hardin Tibbs
4. Linking the silos
5. Beyond On/Off relationships with learners A student ’ s engagement with the OU: different interests, levels, and intensities of study as they orchestrate their learning around their lives Level of study Time Between courses Alumni Pre-study and Enquirers
6. Beyond On/Off relationships with learners Free/Open resources (OpenLearn / BBC / iTunesU / YouTube) + Open Social learning space (SocialLearn) Between courses Alumni Pre-study and Enquirers
7. SocialLearn: key features open and interoperable activity-based, user-configured apps Look + feel of social media platform learning-centric user profile
8. <ul><li>Live on the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Social tools support progression from informal to formal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Path tool makes it easy to collate and sequence learning experiences and resources </li></ul><ul><li>SL Backpack allows learners to take SocialLearn with them wherever they go on the web </li></ul><ul><li>Gadgets draw on the power of applications developed by different projects and companies </li></ul>– current status
9. Key areas of interest for users <ul><li>Supporting flexible work-based learning </li></ul><ul><li>Building and maintaining learning networks </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing resources together </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting access </li></ul><ul><li>Providing training and support for staff </li></ul><ul><li>Learning/working together </li></ul><ul><li>Complementing, not replacing, existing tools </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrating leadership in e-learning </li></ul>
10. Demonstrating SocialLearn
11. Some next steps... <ul><li>New communities </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile interaction and apps </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring support </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Walled gardens ’ for national/international academic research projects </li></ul><ul><li>Developer programme / open source release </li></ul><ul><li>Learning analytics & Recommenders research </li></ul>