Towards e-learning 2.0: new paths for informal learning and lifelong learning

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  • Good afternoon. I’m Antonio Fini, one of the co-authors of this work. I’m currently working at Educational Technology Lab, at Università di Firenze. Only a little introduction: our work is a trial: we wanted a hands on on new ways of organize and manage e-learning inside an educational institutions. We heard of Web 2.0, of new ways of learning and teaching on the Web: so we decided to try.. Here are the very first results..
  • Towards e-learning 2.0: new paths for informal learning and lifelong learning

    1. 1. Antonio Calvani, Giovanni Bonaiuti, Antonio Fini , Maria Ranieri Università di Firenze [email_address] Towards e-learning 2.0: new paths for informal learning and lifelong learning. An application with Personal Learning Environments
    2. 2. Preface… <ul><li>Formal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Schools, Universities, Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Programme </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diploma, Certifications </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-formal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Associations, clubs, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Programme </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually no formal qualification </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Informal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workplace, Family, Daily life… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Incidental learning / Experential </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. E-learning? <ul><li>From Wikipedia (En): </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning is a general term used to refer to computer-enhanced learning. It is used interchangeably in so many contexts that it is critical to be clear what one means when one speaks of 'eLearning'. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Is there a dominant paradigm in e-learning? <ul><li>Yes! It is Formal-Institutional : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The course as the base unit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technological systems conform with this vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hence the concept of LMS and VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Isomorphism between “institution” and LMS/VLE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A software that virtually reproduce the real institutional environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Centralization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled and reserved access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Walled garden </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on contents provided by teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Asymmetry between teachers and students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environment is the same for all </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attention to standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tracking , control , … </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limited cycle of life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When the course ends… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Looking forward… <ul><li>From the c ourse-centered paradigm to a student-centered one </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal & Informal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The impact of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Web is now “writeable”, “re-writeable”, “annotable”, “mixable” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog, Wiki, Podcasting, Video/Photo sharing, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web as a platform (Office 2.0, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social software (bookmarking …) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Warning! These are services and software that online students already use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But usually they do not interact with institutional LMSs </li></ul></ul>© 2006 Jay Cross, Internet Time Group LLC, Berkeley, California Formal Informal
    6. 6. The web 2.0 “encourages” the change
    7. 7. Comparing two visions <ul><li>Traditional paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>LMS (VLE) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on institution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access Control, asymmetric roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communities of students </li></ul><ul><li>Separation study – rest of life </li></ul><ul><li>Selected tools </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on “standard” </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-authored, closed content </li></ul><ul><li>Learning objects </li></ul><ul><li>Emergent Paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Personal environments (PLE) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on learner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autonomy, symmetry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open communities </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Unlimited tools </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on “connectors” </li></ul><ul><li>Open, dynamic, co-authored content </li></ul><ul><li>Everything is learning </li></ul>Tecnhologies to support the process. Encompassing function. Technologies extending and renewing as the needs of users change
    8. 8. Personal Learning Environment <ul><li>Open, connected systems </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled and managed by users, not by institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Some inspirations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lifelong learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-portfolio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation / CV tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telling stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Main Technologies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Services </li></ul></ul>Scott Wilson – CETIS – 2005 http://www.cetis.ac.uk/members/scott
    9. 9. Personal Learning Environment PLE Graphic by Scott Wilson, CETIS, 2005 (reworked) PLE An idea A concept A mix of tools NOT A NEW SYSTEM!!! Controlled by the user , not by the institution <ul><ul><li>Technologies: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FOAF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… . </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Toward e-learning 2.0 Technology as a resource to aggregate E-learning 2.0, G.Bonaiuti , 2006
    11. 11. The context of the project: the LTE <ul><li>Laboratorio di Tecnologie dell’Educazione </li></ul><ul><li>(Education Technology Lab) </li></ul><ul><li>Università di Firenze - Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Educazione, dei processi culturali e Formativi </li></ul><ul><li>Directed by prof. Antonio Calvani </li></ul><ul><li>Active since1985 </li></ul><ul><li>www.scform.unifi.it/lte </li></ul>
    12. 12. E-learning courses managed by LTE <ul><li>Post-graduate courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reti e didattica online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Master </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Progettista e Gestore di Formazione in rete </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many editions </li></ul><ul><li>Hundreds of students and alumni </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An alumni community ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly requested by participants to courses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Self-organized initiatives in the past </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An example: elearningtouch </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. A community ? <ul><li>LTE is a de-facto community! </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the participants? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others.. (researchers, guests, PhD students, ecc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep in touch! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share and collaborate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond the boundaries of the LMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage and support our own informal learning, beyond and after the “course” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An e-portfolio side by side to the LMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technological support for a community of practice </li></ul></ul>LTE Staff Contributors Students Alumni Teachers Others A loosely-coupled community!
    14. 14. Bridging… <ul><li>Our working hypothesis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Course management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moodle </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog, e-portfolio, story-telling, social networking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Elgg </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. LTEver is based on Elgg Dave Tosh - 2005 http:// elgg.net / dtosh / weblog /398.html <ul><li>Open Source </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Php/mySQL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FOAF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenID </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Main Site: elgg.org </li></ul><ul><li>Similar experiences: </li></ul><ul><li>Athabasca Univ . (Canada) </li></ul><ul><li>Alpen-Adria Univ. (Austria) </li></ul><ul><li>Univ . Of Brighton (GB) </li></ul>
    16. 16. LTEver www.lte-unifi.net/elgg
    17. 17. LTEver features <ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Web space to reflect and tell stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggregation from other personal blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting podcasting/video/photo sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dashboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A “showcase” or a web page totally personalizzabile with widgets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Files </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A personal file repository, shareable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RSS Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to any external source via via RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Profile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any word used in any field becomes automatically a tag , for connecting to others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One’s own “network” of contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One’s own communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each user can create open or access-controlled communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each user can freely invite colleagues and friends to join LTEver </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Main features <ul><li>A personal space, freely manageable </li></ul><ul><li>No privileged roles (except for a super-user/admin) </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy and security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each data element (a post, a file, a profile field) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access Control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public: everyone can access </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Logged Users: only other LTEver users </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Private: only the user </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Community/access group: freely defineble… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User can always define the access level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities and access groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each user can: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Freely create and manage new communities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Free/controlled access </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Invite colleagues and friends for expanding the network </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Current research and outlook <ul><li>Activated in Feb 2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Near 200 users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy use of blogs and comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-defined communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next steps: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support to activities and conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communities on specific topics, managed by Animators </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relational dynamics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys/Focus groups </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usefulness of the tool for knowledge creation/sharing/managing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Outlook: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OpenID </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New features (CV, presentation, tools integration, …) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internal </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External Services integration </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodological </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PLE as a pedagogical middleware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A bridge between VLE and PLE? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Some questions… <ul><li>Why not, for example, in MySpace? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users seem to prefer a halfway.. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From first LTEver users survey: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>54% say yes to existing users to be able to invite new users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>54% say no to general public to be able to register </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>New features? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External (via SOA) </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Thank you! <ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><li>LTE - Laboratorio di Tecnologie dell’Educazione </li></ul><ul><li>Università di Firenze </li></ul><ul><li>www.scform.unifi.it/lte </li></ul><ul><li>{calvani, gbonaiuti, antonio.fini, maria.ranieri@unifi.it} </li></ul><ul><li>www.lte-unifi.net/elgg </li></ul>
    22. 22. Blog
    23. 23. Dashboard
    24. 24. Files
    25. 25. RSS resources
    26. 26. Profile
    27. 27. Network

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