Knowledge Building for Web 2.5: Making the transition to a networked world


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Talk by Alexander McAuley and Stian Haklev at IKIT Knowledge Building Summer Institute 2010.

In terms of the range both of available tools and the extent of the networks on which they run, digital supports for knowledge creation have evolved hugely since the late 1980s when CSILE first made its appearance as a groundbreaking tool for collaborative learning. Both the CSILE platform and the conceptual "intentional learning" framework on which it was based have progressed through several iterations to become the current Knowledge Forum platform and Knowledge Building Principles. Moreover, numerous studies have informed this progression and have demonstrated the potential for knowledge building in numerous contexts. On the other hand, however, despite their demonstrated benefits and the currency of the "knowledge building" meme in educational discourse, neither the Knowledge Forum technology nor the knowledge building principles have achieved their due in terms of depth or breadth of impact in the mainstream educational context. This paper begins with the "walled garden" nature of Knowledge Forum, contrasts it with the open nature of current online initiatives, and suggests possible directions for future development.

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Knowledge Building for Web 2.5: Making the transition to a networked world

  1. 1. Knowledge Building for Web 2.5: Making the transition to a networked world Sandy McAuley (UPEI) Stian Håklev (OISE/UT) IKIT Summer Institute Toronto August 3, 2010
  2. 2. KF & the Web 1996 2005 2??? Web 1.0 Web 2.0 Web 3.0 The The The “read” “read-write” “semantic” web web web
  3. 3. The Question? • Why are knowledge building and Knowledge Forum not getting the traction they need in increasingly networked education?
  4. 4. The Problem? • The closed nature of Knowledge Forum compromises the knowledge building principles that underlie its design
  5. 5. The Compromised • Epistemic agency • Democratizing knowledge • Idea diversity • Pervasive knowledge building
  6. 6. Open Education • Started with Open Educational Resources • David Wiley’s Intro to OER • “Wiley wikis”
  7. 7. intro open ed I 7
  8. 8. Peer2Peer University • A platform for running open courses, and conduct research on open education • Since September 2009, ran 21 courses with more than 1000 participants (another 30 in September, 2010) • Limited enrollment, but content and discussions open to anyone
  9. 9. Almost all participants also reported using at least one (and usually several) tools that were not required to access the content specified on the syllabus or follow the instructors.  These tools included social networking sites like Ning, LinkedIn, and Facebook, blogging tools like WordPress, virtual environments like Second Life, and Twitter for “backchannel” communications, brief comments, and resource sharing.  Additionally, content aggregation tools (e.g. PageFlakes and RSS) and social bookmarking and link sharing tools like Twine and Diigo were key elements for several participants. Eric Calvert (2009) citing a study by Fini (2009)
  10. 10. The Challenge? • How can Knowledge Forum remain relevant, how can these open learning processes be enhanced through Knowledge Building principles and technology?
  11. 11. A more web-savvy KF • Exposing the full graphical features of KF directly in the browser • Making KF a “full member” of the Web 2.0: web APIs, ability to input data from a number of sources, ability to output data in open formats • Platform is open source, course contents available to anyone (if teacher chooses so), nodes and views have individual URLs, googleable
  12. 12. Alternative 1: A more web-savvy KF APIs
  13. 13. Harvesting Gradebook Washington State University
  14. 14. A KB open web overlay • All content authoring is done in distributed Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, twitter, Youtube) • A KB plugin for web browser, follows you around, adds scaffolding • Use open APIs and semantic data to enable pulling together and organizing contributions on many different platforms
  15. 15. Alternative 2: A KB open web overlay Rise above build-upons initial post
  16. 16. Why is this important? • Open Education is growing very rapidly, has the potential for powerful research • Very open-minded and experimental community • Mix of course/conference/research collaboration - metaphor fits KB • Unique constraints: what is the role of the teacher (level of training?), length of courses, level of teacher involvement • Get out there and engage with the community • Future of continuing education • China: 350 million
  17. 17. A place to start • A simple way to publish views to the web • A simple way to integrate two published views
  18. 18. Contacts • Sandy McAuley • Stian Håklev