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Introduction to ‘Socio-Cultural Ecology’ and User Generated Contexts. ALT-C Workshop: Navigating Through the Storm – Using Theory to Plan Mobile Learning Deployment. #altc2010

Introduction to ‘Socio-Cultural Ecology’ and User Generated Contexts. ALT-C Workshop: Navigating Through the Storm – Using Theory to Plan Mobile Learning Deployment. #altc2010

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  • “ Mobile Learning is a groundbreaking volume, sure to stimulate both discussion and innovation among educational professionals interested in technology in the context of teaching and learning.” http://www.springer.com/education/learning+&+instruction/book/978-1-4419-0584-0 £108.00 !! Will be out as paperback in 9 months
  • The work is framed by a socio-cultural ecology approach developed by Patchler, Bachmair and Cook (in press); this outlines the triangular inter-relationships between structure, agency and cultural practice (see diagram). Specifically, the socio-cultural triangle draws on media and cultural studies and is being used to guide our investigation of the outside-in/inside-out challenge. The main theories are: Giddens’ (1984) structuration theory; cultural studies and media (Hall, 1997) regarding individualised agency within the practices of everyday life.
  • The tour is authored in Mscape and uses GPS to ‘push’ learning content to the mobile phone at the appropriate location as the user walks around the area. However, activities allow space for the learners to generate their own context in the form active learning tasks and requests for the learners to keep audio blogs for subsequent reflection as they engage in the tour. The evaluation feedback (see Figure 2 for sample participants) shows the value of location- and context-aware mobile learning applications and how they can enrich the learning experience as well as engage students more within the learning activity.

Alps alt c_2010 Alps alt c_2010 Presentation Transcript

  • ALT-C Workshop: Navigating Through the Storm – Using Theory to Plan Mobile Learning Deployment Introduction to ‘Socio-Cultural Ecology’ and User Generated Contexts John Cook Learning Technology Research Institute London Metropolitan University
  • Framework : “Socio-Cultural Ecology” ( Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010)
    • Grounds readers by offering
      • theoretical and conceptual models
      • analytical framework for understanding the issues
    • Recommendations for specialised resources
    • Practical examples of mobile learning
      • in formal (school) as well as informal educational settings
    • Particularly with at-risk students
  •   View slide
  • Macro framework: Socio-Cultural Ecology
    • Structures (digital tools and media)
      • educational institutions no longer define alone what learning and knowledge are and they are certainly no longer the only, even the main location where learning and knowledge can be accessed and takes place.
      • From push to pull, change of mass communication and media convergence
      • individualised mobile mass communication and social fragmentation into different milieus.
    • Agency (capacity to act on the world)
      • formation of identity and subjectivity
      • environment a potential resource for learning
      • different habitus of learning and media attitudes; a new habitus of learning is one of the characteristics of at risk-learners.
    • Cultural practices (routines in stable situations)
      • Institutional settings, be they school, university, the work place etc.
      • Media use in everyday life (includes informal/non-formal)
    View slide
  • Micro framework: User Generated Contexts
    • Cook et al (accepted) suggest we should be looking at the student- or user-generated contexts as
      • ‘ zones of proximal development’ or ZPD
      • Vygotsky (1978/1930)
      • Situated Learning
      • Or conversational threads
  • User Generated Contexts
    • The nature of learning is being ‘augmented’
      • Citizens/users are now actively engaged in generating their own content and contexts for learning
      • Calling this User Generated Contexts (UGC)
    • UGC is a micro view of ‘context’
  • User Generated Contexts
      • Situated Learning
      • learning that takes place in the same 'context' in which it is applied
      • there is a link between meaning-making and situation/site of practice
      • (Lave and Wenger; for discussion see Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010)
    • But for me you can get
      • contexts within contexts
      • you can learn across contexts
      • and this blurs things
    • “ Context” is a slippery notion
  • User Generated Contexts
    • Users of mobile digital devices are being ‘afforded’ synergies of knowledge distributed across local, augmented and virtual:
      • people
      • communities
      • location
      • time (life-course)
      • social contexts and sites of practice ( like socio-cultural milieus)
      • networks
      • systems, structures and media
  • User Generated Contexts
    • Engage in the constant action and negotiation of a mutual understanding of their learning situations
    • Affiliated in increasingly loose configurations
    • Enabled external representations of knowledge
      • beyond the 'here and now'
      • to be drawn on and constructed to augment
        • individual learners' internal conceptualisations of knowledge
        • social uses that are made of knowledge in specific sites (of learning)
  • User Generated Contexts
    • Dynamic knowledge building
    • Rootedness in social interaction, literacy and attention
    • Cognitive reflection leading to
      • meaning being emergent
      • rather than predetermined
      • (Issue: what can we design for? What do we leave to run time? Tightly/loosely coupled?)
  • Location-based urban education tour (Smith, et al., accepted)
    • Mscape and uses GPS to ‘push’ learning content.
    • Created a ZPD that allowed space for learners to generate their own context
      • active learning tasks
      • Learner audio blogs for subsequent reflection
  • Based on observation & feedback
    • Students’ attention becomes more focused
    • Concentrate on the tour more because they are looking out for what is coming up on the device
    • Then work on the tasks provided
    • Become active learners and are not merely taking in information passively
  • ZPD in the case study
    • “ The information given was underlined by the 'experience' of the area and, therefore, given context in both past and present.”
    • Being reflective of past and present
    • They were active participants and not passive recipients in the process as they moved along stages of development in a zone of proximal development.
  • UGC/ZPD guidelines (1)
    • Mobile phones and other mobile devices function as global cultural resources within a mobile, individualized and convergent mass communication.
    • This dramatically new mode of mass communication includes user-generated contexts which serve amongst other things as archives for media and knowledge.
  • UGC/ZPD guidelines (2)
    • Mobile phones and other mobile devices function as resources for learning in formal and informal contexts.
    • An educational task is to use mobile devices for the assimilation of learning of students in everyday life as native and naïve experts.
  • UGC/ZPD guidelines (3)
    • Situated learning is a way of accessing the essentials of learning which are hidden underneath the established practices of school learning.
    • The focus of the concept of situated learning is based on learning as meaning-making in context.
    • Learning as meaning-making brings into play the life-world of the student.
    • It creates a context that contains the powerful option to replace the passive transfer of knowledge, which is still in the foreground of many schools
  • References
    • Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bachmair, B. ( accepted ). Ubiquitous Mobility with Mobile Phones: A Cultural Ecology for Mobile Learning. E-Learning and Digital Media . Special Issue on Media: Digital, Ecological and Epistemological.
    • Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Cook, J. (2010). Mobile Learning: Structures, Agency, Practices . New York: Springer.
    • Smith, C., Bradley, C., Cook, J. and Pratt-Adams, S. (accepted). Designing for Deep and Active Learning: Putting Learning into Context with Mobile Devices. In Anders D. Olofsson and J. Ola Lindberg (Eds), Informed Design of Educational Technologies in Higher Education: Enhanced Learning and Teaching . IGI Global. Due 2011.
    • Vygotsky, L. (1978 / 1930). Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes . Edited by M. Cole et al., Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press.