Digital Learning Ecosystems

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DIscussion session slides from IFIP-OST'12 conference

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Digital Learning Ecosystems

  1. 1. Digital Learning Ecosystems: rethinking virtuallearning environments in the age of social media
  2. 2. Conceptual mess Educational software Virtual classroom Virtual Learning Environment Course/Learning Management System E-learning platform Problems:  disconnected from pedagogical theories, praxis and practices  Pedagogical neutrality  Infertile research programme
  3. 3. Generations of learningtechnology
  4. 4. Internet has changed Web 2.0: read-write Web Social media Quickly evolving and integrated services Business ecosystems in digital world: Apple, Google
  5. 5. The role of language in socialconstruction of reality Heidegger: language is a house of being Gadamer: language speaks us Implicit structures and values within a language (vocabulary) affect the social reality constructed with this language Example: the concept of „e-learning‟  Proposed by Jay Cross (a business consultant) as a metaphor (cf. e-mail)  Picked up by EU policymakers in 2000  Forsaken by policy discourse by 2007
  6. 6. Languages of education Languages of „theorists“ and „practitioners“ in education Examples: instructional design vs. Didactics, competencies, learning goals and effectiveness, strategies & tactics, andragogy, learning as curing from stupidity, teacher as project manager, psychologist, service provider „Civil war“ between educational paradigms
  7. 7. R.Rorty: researchers asheroes-poets Heroes (turn-makers) in the domain of research are the poets who are able to re- describe the field in a new way, with new “powerful” words Evolution of a vocabulary: from metaphors to strict terminology (encyclopedias and handbooks as graveyards of metaphors) Contingency and incommesurability of vocabularies Survival of vocabularies is partly dependent on fruitfulness of research programmes based on them
  8. 8. How about vocabulary shift:Digital Learning Ecosystems Digital Learning Ecosystem: an adaptive socio-technical system consisting of  mutually interacting digital species (tools, services, content used in learning process) and  communities of users (learners, facilitators, experts) together with  their social, economical and cultural environment.
  9. 9. Questions to discuss What are advantages and disadvantages of Digital Learning Ecosystems approach in contrast with traditional views on virtual learning environments? To what extent the DLE researchers can borrow the concepts and research methods from ecosystems ecology? Which are the main research problems, the big research questions and appropriate methods for DLE-focused research programme?
  10. 10. Key concepts in ecosystemsecology Ecosystem: a community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. Nutrient cycle, energy flow Self-regulation Biota, niche, habitat Biodiversity, disturbance, succession
  11. 11. Concept mapping task Ecosystem Digital Ecosystem Digital Learning Ecosystem Species Services Users Communities What are the advantages and disadvantages of DLE approach? How much concepts and relations can we project from biological to digital world?

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