NLC 2012


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Slides of my presentation in Networked Learning Conference in Maastricht, Netherlands, 2 April 2012.

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  • The rise of social web and networking technologies as has changed and is changing the way we work, learn and collaborate generally.But in education and learning they are enablers to enhance these processes ( creating, coll, sharing, …)They are creating kinds of learning environments which are distributed and more connectedalso, there is a need for new sets of skills and literacies for learners in the current digital and networked world.The learning ecologies of the 21st century’s learners require for competencies and skills, the way we work learn and collaborate . Thearchitecture of participatory media and networked tech is based on various processes …. these developments have a promise for democratization of knowledge and information. Not just consumer but also generator of content, instead of protecting the knowledge assets ---participating in knowledge flows ,
  • So, thenwhatare the affordances of social media and allthesehugetypes of emergingtechnologies for bringingeducation and learningmoreopen, easyaccess, whatallthesecanoffer to the learners of thisnetworked and digitalage
  • In the age of abundance, How a 21st centurylearnercanmakesense of allavailabletools and techin a meaningfulwayand howtheycanbeapplied into learning and teachingpractices to bringmoreflexiblity and options for educationA slectiveageDigital learners------------ Disruptive technologiesCharacteristics:No central ownershipEcology of abundancePersonalised digital learning environment Conole 2012
  • As results of evolution of technologies and tools and alsoopensource , therehasbeen a trend in onlineearning to moreopeneducationalpracticesbyofferingcourses and contentsacrossweb and othertoollsbydifefrentinstitutionsThe concept of OER hasemergedwhichtends to providemorefree and opencontentsfoelearningwhich is acceableanywhereadnanytimeTheseinititaivesarealllbased on the potential of technologies even the boundaries between formal and informal learning is also blurring.
  • It’sallabouttheseprocesseswhicharecentral to the 21st centurylearning and education. Theyareelements of opendigital and networkedscholarship.
  • Scholarship in the currentera of networked and digitaltechnologiesarebeintransformedslowelyorrapidlytowardsmoreopen, digital and networked. Wellerevenargues in the lastedmediaconf. A debatethatbyemerging new forms of technologies and tools and resourcesourfuturelearning and scholarshipwouldbediffernt ….Althoughitmightbesoon to saythat and it is still to radical to claimso…
  • The methodological development was started by conducting a survey on participants’ dealing with social media and tools in the course, their motivation for participating in such open learning environments, their learning activities and interactions in MOOC and how they developed their PLE during the course. Then in the interview the elaboration was more on the learning experiences and managing learning in abundance and self-organizing emergent learning (Williams et al. 2011).
  • The use of technology in education and learninghasbroughtdifferentperspectives on enquiry CSCL, TEL, and networkedlearning etc. The theoreticalperpectivesarealsoinclusingsocial-cultural theories :constructivism and activity theory, communities of practice and actor network theoryThese frameworks for understanding and conceptualizing the emerging form of interaction and collaboration, distributed work and networked activities (Lipponen, 2001). Another pedagogical model of networked learning is also connectivism which sees learning as a process of making connections with others, creating networks of personal knowledge and that perhaps many of you have heard about, know something about it or research on it.I needthesethreetheoreticaconstruct ( ifyoulike) to look at and analyse the learningactivties and interactions in ONLE, in the context of openonlinecoursesExplaineach of them
  • a genre of technologically-mediated learning in which social media and web technologies are used to promote connections between learner, human resources and content resources, and keep continually dealing with ever-increasing amount of digital information. Network learning is a continuous process of seeking, sensing and sharing and requires an open attitude toward learning and finding new things for personal and professional development (based on Goodyear et al. 2005, Jarche, 2010). Promoting connection between learner and tools and resources, between learner and other learners, between learner and networks and communities Developing and maintatiningconnectionsCSALT, a research group at Lancaster University, UK defined networked learning : "learning in which information and communication technology is used to promote connections: between one learner and other learners, between learners and tutors; between a learning community and its learning resources where individuals establish an online identity and formulate relationships with other people and information to communicate and develop knowledge.
  • Rhizomatic learning is a way of thinking about learning based on ideas described by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari was describes by Cormier,…He refers to such a rhizomatic open online learning context by Alec Couros at the University of Regina to indicate how social learning and negotiation of knowledge take place, how students make their own communities and networks and how they interact and collaborate: “students created their own rhizomatically mapped curriculum by combining their blogs with information to which Couros pointed them and linking the combination to the particular knowledge that they discovered through discussions with key people in Couros's professional community. In accessing Couros's professional network, students had the opportunity to enter the community themselves and impact the shape of its curriculum as well as their own learning” (p.3).Engesrtom (2007) in an article elaborating on ‘communities of practices’ ( Wenger 1998) refer to Deleuze and Guattari’s proposition of the concept of ‘rhizome’ to highlight the importance of horizontal and multidirectional connections in human lives, in contrast to the dominant vertical, tree-like images of hierarchy. He talks about mycorrhizae for the nature of connections and interaction in the communities and mentions that some examples of mycorrhizae-like activities at the moment are the Open Source communities. Tella (2000) for the bases of all activities in media education also refers to rhizome and argues that learning in the rhizome make you assume to take a lot of responsibility for organizing your own learning environment. “If the world of media education is thought of as a rhizome, as a library à la Eco, then we need to construct our own connections through this space in order to appropriate it.” (p. 41). Tella further discusses that the world of media education consists of an innumerable number of rhizomatic connections and learning in the rhizome characterizes global connectivity braining a lot of responsibility for organizing your own learning environment.
  • “A successful learning ecology offers a ubiquitous learning environment. Students have open, immediate access to the ecology where they can search for, locate, and quickly access elements of learning that address their immediate needs. Students use the ecology to construct and organize personalized, unique interactions with the content” (p. 48). Siemens (2003) also refers to ecology in compare to the class-based model of learning that ecology is dynamic, responsive, adaptive- self-organized and emerging. All these changes and transformations in light of new emerging technologies which offer new learning ecologies can be conceptualized in the concept of personal learning environments which is a kind of multi-functional and multi-directional dynamic environment enabling various personal and social processes of learning. Barron (2006 b) also elaborate more on the metaphor of learning ecology that the purpose of articulating a learning ecology framework is to help us think about the dynamics of learning across developmental time and within and between settings.
  • Spires describes some on the characteristics of new learning ecologies which are more learner-centered, technologically-mediated and supported
  • So, based on the potential of web2 and various types of tools and platforms and limitations of LMS the concept of PLE emerged and is now of interest of many researchers in open and online learning, This is a kind of contemporary learning ecology of 21st century learners PLE is a metaphor that embraces the potential of these emerging tech to promote learner-centered approaches to learning. It is now being discussed how technology may help learners to create kind of personal learning ecology which is self-regulated, self-organized and flexible enough to embrace all learners’ needs ?It is not a single application but rather a collection of interoperating applications (Downes) In e-learning PLE is contrasted to LMS , learner centered- content centered, personal driven, institutional driven , open , closed A PLE is more of a concept than a particular toolset and a new approach to learning which is defined as distributed, personal, open, learner autonomous. ---------------------PLEs represent pedagogic approaches of constructivist and connectivist learning that put learner at the center and gives more autonomy and control over the learning experiences. PLE is an evolving environment to fit the needs of learner and evolve as long as technology evolves. Ecosystem “ An ecosystem of connected educational resources facilitated by a (large) set of tools and fueled by collaboration opportunities facilitating the consumption of content that enables an increased understanding of specific knowledge domains.” Lee Kraus, URL: The metaphor of PLE which is conceptualized based on web 2.0 tools and networked technologies, and refers to the one’s own knowledge management tools, services, resources and connections which shapes the individual’s educational platform to direct learning, is promising such learning ecologies which tend to be more open, personalized and networked. PLE is rather an approach to technologically learner-centered learning than an application or collection of tools
  • Developing and using kind of PLE in online courses and using various tools, resources and technologies was a main part of the learning processes. It was important to explore how participants see their PLE and how they are using it and what does it mean for them and how does it work for their learning?PLE according to different definition is a metaphor that embraces the potential of these emerging tech to promote learner-centered approaches to learning. It is now being discussed how technology may help learners to create kind of personal learning ecology which is self-regulated, self-organized and flexible enough to embrace all learners’ needs ?In e-learning PLE is contrasted to LMS , learner centered- content centered, personal driven, institutional driven , open , closed is This is a kind of contemporary learning ecology of 21st century learners Another participant looks at PLE both as tools and services and also in a traditional way which includes everything like physical infrastructures that has something with learning:
  • it shows that how different tools can be used by learner for different processes. This is just a symbolic representation of PLE and not necessarily all these tools sold be used or are used , it all depends on learner’s need and choices. Some of these tools might not be used by some learners at all but more important is the prcesses that they promote.PLE is not just a Personal space but a Social landscape, it shows that how various networking processes are taking place in all this platforms and how a learner may personalize the sets of tools, services and networks that she needs and kind of informal learning
  • Herecomes the personalization, howlearners and alsoteacherscanuse the potential of technologies in theirownteaching and learning, howtheycanchoose the toolstheyneed and suit theirlearning, theirneeds, howtheycanpersonalizetools and avilabletechsforvariouspurposes, The affordance of social media and individual tools in the digital age has created the opportunities for learners to create their own PLE which enable them manage and organize their learning or as Williams et al. (2011) describe a ‘personal learning ecology’
  • I now can't do without the following tools – 1. Twitter -- instant gratification of being connected to well renowned educators 2. Skype - I always connect with family using skype, it's free, the best service and great quality. 3. Facebook -- connected with ole school friends and family around the world4. Loving Prezi5. Always favored wikisBeing connected and developing connection across different networking platforms bring the opportunities of easy accessing to the resources and experts. For instance one of the participants mentioned that when she had a problem to figure out something during the course she had asked other participants to help and twitter was a means to connect to them:
  • Bloggingseen as one of the besttools for reflecting and keeping a diary of learningManyparticipantsstatredbloggingduringMOOCs and founditinteresting and useful and continuing
  • Learning inonle is disruptive or as Siemens mentioned chaotic!! The majority of respondents believed that participation in open online course which needs to be involved in various kinds of activities and to use many tools is motivating and inspiring but on the other hand it is time consuming and disruptive if learner cannot organize the learning in the best possible efficient way in this abundance. Keeping up with the readings and assignments and being motivated to be fully engaged in the activities are extremely challenging for many participants indeed not too miss what they really are interested in and to fulfill the obligations if they are asked to do so. While one participant said she liked the course activities: “I loved it and only wished I had more time to pursue more of the materials and time to share”.This gives learner in on hand sense of autonomy and agency in the process of learning and on the other hand confusion and frustration in organizing learning. The most challenging aspect to these courses in general is being motivated to participate fully. I was formally enrolled and was very careful to complete every assignment on time and participate fully. This has not been the case for other endeavors - I manage to keep fully involved for awhile. … Another challenge was the diversity of needs of the participants. Some threads of discussion were fascinating to me while others were not. While this is also true in a standard closed course, I felt the openness of the discussion brought in many outside interests that pulled from my own focusWhat Weller (2011) indicates that “in a world of abundance the emphasis is less on the development of specific learning materials than on the selection, aggregation and interpretation of existing materials” is something which causes some disruptiveness for the learning in the current era of abundance. Although, disruptive technologies seem to offer pedagogical innovation and can act as ‘catalysts for change’ (Conole et al. 2008). “The most challenging aspect to these courses in general is being motivated to participate fully. I was formally enrolled and was very careful to complete every assignment on time and participate fully… I manage to keep fully involved for awhile. Another challenge was the diversity of needs of the participants”
  • Learning in ONLE and MOOCs is very much self-organized. how individuals deal with complex information and tools and resourcesThisalsopromoteslearningautonomy in whichlearnershavemoreagency in the process of theirlearning….self-organized learners find the appropriate ways to manage the various learning processes such as dealing with tools and contents, setting the best out of the available resources, developing and maintaining connections and being involved in learning networks and communities. As Weller (2011) talks about the ‘pedagogy of abundance’ such a learning is a kind of resource based learning which is “an integrated set of strategies to promote student centered learning in a mass education context, through a combination of specially designed learning resources and interactive media and technologies” (P.229).some preliminary evidence about participants’ experiences and perceptions of learning in open and networked environments. Such environments which are powered by socio-technological open source applications mainly on the web and can facilitate more flexible and easy accessing learning resources and experiences which characterized open, digital and networked. Findings present perceived affordances of such tools and technologies and the challenges of learning in those kinds of environments. The findings suggest that learning in such open and networked environments seems to have the following features:
  • While there is a big number of people and huge amount of resources as Williams et al. (2011) discuss emergent learning arises in which the learners organize and determine both the process and to some extent the learning destinations and both are unpredictable. However, such learning might be inspiring and motivating but also challenging for the formal education in terms of validation and assessment
  • 3 SsOr in otherwords as Jarcheexplainsverysimplythesethreeprocessesare at the center of learning in open and networkedworld. Actually I likethesethreeSs
  • NLC 2012

    1. 1. Emerging Technologies and New Learning Ecologies: Learners’Perceptions of Learning in Open and Networked Environments Mohsen Saadatmand, Kristiina Kumpulainen
    2. 2. Emerging Technologies and Education PARTICAPTION Digital Literacies Digital Scholarship CREATIONSHARING Open and Networked Learning  Ubiquitous Learning Distributed Learning Environments
    3. 3. AFFORDANCES…
    4. 4. The abundance and the learner’s choices!
    5. 5. Open Educational Practices (OEP)
    6. 6. Open Digital Networked Scholarship• Exploiting the digital networks• New forms of dissemination and communication• Embracing the affordances of new technologies (Conole 2012) (Weller, Ed-Media 2011)
    7. 7. The Study• The nature of learning in open and networked environments, learning activities and experiences of participants in open online courses
    8. 8. Methodology• Research desgin• Research context and participants• Data collection
    9. 9. Qualitative Ethnographic Research Online Ethnography Adapting ethnographic techniques in online contexts Auto-ethnography Active participation, Researcher’s experience• Virtual Ethnography (Hine, 2000)• Netnography (Kozinets, 2010)
    10. 10. Data Collection• Online survey (low rate response!)• Online semi-structured interviewing (12 interviews)• Online public data (blogs, FB groups …)• Participant observation• Auto-ethnography
    11. 11. Theoretical Framework• Networked learning ( Goodyear et al. 2005, Jarche 2010, Siemens 2005, 2008, De Laat 2006)• Learning ecology ( Brown 2000, Barron 2006, Spires et al. 2009, Greenhow et al. 2009, Siemens 2003)• Rhizomatic learning (Cormier 2008,2011, Engestrom 2007, Tella 2000, Conole 2012)
    12. 12. Networked Learning • A genre of technologically-mediated learning in which social media and web technologies are used to promote connections between learner, human resources, content resources and learning communities and keep continually dealing with ever-increasing amount of digital information (Goodyear et al. 2005, Jarche 2010, Siemens 2005, 2008, De Laat 2006).Image source:
    13. 13. Rhizomatic Learning• Knowledge is negotiated, and the contextual, collaborative learning experience shared by constructivist and connectivist pedagogies is a social as well as a personal knowledge- creation process (Cormier 2008).• The mycorrhizae-like nature of connections and interaction in networks and communities (Engestrom 2007).• Innumerable number of rhizomatic connections and learning in the rhizome characterizes global connectivity bringing a lot of responsibility for organizing your own learning environment (Tella 2000). Image:
    14. 14. Learning EcologyA new learning ecology • A metaphor to describe an environment for learning. A collection of overlappingfor a new educational communities of interest (virtual), cross-era pollinating with each other, constantly evolving, and largely self-organizing (Brown, New Learning Ecologies are 2000). contextualized, variable, • Set of contexts found in physical or virtual complex, and dynamic. spaces that provide opportunities for learning, which may include formal, informal, Spires et al. 2009 and non-formal settings (Barron 2006). • Learning ecology perspective as useful in conceptualizing learning & teaching across Web 2.0 spaces of home, school, work, and community (Greenhow et al. 2009).Image source:
    15. 15. New learning Ecology Spires et al. 2009
    16. 16. PLE is… “Various tools to connect with people and resources and conversations you know ... I seethe PLE various technologies in terms of process and organization.”“ PLE is not just a personal space but also social landscape to promote various networkingprocesses and how a learner can personalize the sets of tools, services and resources.Participants of the online courses see PLE as tools that enable them during learning andinteraction.” “My PLE is always includes my laptop, or some mobile device which is connected to theinternet and when I am working I have this laptop and I go around my student bringing mylaptop and I usually discuss subjects with them.” “To me a PLE is just jargon for the collection of tools and individual uses to organizeresources in a web-based environment. If you extended its meaning, it would also includeclassrooms, television programs, hallway meetings, etc. As a collection of tools, PLEs havethe characteristics of being controlled by the individual learner, and represent thatindividual’s approach to material and social or professional connections .
    17. 17. • Aggregating• Knowledge • Creating content pull • Reflecting• Social • Commenting bookmarking • Sharing• Annotating PLE• Social networking • Co-creating• Professional • Collaborative networking working• Connecting Tools and Processes in a PLE
    18. 18. Choice of Toolssocial-media-bandwagon.jpg Blogs Twitter YouTube Facebook RSS
    19. 19. (Couros 2011)
    20. 20. TwitterTwitter was the main tool used by many of the participants.- It is the best tool to be connected and to share ideas and post it to the network ifsomething needed to be asked: “Twitter I think the best tool for networking because I got a lot of contacts through twitter,networking with people that you haven’t even met before, just people having the same professionalarea as yourself .” “instant gratification of being connected to well renowned educators”- Seeking help and problem solving:“... I tweeted the people can you please help me in this and this one of my colleagues which Ifollow on twitter and she tweeted things. So people kept mentioning things to me and advising meto use things and I really found a lot of help.”
    21. 21. BloggingBlogging was seen as one of the best way of reflecting on learning and keeping in touch with others“I had been contacted by some people just because I am blogging on some topics … that’s I mean amazing. I like that very much.”
    22. 22. Learning in open and networked environments is…
    23. 23. Connected… Being connected through various tools and media to different people, networks and resources is at the heart of learning in open and networked environments. It also includes connectedness in real life. openness is the key...Image source: rhizome-radar-21305479.gif
    24. 24. Disruptive… In such unstructured learning settings many participants found learning sort of challenging and disruptive which means that it is difficult to manage all learning activities and the level of interactions.Image source:
    25. 25. Self-organized…Dealing with and immersed in a huge abundance ofresources, tools and possibilities needs sort of self-organization; how to learn, which tools andresources to use, which readings to go through,how to make networking and how to developconnections.
    26. 26. Emergent… Learning in open and networked environments is unpredictable and unprecedented. Learning activities and interactions are rhizomatically growing and the predictability of learning patterns during the course of learning is not as usual. It’s the potential and affordances of participatory media that provide such opportunities for emergence… (William et al, 2011)Image source:
    27. 27. Learners expected to create, grow, expand domain and share personalsensemaking through artifact-creation Learning in open, digital and networked environments! Sensemaking and Wayfinding in complex environments Distributed, chaotic, emergent (Siemens 2012) Image source: networks-matter
    28. 28. 3Ss (Jarche 2010)
    29. 29. Questions, Comments Mohsen Saadatmandsaadatmand.m@gmail.comhttp// Twitter: @saadat_m