2.0 for PLE


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a brief field guide to the ecology of tools, services and activities that could contribute to Personal Learning Environments. Talk by Mike Malloch to the Workplace PLEs seminar, London Knowledge Lab, Nov 1 2006

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2.0 for PLE

  1. 1. 2.0 for PLE a brief field guide to the ecology of tools, services and activities that could contribute to personal learning environments <ul><li>Mike Malloch, KnowNet, </li></ul><ul><li>Workplace PLEs TEL Project, Seminar 1, </li></ul><ul><li>London Knowledge Lab, Nov 1, 2006 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Why the buzz? What’s new? <ul><li>Not the first time ‘learning’ & ‘environment’ have met :o) </li></ul><ul><li>The world of the web is getting smarter (at last!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The web as platform - exploding with rich possibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The participation of people is getting deeper (esp the young!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyday communicating, creating, researching… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The emerging system is distributed: services, users, microcontent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple, small, immediately usable steps make a difference </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. ‘Personal’ = meaningful <ul><li>It has been very hard to get uptake for e-’learning’ </li></ul><ul><li>… because users’ experience has been pretty meaningless in their own terms </li></ul><ul><li>PLE approaches can engage the learners’ existing practices, contexts and concerns </li></ul><ul><li>… and let learners relate your content to everything else they engage with:harvest, filter, organise, comment, reflect… </li></ul>
  4. 4. ‘Life Wide’ Learning <ul><li>Thanks Oleg! ( for the phrase ) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ everything else they engage with’ has to include the Whole Wild Web </li></ul><ul><li>Learners increasingly are heavy web users & adept researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Many have their own web presences and communities </li></ul><ul><li>PLE approaches let us respect and hook into that natural fluency </li></ul><ul><li>And open-ness ensures the user can control & archive data </li></ul><ul><li>Note that e-portfolios - esp ‘reflective’ epfs - are part of the picture </li></ul>
  5. 5. New kinds of user activity <ul><li>Another cause of poor uptake has been lack of compelling web-based activities </li></ul><ul><li>Lots to see but little to do - a fundamental technology gap: </li></ul><ul><li>Compelling interactivity has been bespoke and expensive …while cheap, generically authorable ‘activities’ do not engage learners </li></ul><ul><li>Web2.0 / PLE offers chance to invent new kinds of generic activity (robust incremental software development + massive use/content base) </li></ul><ul><li>Eg goal-driven social-bookmarking / re-blogging research tasks </li></ul><ul><li>3 key basic ingredients: lots & lots of people; a vast, rich web of linkable, mashable, re-structurable content; easy user-content-creation </li></ul>
  6. 6. How to get the power of 2? <ul><li>Keep it simple & immediately useful </li></ul><ul><li>The complexity comes from people using it in context </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it open - do not depend on people locking into you </li></ul><ul><li>Trust your neighbours. Open the API, share & mash freely </li></ul><ul><li>Trust your users. Respect their existing practice </li></ul><ul><li>BUT - there are key gaps between ‘me’ and ‘the world’ </li></ul>
  7. 7. Three senses of ‘personal’ <ul><li>Personal Platform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I use the desktop applications or web interfaces that, for me, suit my present purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I keep my data/contacts/content organised by the use I make of it, not strictly by its source </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nothing between me and the ‘world’ wide web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The user becomes the organising focus of services </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Not in the ‘place’ business <ul><li>Users no longer have to ‘come to our site’ to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access or engage with our content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage their own content/contacts/data in ‘our’ system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interact with other users of ‘our’ system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RSS, APIs, ‘lightweight services’, simple web/xml standards </li></ul><ul><li>Even ‘their space’ is not a lock-in </li></ul><ul><li>…and even if we provide ‘their space’ we design SOA parts </li></ul>
  9. 9. Not ‘one platform’ either <ul><li>Not necessarily - or likely - one special desktop application </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘person’ is the hinge/focus for organising & choosing </li></ul><ul><li>…and may choose their own suite of favorite applications, clients & interfaces by use/content-type/etc </li></ul><ul><li>Even where omnibus platforms make sense - eg for newbies or for experimental development - there must be choice among them and no lock-in </li></ul>
  10. 10. So what needs doing? <ul><li>Part of the work is in building experimental ‘personal platform’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>desktop apps - eg the PLEX project ( CETIS/JISC ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>web-based interfaces - eg ‘portals’, quick mashups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new one-purpose interfaces/clients for new services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part is in building experimental ‘personal systems’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new services, interactions and content types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but… </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Co-ordinating*groups*goals <ul><li>A crucial gap in what the general web2.0 market provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Either ‘me’ or ‘the world’ - what about groups, purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg social bookmarking by groups for a purpose is tricky now </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to develop special brokering services, layers and tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg “our groups’ tags for the maths-writing project” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much room for computationally simple service-architecture fiddling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But also a niche for advanced filtering and relation-inducing /user-modelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And note that user-generated microcontent can provide rich corpora of contextualised data to feed user models :o) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Open content <ul><li>Easy to use licensing for re-use (eg Creative Commons) </li></ul><ul><li>Simple formats for re-use (‘objects’ standards get in the way) </li></ul><ul><li>See esp the new OU openlearn </li></ul><ul><li>Also Connexions, bbc backstage… </li></ul><ul><li>Possible experimental content for lightweight engagement via a personal platform </li></ul><ul><li>communicative skills via… they communicate :o) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Web2.0 buzz... <ul><li>An explosion of startups offering open services to help ordinary people engage in the web, sharing in web-as-open-repository </li></ul><ul><li>Some, like Flickr and del.icio.us, have become synonymous with the service they offer, and will be around for years </li></ul><ul><li>Many others emerging... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eg. shared file-editing, video and audio editing/hosting... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>watch my tags ( web2.0/xxx and services/xxx esp ) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. The web2.0 checklist 8*} <ul><li>Structured Microcontent : very simple meta/data </li></ul><ul><li>Data Outside : my data are all over the place, and wherever I want them to be, not 'in' some portal, forum, database or site </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ness : licences, import-export, no lock-in, easy registration </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds Galore : very rich range of RSS makes every reader a client </li></ul><ul><li>Web API's : easy to write my app to talk to theirs facelessly </li></ul><ul><li>Desktop Integration : it's in the web not in the browser... </li></ul>
  15. 15. Easy-Entry structured 'microcontent'
  16. 16. Easy-Entry structured microcontent2
  17. 17. Easy-Entry structured microcontent3
  18. 18. Data 'outside'...
  19. 19. Data 'outside'... 2
  20. 20. Data 'outside'... 3
  21. 21. RSS Feeds Galore!
  22. 22. and RSS Feeds Galore... 2
  23. 23. RSS becomes resource... 3
  24. 24. APIs = desktop clients
  25. 25. APIs = loads of clients...
  26. 26. APIs = choice of clients...
  27. 27. Emergent features...
  28. 28. Emergent co-operation
  29. 29. New ways of searching
  30. 30. New ways of searching...2
  31. 31. New ways of searching...3
  32. 32. 'Social Startups' helping...
  33. 33. 'Social Startups' helping.. 2
  34. 34. 'Social Startups' helping..3
  35. 35. 'Social Startups' helping..4
  36. 36. 'Social Startups' helping..5
  37. 37. 'Social Startups' helping..6
  38. 38. And plenty more...
  39. 39. Some more initial steps? <ul><li>All of us should become hardcore social-bookmarkers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>develop some tagging conventions for PLE/communicative skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>start assembling future project resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learn about the issues from actual experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of us should work hard to understand the disparate 'use-cases' of ordinary learners, teachers, authors, institutions.. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Some links: <ul><li>there will be an experimental platform for the project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>workplace-ple.org </li></ul></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>knownet.com/writing/elearning2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>del.icio.us/Mike_Malloch </li></ul>