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Social network innovation in the internet’s global coffeehouses


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This is the large version. A very cut down version was presented at my Inaugural Lecture on 5 March 2014, Bristol, UK which is now on YouTube: make some coffee and take a peek?

Published in: Design, Education, Technology

Social network innovation in the internet’s global coffeehouses

  1. 1. John Cook Designing for Digital Learners (D4DL) Research Group, UWE Bristol, UK Slides: Version 26 February 2014 1
  2. 2. 1. Caffeine induced fast forward through John’s timeline ‘76 onwards 2. Bad press for ‘new’ technology and tools 3. The disruptive power of social networking from 1600s to now 4. Design Based Research 5. Learning Layers 6. Design Seeking and Scaling framework 7. Pandora 8. Challenges 2
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  4. 4. Health Warning! Formal learning on Computing Science degree did this to me 
  5. 5. Post Punk era was all about informal learning. In 1980 I join Angels One 5 as self taught bass player 5
  6. 6. By 1983 informal learning guides me into wearing THAT shirt!
  7. 7. But mixing the formal and informal can cause an identity crisis!
  8. 8. Reintegrated John? 2008
  9. 9. Rugby union fan LIFE Play 5 aside football Management Parent PhD students Kids Research Self taught bass player I have set up a false dichotomy. Formal learning and/or learning in informal contexts, it’s complicated! Teaching John
  10. 10. Pre-UWE R&D timeline … LTRI (2005-12) & LMLG (2006 - on) OU PhD TEL & Creativity (1998) 2000 FP7 & LLL Projects ubiquitous learning (2007 - on) Institutional Impact: ‘Evidence’ to BIS Manager RLO CETL (2005-08) 2005 Blended Learning Consultants 2008 Cooperative Problem-Seeking Dialogues in Learning: 2010
  11. 11. Selected research outputs London Mobile Learning Group First monograph (2010) on mobile learning. Being used in teaching in such institutions as University Hull, University Leeds, University Stockholm, and University of California, Berkeley. LMLG semi-open research (2006 - on) Workshop Research Methods in Informal and Mobile Learning * 2000 2005 * User Generated Contexts 2008 2010
  12. 12. People thought the first printing press was an instrument of the devil that would spawn unauthorised versions of the bible. David Crystal (Guardian, 2008), author of „Txtng: the gr8db8‟ (Crystal, 2008)
  13. 13. The telephone created fears of a breakdown in family life, with people no longer speaking directly to one another.
  14. 14. And radio and television raised concerns about brain-washing.
  15. 15. Mobile phones can damage your health? txt spk is responsible for bad spelling and moral decay? As always there is more to it than meets the eye …
  16. 16. 16 A 1668 illustration showing a contemporary London coffee house. Photo: Lordprice Collection / Alamy
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  18. 18. • After you have seem this! • 18
  19. 19. As well as complaining that Christians had abandoned their traditional beer in favour of a foreign drink, critics worried that coffeehouses were keeping people from productive work. 1677, Anthony Wood, an Oxford academic: “Why doth solid and serious learning decline, and few or none follow it now in the University?” he asked. “Answer: Because of Coffea Houses, where they spend all their time” (from Standage, 2013). 19
  20. 20. social networking within companies could increase the productivity of “knowledge workers” by 20 to 25 percent 20
  21. 21. “The book and website both challenge what the manifesto calls outmoded, 20th-century thinking about business in light of the emergence of the Web, clearly listing "95 theses", as a reference to Martin Luther's manifesto which heralded the start of the Protestant Reformation.” /The_Cluetrain_Manifesto, accessed, 26/09/13 21
  22. 22. “The lesson of the coffeehouse is that modern fears about the dangers of social networking are overdone. This kind of media, in fact, has a long history: Martin Luther’s use of pamphlets in the Reformation casts new light on the role of social media in the Arab Spring.” Standage, T. (2013). Social Networking in the 1600s. New York Times (online), June 22, pinion/sunday/social-networking-in-the1600s.html?pagewanted=all&_r=3&, accessed 30/08/13 22
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  24. 24. “… a genre of research in which the iterative development of solutions to practical and complex educational problems also provides the context for empirical investigation, which yields theoretical understanding that can inform the work of others … [although potentially powerful] the simultaneous pursuit of theory building and practical innovation is extremely ambitious” McKenney, S. & Reeves, T. (2012). Conducting Educational Design Research. New York: Routledge. NOT Same as Research-based design … 24
  25. 25. Tom Reeves keynote: “How many educational revolutions have we heard of?” DBR = "Impact on real world problems." “… in the era of iPhone ... we want frictionless solutions ... but people and institutions can feel messy ... they introduce uncontrolled variability.” “You know DBR has rigor and discipline, but it must also have impact.” 25
  26. 26. DBR Example: Augmented Context for Development “… context as a core construct that enables collaborative, location-based, mobile device mediated problem solving where learners generate their own „temporal context for development‟ within the wider frame of Augmented Contexts for Development (ACD).” Cook, J (2010). Mobile Phones as Mediating Tools Within Augmented Contexts for Development, IJMBL. Link to paper Used in mLeMan project as basis for Mobile Augmented Reality – with Carl Smith, Claire Bradley 2000 2005 2008 2010
  27. 27. Project Coordination Technology Research Scaling Partners Regional Application Clusters Health Care – Leeds Construction & Building – Bremen Technology Partners
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  31. 31. Cook, J., Bannan, B. and Santos, P. (2013). Seeking and Scaling Model for Designing Technology that Supports Personal and Professional Learning Networks. Workshop 31 on Collaborative Technologies for Working and Learning (ECSCW meets EC-TEL), 21 September, Cyprus. Available from:
  32. 32. • Rogers (2003) “Diffusion of Innovations” seminal work from 60s – May be too linear • Can we abstract out of a perfect study and scale as Kampylis, et al. (2013) claim? • According to Forge et al. (2013, p. 8) design libraries encourage common shared intellectual capital as a general basis for innovation and scaling • Forge et al. (2013, p. 8) also note in support of their argument that – Apple the largest company in the world by market capitalization in May 2012 (they can scale) – Relies on design concepts for its leading position – Currently using its British designers and previously its German designers • Design matters! 32
  33. 33. … all about interacting with people … 33
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  35. 35. • Double espresso for Internet powered coffee houses? • Claims to be putting more intelligence, more meaning into the web • Web of collective knowledge systems, which are able to provide useful information based on human contributions and which get better as more people participate • The socio-semantic web may be seen as a middle way between the top-down monolithic taxonomy approach like the Yahoo! Directory and the more recent collaborative tagging (folksonomy) approaches 35
  36. 36. Layers EGs: Ach So! – Mobile video recording app & Help Seeking tool Layers Social Semantic Server 36 /
  37. 37. • Can you solve it? No, but I know a woman who can! • Personal Learning Networks (PLN): Curating, managing and promoting a PLN develops critical, creative, 21st century skills and socio-emotional capabilities. • Cook and Pachler (2012) • Santos, Cook, TreasureJones, Kerr & Colley (2014) 37
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  41. 41. • SSS can generate meta-data to relate people and data, people and people, data and data! • Goal of the following exercise is to explore integration of Help Seeking tool’s sociocultural-historical approach (Vygotsky) with SSS 41 41
  42. 42. So, we have 3 people: Patricia, Mark and Natasha. They all search for and read an article called “Registration guidelines on diabetes” which is downloaded from the Intranet onto their respective PLEs (blue lines below) Mark Natasha Registration guidelines on diabetes Patricia From this the SSS will begin a service known as user event service (or looking at what people are doing and finding patterns) in this instance, the pattern is 3 people have all downloaded the same document meaning they have shown an interest. 42
  43. 43. From SSS perspective we draw a (Green) connection between the 3 people, since they all downloaded & (we assume) have read the same article. Mark Natasha Registration guidelines on diabetes Patricia 43
  44. 44. Well, Patricia asks Mark (who she has previously tagged in her PLE, a ‘more capable peer’) a question about booking interpreters for a patient via her contacts Mark Natasha Registration guidelines on diabetes Booking interpreters for a patient Patricia For the SSS this is part of the meaning making system, since they both have looked at the “Registration guidelines on diabetes” document the SSS user event service draws in a relationship between those two sets of data (purple lines). 44
  45. 45. Now the SSS pushes a service called “Recommendation Service” (Linking to good stuff, which is part of the guidance service group), because it has seen that Patricia and Mark both are in this discussion Mark Natasha Registration guidelines on diabetes Booking interpreters for a patient Patricia it assumes that Natasha probably would like to be in the discussion too (because of the similarity of the three persons)! So SSS suggests to Natasha that she joins the discussion (red line), the SSS is therefore scaffolding a collaborative ‘temporal context for development’. 45
  46. 46. • And there we go, Natasha discovers a discussion that she also finds useful – Thanks to the SSS’s hi-level services “recommendation” (guidance service group). • The services & connections provided/made by SSS in this example are: – – – – – User event service (finding a pattern) Recommendation service Connection between the 3 people (green) Relationship between those two sets of data (purple lines) Suggests for person to join a discussion (red line) • In Vygotskian terms we have in play two key concepts – More Capable Peer – Temporal Context for Development – … and there is lots of mediation going with signs and tools
  47. 47. • How to design Help Seeking tools for health sector? • Scale to other sectors • There are certain assumptions built in the Social Semantic Server (based on artefact-actor networks and Piagetian schemas) that still need resolving with our socio-culturalhistorical approach (Vygotsky) of Help Seeking • Investigate further notion of context formation ⁻ How do we construct and process context? ⁻ Fear of learning, technology, problem solving, creativity ⁻ How we can integrate different contexts? For example learning in formal and non-formal contexts ⁻ Re-examine Augmented Contexts for Development (Cook, 2010) and User Generated Contexts (Cook, 2014) in the light of neuroscience 47
  48. 48. “hippocampus can process and store contextual information reliably and independently without the potentially detrimental interference from … [unpleasant] salient event” Assitant Prof Attila Losonczy, ence-environment-26249509 48
  49. 49. • Are we closer to solving puzzle of how the hippocampus can successfully encode the context, while ignoring the impact of the ongoing negative stimulus? – Provides one mechanism for parallel-processing in the brain – Here temporally overlapping inputs are disentangled and sorted into separate pipelines for further processing and context formation – It appears we may separate the construction of context from our feelings about the context – Storing context separately allows objective processing of context – Big ethical considerations • Refine Design Seeking and Scaling framework • Need to improve community engagement around ODL • Form partnerships for spin outs for Help Seeking tool • Balance my coffee intake … 49
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  52. 52. • • • • • • • • ResearchGate: Mendeley: Twitter: Slideshare: Linkedin: Facebook: Skype: johnnigelcook And general links • Designing for Digital Learners (D4DL): • BRILLE: Bristol Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning and Education (BRILLE) • UWE Bristol profil: • Learning Layers: • Open Design Library: 52
  53. 53. Thank You Acknowledgement of work used in this talk: Tom Standage (The Economist), Dr Xu Liu (MIT), Carl Smith, Claire Bradley, Brenda Bannan, Patricia Santos, Tribal, Owen Gray, Tamsin Treasure-Jones, Micky Kerr, & various Learning Layers colleagues Learning Layers is a 7th Framework Large-scale integrating project co-funded by the European Commission; Grant Agreement Number 318209; Questions? 53
  54. 54. ALT/TLRP-TEL (2010). Technology in Learning: A Response to Some [evidence-seeking] Questions from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. Foreword by John Cook (LTRI/ALT) and Richard Noss (TLRPTEL), October. Available: Cook also first author of content. Cook, J. (2014). User Generated Contexts: Thinking About Changes in Mass Communication in Terms of Agency, Innovation, Trust and Risk. Proceedings of Bristol Ideas in Mobile Learning 2014 (Ed Cook, Santos and Mor). See also Cook, J., Bannan, B. and Santos, P. (2013). Seeking and Scaling Model for Designing Technology that Supports Personal and Professional Learning Networks. Workshop on Collaborative Technologies for Working and Learning (ECSCW meets EC-TEL), 21 September, Cyprus. Link to paper Cook, J. and Pachler, N. (2012). Online People Tagging: Social (Mobile) Network(ing) Services and Work-based Learning. British Journal of Education Technology, 43(5), 711–725. Link to paper Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bachmair, B. (2012). Using Social Network Sites and Mobile Technology for Bridging Social Capital. In Guglielmo Trentin and Manuela Repetto (Eds.), Using Network and Mobile Technology to Bridge Formal and Informal Learning, pp. 31-56. Chandos. Link to paper Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bachmair, B. (2011). Ubiquitous Mobility with Mobile Phones: A Cultural Ecology for Mobile Learning. E-Learning and Digital Media. Special Issue on Media: Digital, Ecological and Epistemological. 8(3), 181-195. Link to paper 54
  55. 55. Cook, J. (2010). Mobile Phones as Mediating Tools Within Augmented Contexts for Development. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 2(3), 1-12, July-September. Link to paper Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bradley, C. (2008). Bridging the Gap? Mobile Phones at the Interface between Informal and Formal Learning. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, Spring. Available from: Cook, J., Holley, D. and Andrew, D. (2007). A Stakeholder Approach to Implementing E-Learning in a University. British Journal of Education Technology, 38(5), 784–794. Cook, J., Holley, D., Smith, C., Haynes, R. and Bradley, C. (2006). Team Enhanced Creativity: An Approach to Designing User-Centred Reusable Learning Objects. IV International Conference on Multimedia and ICTs in Education (m-ICTE2006), Seville (Spain), 22-25 November 2006. See Cook, J. (2000). Cooperative Problem-Seeking Dialogues in Learning. In Gauthier, G., Frasson, C. and VanLehn, K. (Eds.) Intelligent Tutoring Systems: 5th International Conference, ITS 2000 Montréal, Canada, June 2000 Proceedings, p. 615–624. Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer-Verlag. Crystal, D. (2008). Txtng: the gr8 db8. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 55
  56. 56. Forge, S., Blackman, C., Goldberg, I. and Biagi, F. (2013). Comparing Innovation Performance in the EU and the USA: Lessons from Three ICT Sub-Sectors. European Commission Joint Research Centre Technical Report, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. McKenney, S. & Reeves, T. (2012). Conducting Educational Design Research. New York: Routledge. Michael Chui, James Manyika, Jacques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Charles Roxburgh, Hugo Sarrazin, Geoffrey Sands and Magdalena Westergren (2012). The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies. McKinsey Global Institute,, accessed September 2013 Mitchell, A., Holley, D., Cook, J., Windle, R. and Morales, R. (2008). 360 Degree Rotations – A Kaleidoscope of Voices from the RLO-CETL. The Higher Education Academy Annual Conference 2008, Harrogate, July 1-3. Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Cook, J. (2010). Mobile Learning: Structures, Agency, Practices. New York: Springer. Panagiotis Kampylis, Nancy Law, Yves Punie, Stefania Bocconi, Barbara Brečko, Seungyeon Han, Chee-Kit Looi, Naomi Miyake (2013). ICT-enabled innovation for learning in Europe and Asia: Exploring conditions for sustainability, scalability and impact at system level. See, accessed Sept 2013. 56
  57. 57. Rogers, E. M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations. Fifth Edition. New York: Free Press Santos, P., Cook, J., Treasure-Jones, T., Kerr, M., & Colley, J. (2014). Networked Scaffolding: Seeking Support in Workplace Learning Contexts. Networked Learning Conference, Edinburgh, UK. Standage, T. (2013). Social Networking in the 1600s. New Yourk Times (online), June 22,, accessed 30/08/13 Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes (Cole, M., Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original work published 1930) 57