The digitally literate learner and the appropriation of new technologies and media for education


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Inaugural Lecture
John Cook
Date: Tuesday 3rd of Feb, 2009
Time: 6pm
Venue: Henry Thomas room, Holloway Road, London Metropolitan University
Introduced by Brian Roper, Vice-Chancellor London Metropolitan University

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  • These slides are available to download from slideshare (31MB): Contact details: Professor John Cook, T10-01 Tower Building, North Campus, London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London, N7 8DB Direct: +44 (0)20 7133 4341
  • The digitally literate learner and the appropriation of new technologies and media for education

    1. 1. The digitally literate learner and the appropriation of new technologies and media for education Inaugural Lecture by John Cook Learning Technology Research Institute, London Metropolitan University, 3 February 2009 Download slides:
    2. 2. Structure <ul><li>Traditional opening jokes </li></ul><ul><li>Key processes for education and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Digitally ‘literate’ learners </li></ul><ul><li>Open research questions </li></ul><ul><li>Outside-in/inside-out challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriation </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile learning </li></ul><ul><li>Road-map </li></ul><ul><li>Please turn your mobile phones … </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>… on! </li></ul><ul><li>My mobile number: XXXXXXXXXXX </li></ul><ul><li>It is ‘tradition’ not to have questions at an inaugural! </li></ul><ul><li>But text me questions & your name </li></ul><ul><li>Then at the reception I’ll come and talk or txt u bk </li></ul>
    4. 4. Traditional opening jokes <ul><li>Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Researching the meaning for this title in the UK context! </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why is Technology Enhanced Learning better than Sex? <ul><li>You don’t usually get divorced if your spouse interrupts you in the middle of it. </li></ul><ul><li>If you get tired, you can stop, save your place and pick up where you left off. </li></ul><ul><li>You can finish early without feeling guilty. </li></ul><ul><li>You can get rid of any viruses you catch with a £30 program from McAfee </li></ul><ul><li>And if you're not sure what you are doing, you can always ask your tutor. </li></ul><ul><li>With a little coffee you can do it all night. </li></ul>
    6. 6. On with the ‘serious’ lecture now!
    7. 7. <ul><li>Key processes for education and learning </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Democracy can be viewed as the possibility for equity of access to essential conceptual, cultural, social resources (Kress, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction, criticality and meta-cognitive thinking are key processes for education and learning </li></ul>
    9. 9. The ‘magic’ triangle Cook, J. (2002). The Role of Dialogue in Computer-Based Learning and Observing Learning: An Evolutionary Approach to Theory. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2002 (5). ISSN:1365-893X [ ]
    10. 10. Designing Learning Environments <ul><li>“ … in a learning environment, we get a complex set of relationships between how a learner thinks, i.e. cognition, how the learner interacts with teachers and peers, and the various media and resources that are available to support learning. The institution and society in which the learning takes place will also exert an influence on learning in more subtle ways.” </li></ul><ul><li>Cook, J. (2002). The Role of Dialogue in Computer-Based Learning and Observing Learning: An Evolutionary Approach to Theory . Journal of Interactive Media in Education , 5. Paper online: </li></ul>
    11. 11. RLO-CETL <ul><li>Designing multimedia learning resources and learning objects (RLO-CETL) </li></ul><ul><li>For web and mobile phones: any time any place learning </li></ul><ul><li>For example for Study Skills, Business Studies and Sports Science </li></ul>
    12. 12. How to reference <ul><li>Avoids plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Used extensively London Met & TVU etc </li></ul><ul><li>Demo </li></ul>
    13. 13. “ For example, in the case of Hanna, the learning objects are very helpful as they give guidance and provide extra help if she doesn’t understand something. She likes online, anytime access, as she can access them when she wants, and in the comfort and privacy of her own home. She likes reading from textbooks, but likes the animations in the learning objects, as they break up the learning material and keep you interested. ” “ the second cohort appeared to have a deeper and more coherent learning experience as a result of the introduction of the RLOs. ”
    14. 14. [Play clip]
    15. 15. <ul><li>Digitally ‘literate’ learners </li></ul>
    16. 16. Digitally literate learners “ … include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new forms.” (New Media Consortium, 2005, p. 2, original was in italics)
    17. 17. Digitally literate learners Kress (2003) has observed that young people use new forms of communication which appear to include layers of meaning not accessible by ‘traditional’ language skills alone.
    18. 18. David Livingstone (2009) <ul><li>Education involves the presence of a teacher … </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors and informal learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional self-directed or collective informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>All of the above terms are of course contested! </li></ul>
    19. 19. David Livingstone (2009) <ul><li>Findings to date intentional informal learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it far exceeds rates of participation in further education courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not very closely related to either levels of formal education or participation in further education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>unlike participation in further education does not diminish greatly with age.” </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Parent Rugby union fan Kids E-Learning project leader Research Self taught bass player PhD students John Play 5 aside football Formal and/or informal learning HE LIFE
    21. 21. Warning Formal learning did this to me!
    22. 22. 7 years later & informal learning!
    23. 23. 7 years later & informal learning! 2 years ago!!
    24. 24. 5 months ago
    25. 25. <ul><li>Open research questions </li></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>Do the digitally literate engage in the educational processes as defined above? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there anxiety because educational practitioners, managers of intuitions and policy makers feel the need to respond to rapid technological change? </li></ul>
    27. 28. Children’s bedrooms become media labs UK children aged 12-15 have an average of six media devices in their bedrooms and children aged 8-11 have an average of four such devices (Ofcom 2008a, p. 6).
    28. 29. “ … students are driving the changes. Can UK institutions keep up? ” Harriet Swain : Dawn of the cyberstudent “ … research shows that two years ago, people aged 16-18 spent four to five hours a week on the net. Now it's the same amount each day.&quot; Victoria Neumark: Choose your weapon University Challenge in Guardian 20.01.01
    29. 30. “… a world without barriers. Where learners expect their own technology to interface with yours”.
    30. 31. The Google Generation provide a warning here “… young people demonstrate an ease and familiarity with computers, they rely on the most basic search tools and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web .”
    31. 32. Web 2.0 and learning? “ … only a few embryonic signs of criticality, self-management and meta-cognitive reflection … There is a disparity between home and school use of IT …) Becta (2008).
    32. 33. <ul><li>How can we reconceptualise the ways in which learning spaces are designed? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we conduct research into digital literacy and Technology Enhanced Learning when these momentous changes are largely taking place out there ‘in the wild’? </li></ul>
    33. 34. <ul><li>Outside-in/inside-out challenge </li></ul>
    34. 35. <ul><li>As we can see from the forgoing debate there has been a see-sawing between </li></ul><ul><ul><li>vertical to horizontal structurings of power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>from hierarchical to participatory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is this about to change? </li></ul>
    35. 36. Cook, Pachler, Bachmair and Adami (2009) Cultural practices involving new digital media can be brought into the educational institutions feed back into the digital world at large
    36. 37. <ul><li>Appropriation </li></ul>
    37. 38. Health warnings! NOT talking about misappropriation
    38. 39. Can texting damage your health? As always there is more to it than meets the eye …
    39. 40. NOT about criminal appropriation, as in ‘you’re nicked’!
    40. 41. <ul><li>Appropriation is the processes related to the development of personal practices with digital technology and media (Cook and Pachler, 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>But this can lead to problems: @ 2 min 10 secs </li></ul>
    41. 42. Key components of a socio-cultural ecological approach to mobile learning Patchler, N., Bachmair, B., Cook, J. and Kress, G. (in preparation). M-Learning . Springer. Due Autumn 2009.
    42. 44. <ul><li>Stages of appropriation are </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assimilation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accommodation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>change. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They are based on the work of Piaget (1955) and Dourish (2004). </li></ul>
    43. 45. ( Cook, J., Pachler, N. and Bachmair, B. (under review). Appropriation of Mobile Phones and Learning. )
    44. 46. <ul><li>Mobile learning </li></ul>
    45. 48. Learner story <ul><li>“ Well we were walking around and observing the theatres of the event and trying to get the most images [that] we could get, and videos, and even sounds. We tried first to observe with our own eyes a little, to pick up what we thought was important for our presentation, and for our observation of the event.” </li></ul>[Play quote 2 clip]
    46. 49. [play Elli clip] (Cook, Pachler and Bradley, 2008)
    47. 50. CONTSENS
    48. 53. “ The information given was underlined by the 'experience' of the area and therefore given context in both past and present. ”
    49. 54. “ “ it was triggering my own thoughts and I was getting to think for myself about the area and the buildings. ”
    50. 55. A clear example of the interactive construction and maintenance of context in action was cited when one student in group 1 who felt that the tasks helped to encourage active learning, and also helped to give context to what they were learning, “there was the task, there was the whole going back to, oh you know take a picture, video that, try and get the whole area … you're actually physically getting into the whole context of what it is that you're learning, your mind is open to what it is you're supposed to be doing. ” One student said in the interview afterwards about using the Nokia phones for the tasks, “It was good because we were capturing the evidence that we needed when we could video and reflect on things that we'd done, so we were seeing things and reflecting straight away , so that if we came back to the classroom and we had to write up on it, write like a blog, we could easily relay what we've recorded already, so it saved a lot of time, and it captured the thought at the moment, there and then. ”
    51. 56. <ul><li>Road-map </li></ul>
    52. 57. <ul><li>Predicting the future can be problematic, lets hear from a guru of communication on this … </li></ul><ul><li>[clip] </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.&quot; The then Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld </li></ul>
    53. 58. Personal Learning and Personalised Learning Environments <ul><li>I would argue that we need Personalised Learning Environments (PLEs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A loosely coupled set of tools and resources that are learner defined, i.e. where the learner creates their own context for learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is what I and LTRI colleagues are involved in building in the EC (FP7) MATURE project </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lots of design studies and ethnographic work with users </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to create ‘mashups’ with mobile work </li></ul>
    54. 59. Personal Learning and Personalised Learning Environments <ul><li>A PLE provides support for the learning journey as learners: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set their own learning goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage their learning (by managing both content and process) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate with others across multiple contexts in the process of learning (i.e. support student experience of e-learning as they move between work/life/learning contexts) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate digital tools and media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And thereby achieve learning goals </li></ul></ul>
    55. 60. Personal Learning and Personalised Learning Environments <ul><li>Surfaces the thorny issues of : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scalability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not expensive if want 24/7 democratic and participatory access to learning! </li></ul><ul><li>But PLEs are also about imposing the personal on the technical </li></ul>
    56. 61. Call for Global Learning Initiative The mobile clouds are here already <ul><li>PLEs can be built if we make creative use of existing and emerging infrastructures and innovations and an understanding of appropriation </li></ul><ul><li>The following is a ‘mashup’ of Horizon 2008/9 reports from both Australasia and USA </li></ul><ul><li>We need to share the task globally! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>next generation mobile devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mobile broadband </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cloud computing to provide mobile PLE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>immersive environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>collaborative webs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geo-everything and context aware learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deep tagging tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social operating systems/ personal web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>semantic-aware applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>smart objects </li></ul></ul>
    57. 62. Thank you
    58. 63. References <ul><li>Bachmair, B. (1991). From the Motor Car to the Television. Cultural-Historical Arguments on the Meaning of Mobility for Communication. Media, Culture and Society, 13, 521-533. </li></ul><ul><li>Becta (2008). Web 2.0 technologies for learning at KS3 and KS4: Learners' use of Web 2.0 technologies in and out of school. June). Available from:, accessed 11th September 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Cook, J. (2002). The Role of Dialogue in Computer-Based Learning and Observing Learning: An Evolutionary Approach to Theory. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 5. Paper online: </li></ul><ul><li>Cook, J. and Bradley, C. (2007). ‘If I had a phone like that yes! I would use it, obviously, for my assignments’: A Grounded Study of Mobile Device Appropriation for Learning. Mobile Learning, 5-7 July 2007, Lisbon, Portugal. </li></ul><ul><li>Cook, J. and Patchler, N. (2009). Appropriation of Mobile Phones in and Across Formal and Informal Learning. In R. Land and S. Bayne (Eds.), Digital Difference. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. </li></ul><ul><li>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 at: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Cook, J., Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Adami, E. (2009). Symposium Outside in, inside out? Digital Media as Cultural Resources for Learning (Convenor: Cook), CAL 09, Brighton UK. </li></ul><ul><li>Dourish, P. (2004). What We Talk About When We Talk About Context. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 8(1), 19-30 Available at:, accessed 10 June 2007. </li></ul>
    59. 64. References <ul><li>Giddens, A. (1984). The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. University of California Press. Reprint edition (January 1, 1986). </li></ul><ul><li>Hall, S. (1997) (ed.). Representation. Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Holley, D., Bradley, C., Greaves, L. and Cook, J. (2009). “You Can Take Out of it What you Want” – How Learning Objects Within Blended Learning Designs Encourage Personalised Learning. In J. O’Donoghue (Ed.) Technology Supported Environment for Personalised Learning: Methods and Case Studies. IGI Global. </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson, L., Levine, A. and Smith, R. (2008). The Horizon Report: 2008 Australia–New Zealand Edition , Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson, L., Levine, A. and Smith, R. (2009). The 2009 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. </li></ul><ul><li>Knell, G. E. (2009). Pockets of Potential: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning, Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Available: </li></ul><ul><li>, accessed 10th Jan 09 </li></ul><ul><li>Kress (2008) New Literacies, New Democracies. Beyond Current Horizons challenge paper. Available from, accessed 23rd November 2008. </li></ul>
    60. 65. References <ul><li>Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in a New Media Age. London: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Livingstone, D. (2009) Basic Research on Lifelong Learning: Recent Survey Findings and Reflections on ‘Capturing’ Informal Learning. In G. Vavoula, N. Pachler and A. Kukulska-Hulme (Eds.) Researching Mobile Learning. Frameworks, Methods and Research Designs. Peter Lang (Oxford). </li></ul><ul><li>New Media Consortium (2005). A Global Imperative – the report of the 21st century literacy summit. (p. 2, original was in italics) . Available at, accessed 10th January, 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Ofcom (2008a) Media Literacy Audit - Report on UK children’s media literacy. , accessed 5th September 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Ofcom (2008b) Mobile citizens, mobile consumers. , accessed 5th September 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Patchler, N., Bachmair, B., Cook, J. and Kress, G. (in preparation). M-learning . Springer. Due Autumn 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Piaget, J. (1955). The Construction of Reality in the Child. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. </li></ul><ul><li>Sharples, M., Taylor, J. and Vavoula, G.N. (2005). A Theory of Learning for the Mobile Age. In R. Andrews & C. Haythornthwaite (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of E-Learning Research (pp. 221-247). London: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, C., Cook, J. and Pratt-Adams, S. (2009). Context Sensitive Mobile Learning: Designing a ‘Technoscape’ for Urban Planners. Mobile Learning, Barcelona, 26-28 February. </li></ul><ul><li>Wood, D., Bruner, J. S. and Ross, G. (1976). The Role of Tutoring in Problem Solving. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17(2), 89-100. </li></ul>