Learning Networks for Lifelong Learning

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The presentation first explains the notion of a Learning Network and argues for its suitability to support Lifelong Learning, then it discusses design issues, including social networking sites, and finally goes into the relevance of the Open Social API

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Learning Networks for Lifelong Learning

  1. 1. Learning Networks for Lifelong Learning Peter B. Sloep Third TENCompetence Winterschool Innsbruck, February 2, 2009 The author’s effort was (partly) funded by the European Commission in TENCompetence (IST-2004- 02787) (http:// www.tencompetence.org).
  2. 2. Towards a design for Learning Networks • Learning Networks for Lifelong Learning • Design: Learning Network services • Design: Learning Network infrastructures • Assignment
  3. 3. Learning Networks for lifelong learning and profess. development
  4. 4. Use Case 1 James is a chemical engineer working for water testing SME. He wants to pursue a career as a water manager with the local water board. He therefore needs to update and upgrade his skills.
  5. 5. Use Case 2 A lawyer working for Sandex finds out he needs a more thorough understanding of the science part of the company, in particular abut the manufacturing of pharmaca.
  6. 6. Use Case 3 A vintage motorcycle enthousiast who wants to buy a Moto Guzzi V7 from 1972 and restore it in its original grandeur. For this, she needs to learn motorcycle specific skills, which she hopes to do through a network of fellow- enthousiasts.
  7. 7. Three scenarios • professional context: update and upgrade within career path • professional context: pursue different caree • serious amateur: learn what feel think you need
  8. 8. forms of learning contexts for learning
  9. 9. forms of learning contexts for learning
  10. 10. forms of learning formal non-formal informal learning learning learning contexts initial ‘ordinary’ rare for out of scope education occasion education learning post-initial continuous lifelong out of scope education learning education
  11. 11. forms of learning formal non-formal informal learning learning learning contexts initial ‘ordinary’ rare for out of scope education occasion education learning post-initial continuous lifelong out of scope education learning education
  12. 12. forms of learning formal non-formal informal learning learning learning contexts initial ‘ordinary’ rare for out of scope education occasion education learning post-initial continuous lifelong out of scope education learning education
  13. 13. forms of learning formal non-formal informal learning learning learning contexts initial ‘ordinary’ rare for out of scope education occasion education learning post-initial continuous lifelong out of scope education learning education
  14. 14. Thesis 1 • Continuous education builds on the formal mode of learning. • It is ineffective for post-initial education as its formality prevents it from meeting post- intial education’s demands for logistic, pedagogical and subject-matter flexibility.
  15. 15. (Thesis 2) • Initial education should smoothly transition into post-initial education for lifelong learning to have any chance of being successful. • This sets demands to initial education, it should prepare pupils and students for lifelong learning, mostly in terms of self- directedness.
  16. 16. Thesis 3 • Post-initial education should be practiced in the context of Learning Networks • A Learning Network is an online, social network designed to support and facilitate lifelong learning (a learning ‘ecosystem’)
  17. 17. Design principles & elements • Competences, their ontologies and mappings • Self-organisation, community emergence through ad-hoc transient communities • Learner support services • Learning Network infrastructures
  18. 18. Design: Competences • Competence maps allow one to chart out achievements and ambitions in terms of competences • Competence link learning activities to learning opportunities
  19. 19. Design: self-organisation • In the context of a Learning Network, through ad hoc transient communities a patchwork of partially overlapping communities should emerge • Both nearby friends in the same community and distant acquaintances (friends of friends of ..) in remote communities (Granovetter’s strength of weak ties)
  20. 20. Design: learning network services
  21. 21. Kinds of LN services • Learner support services • in ‘ordinary’ learning task of teaching staff • based on (the latest) learning theories • Network logistics services • in ‘ordinary’ learning task of admin. staff • conditional for LS but not constitutive of
  22. 22. Learner support services, two flavours • person to person • role-based: peer learner, expert, coach, mentor • agent to person • agent mines network data and adopt role of peer learner, expert, coach, mentor
  23. 23. Examples of LS services kind of service p2p a2p assessment of prior skills √ √ identification of goal skills √ √ skills to competence mapping √ √
  24. 24. Examples (cont’d) kind of service p2p a2p tutoring support (content-related help) √ √ navigation support (‘module’ selection) √ √ group formation for collaborative √ √ learning
  25. 25. Examples (cont’d) kind of service p2p a2p coaching (help with meta-cognitive √ √ skills) HRM (help changing/finding jobs) √ √ ... √ √
  26. 26. Examples of network logistics services • Learning Network hosting • Billing and accounting (for all providers) • Learner Profiling: (nick)name, picture, ID proxies (e-mail, IM clients, phone, PayPal) • e-portfolio storage and provision • productivity tools: Google docs, ...
  27. 27. Examples of logistic services (cont’d) • communication tools: Skype • tagging: del.ico.us • references management: Zotero
  28. 28. Conclusion • These services come in many kinds • There may be competition between providers of them • Learning Network needs an economic model for its functioning (instances may operate according to different models) • Services need substrate to be ‘hooked into’
  29. 29. Design: Learning Network infrastructures
  30. 30. Two kinds of infrastructures • if one starts with an existing, closed group of people, then provide them with a fitting network infrastructure, hoping that a learning network will emerge • if one starts within an existing, open infrastructure, then assemble a group by providing learning network services, hoping that a learning network will emerge
  31. 31. closed open may already have an infra, by definition, social else CMS or VLE most networking site as infra likely, shun openness e.g. ict ambassadors e.g. all foreigners learning network, librarians of the Dutch as their second next generation language proprietary, owned by open, no ownership or existing group, distributed ownership commissioned (resources: OER)
  32. 32. closed open old school, ‘boring’, ill fits exciting, fits philosophy quit Learning Networks welll philosophy markets exist, can be hardly markets, demands grafted upon existing new institutions or at least institution roles thereof interoperable services specific services, dependent possible through open upon CMS, VLE social
  33. 33. Assignment
  34. 34. assumptions • Learning Networks with open infrastructures are the future • we need R&D now to make them a reality • Open Learning Networks should be grafted upon existing social networking sites ... • by developing services that integrate with them
  35. 35. assumptions (cont’d) • use the Open Social API • to avoid duplication of efforts • to maintain maximal openness • concentrate on European sites • to allow for EU funding
  36. 36. Open Social API • still under development, some social networking sites use it already • three core APIS • People and Friends (relationships) • Activities (user activity info) • Persistence (storage of data)
  37. 37. to do • form small groups and look at the list of learner support services • (using UML) describe how they could be implemented in a conforming existing social network, using the open social specification • put your findings in presentation and report back to plenary, final 30 minutes
  38. 38. • http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/ • http://blogs.alianzo.com/socialnetworks/ 2009/01/12/european-social-networks- facebook-with-a-local-flavour/ • http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/ articles/tutorial/tutorial-0.8.html • http://blogs.sun.com/socialsite/

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