Technology enabled learning communities

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A start...imperfect but the beginning of a conversation.

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  • PhysicalTown/village/city/regionWorkplaceVolunteerLeisureHomeVirtualSocial media “spaces”Structured distance learningMobileHybrid?
  • Social capital and communion
  • Articulation dialog and discussion move information to learning, as does interaction with the tangible
  • Borders both literal and figurative
  • Value of practical knowledge = to academic Mcdaniels, arnot, arc
  • This is a cross-cultural program that connect North Americans with Nicaraguans for a week long learning exchange in Nicaragua. Pushing against the idea of "service" learning, this program attempts to enact a model of peer learning that positions program participants in the role of teacher/learner on both sides of the cultural crossing. Each North American is partnered with a Nicaraguan participant for the program duration in Nicaragua and together they interact with a range of community members (From preschool to elderly) in project based work.From its inception, this program has engaged technology as a continuous connector bridging time and space and allowing for the growth of collaborative relationships between program participants in an ongoing cycle of learning. The learning process moves fluidly from structured to informal and back again, shifting focus and tools as needed to maintain relationships over time. The inclusion of technology in the program activities that take place in Nicaragua is intentional and creates openings for learning in multiple dimensions (exchange participants to echnage participant, exchange participant to community member, program staff to exchange particpant, etc...). The, relative, simplicity of use of tools such as digital cameras shift focus away from the tool to encourage a more creative teaching/learning relationship and gives rise to "expertise" that can be constructed fluidly between particpant teams. In any pairing, at any moment, the role of teacher/learner or learner/teacher may shift and shift again in response to tool use and the social context of program activity.
  • Façade may b a bit harsh but….. using technology in a shallow way to connect with participants or learners can emphasize and reinforce power dynamics that subjugate the "learners" to the greater authority of the "teachers" - the greater facility, access to resources,technology and support structures that are available, in some instances, to "teachers" used unthinkingly can serve to highlight power, class differentials.
  • Time to revisit civics with all the rest
  • Expanding what we consider “valid” learning, valid locations
  • Technology enabled learning communities

    1. 1. Technology enabled learning communities<br />Paul Treadwell<br />October 7, 2011<br />
    2. 2. Defining our terms<br />Technology enabled<br />Employs technology to facilitate social learning<br />Is a group/collaborative tool<br />Potentially exclusionary<br />Learning community<br />Social space created with shared intent to learn<br />Sponsored<br />Self forming<br />
    3. 3. Boundaries of learning<br />Learning<br />acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. may involve synthesizing different types of information<br />Social learning<br />“social learning may be defined as a change in understanding that goes beyond the individual to become situated within wider social units or communities of practice through social interactions between actors within social networks.” (Reed, et al. 2010)<br />
    4. 4. Varieties of community<br />Physical<br />Town/city/village<br />Workplace<br />Etc.<br />Virtual<br />Social media<br />Structured distance learning<br />Hybrid<br />Combines elements of physical and virtual to amplify inputs and impacts. <br />The global/local connection<br />
    5. 5. Aspects of community<br />Boundaries<br />Defines the commonality<br />Distinguishes from “others”<br />May exclude<br />Norms and habits<br />Tolerance (?)<br />Reciprocity<br />Trust<br />Network / social system<br />Duration<br />
    6. 6. Learning<br />Sponsored<br />Schools, universities<br />Trade unions, associations<br />More vertical<br />Self forming<br />Interest groups<br />More horizontal<br />
    7. 7. Information or learning<br />Anyone (with access) can “just google it”<br />Technology cannot magically transmute information into learning<br />Interaction transmutes info to learning<br />
    8. 8. Examples/case studies<br />Forest Connect<br />OLPC-Uruguay<br />HWWFF<br />TecNica Learning exchange<br />Ithaca-Afghanistan<br />
    9. 9. Supporting and growing existing learning communities<br />Technology can capture, archive and re-use learning moments<br />Ability to connect , or enter into, dialog, that has history and trajectory<br />Increase in type and number of platform options distributes accessibility more broadly.<br />
    10. 10. ForestConnect<br />Uses Adobe Connect<br />Expand on previous communication and education systems <br />provide real time interaction and learning with participants and instructors<br />
    11. 11. OLPC - Uruguay<br />One laptop per child<br />Used in schools and at home<br />Laptops have integrated social aspects that allow peer connections.<br />
    12. 12. Facilitating new learning communities<br />Bridging distance, crossing “borders”<br />Opening new pathways for connection and content<br />Connecting the real and the virtual<br />
    13. 13. HWWFF<br />The How, When and why of Forest Farming<br />Tied to physical locations<br />Emerging field of knowledge<br />
    14. 14. TecNica Learning Exchange<br />Cross cultural learning<br />Engages technology as tool and medium<br />Sustains connections<br />
    15. 15. Ithaca-Afghanistan<br />Videoconferencing connecting extension faculty to nomadic farmers.<br />Impossible to imagine 15 years ago<br />
    16. 16. It’s not all wine and roses<br />It’s not so simple<br />Educational intent and tools selection can have negative impacts<br />New skills are needed to engage technology with fidelity<br />
    17. 17. Exclusion<br />Universal access is not a reality<br />Intent and attention have to be paid to who is excluded when we chose to use technology<br />Creativity is essential to developing inclusive, technology enabled, learning communities.<br />
    18. 18. The façade of participation<br />Calling something participation does not make it so.<br />The tools and technologies of participatory learning , with technology’ can replicate and reinforce existing power dynamics<br />
    19. 19. New literacies for participation<br />Digital <br />Multicultural<br />Civic<br />
    20. 20. Democratic communities, democratic technologies<br />Learning communities should be dialogic spaces,<br />The tools and technologies we choose to use should reflect our values<br />Participatory, democratizing, education needs to be supported by equivalent technologies<br />
    21. 21. Expanding learning<br />
    22. 22. References<br />Reed, M. S., A. C. Evely, G. Cundill, I. Fazey, J. Glass, A. Laing, J. Newig, B. Parrish, C. Prell, C. Raymond, and L. C. Stringer. 2010. What is social learning? Ecology and Society15(4): r1. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss4/resp1/<br />Contact<br />Paul Treadwell<br />pt36@cornell.edu<br />@ptreadwell<br />Pt36.posterous.com<br />

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