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Individualizing Learning through Personal Learning Networks

Published in: Education


  1. 1. BHC Professional Training & Development Steve Sorden October 29, 2010
  2. 2.  October – The learning college engages learners as full partners in the learning process, with learners assuming primary responsibility for their own choices. Objective  Explore ways that we can individualize instruction, make it more meaningful to each student, and encourage students to become more engaged and take responsibility for their own learning.
  3. 3.  Slides and links are available at SlideShare:
  4. 4. Be kind! Whole books on it.  Generally refers to an online conversation about a live presentation or speaker.  Twitter is often used.  Our backchannel for today:  You can also share other links and info during the presentation.
  5. 5.  Presentation  Computer Activities/Exploration  Discussion on Potential Uses for PLNs and Social Media  Collect DE and Library Surveys
  6. 6. "to teach is to model and demonstrate, to learn is to practice and reflect” (Stephen Downes, 2007)
  7. 7. Emerging_Technologies_in_Distance_Education.pdf  Open access and Open teaching  Learning theories  Zone of proximal development (ZPD)  Synchronous vs. asynchronous  Primary learning environment  Personal learning environments vs. Personal learning networks  MOOC – Massive Open Online Course
  8. 8.  Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura) people learn by watching what others do  Social Constructivism (Vygotsky) groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings  Andragogy (Knowles) “Adult Learning Theory” The role of the educator is minimized. The central idea in the context of adult learning is that it is only after convincing him- or herself of the rationale of learning, will an adult decide to learn.  Connectivism (Siemens & Downes) A learning theory which is based on the premise that knowledge exists in the world rather than simply in the head of an individual.
  9. 9.  The zone of proximal development, often abbreviated ZPD, is the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help. It is a concept developed by Soviet psychologist and social constructivist Lev Vygotsky (1896 – 1934).  The concept of scaffolding is closely related to the ZPD. Scaffolding is a process through which a teacher or more competent peer gives aid to the student in her/his ZPD as necessary, and tapers off this aid as it becomes unnecessary, much as a scaffold is removed from a building during construction. (Wikipedia)  Technology is a Merry-Go-Round!
  10. 10.  Open access (OA) refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly journals.  The Open Access movement in academia is dedicated to the principle of open access — to information-sharing for the common good.  Open teaching is the facilitation of learning experiences that are open, transparent, collaborative, and social.  Open teachers tend to be advocates of a free and open knowledge society, and support their students in the critical consumption, production, connection and synthesis of knowledge through the shared development of learning networks.
  11. 11.  We can individualize our own professional development.  We can teach our students ways to enrich their lives and individualize their learning.  We can flood the campus with new ideas.  We can become very technically advanced, very quickly, for very little money, largely with the equipment we currently have.
  12. 12. Web 2.0 Services ePortfolio+ VLE (Angel, Blackboard) PLE “A Personal Learning Environment is a facility for an individual to access, aggregate, configure and manipulate digital artifacts of their ongoing learning experiences.” Ron Lubensky (2006) Steve Downes on PLEs: http://www.slideshare.n et/Downes/personal- learning-environments- presentation
  13. 13.  Michele Martin divided learning in PLEs into three areas: ◦ Gathering Information – reading and learning ◦ Processing Information – reflecting and practicing ◦ Acting on the Learning – what do you do with it? How does it affect your practice?
  14. 14. Personal Learning Network theory is based largely on Connectivist theories of learning and teaching. “Learning is the process of building connections that enable us to acquire knowledge and learn more. This focus recognizes the fact that learning is based on "rapidly altering foundations . . . currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities" (Siemens 2005).  Stephen Downes (2010) on Connectivist learning and teaching:  Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge (Downes, 2010)  Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age (George Siemens, 2004)  Knowing Knowledge (Siemens, 2005)
  15. 15. Definition: “the entire collection of people with whom you engage and exchange information, usually online.”  Excellent blog post that provides a good beginner’s explanation of what a PLN is and what tools to start with.
  16. 16.  Massive Open Online Course In 2008, Siemens and Downes taught a course called "Connectivism and Connective Knowledge" which both taught connectivism as the content and modeled it as a teaching method. The course was free and open to anyone who wished to participate, with over 2000 people worldwide signing up. The phrase "Massively Open Online Course" was coined to describe this open model. All course content was available through RSS feeds, and learners could participate with their choice of tools: threaded discussions in Moodle, blog posts, Second Life, and synchronous online meetings. The course was again repeated in 2009. – Wikipedia  Watch for next Connectivism & Connective Knowledge course. Possibly in 2011?
  17. 17.  Personal Learning Environments Networks and Knowledge 2010  Open Course in Education Futures  Images4Education – Digital Images in Learning  Connectivism and Connective Knowledge
  18. 18.  The term Web 2.0 is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web.  Examples of Web 2.0 include social-networking sites, blogs, wikis, video-sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folkonomies. Web 2.0 Workshop Series*0+WORKSHOP+SERIES Web 2.0 in the Classroom
  19. 19. 1. Follow Education and eLearning Blogs, and Subject-Specific blogs in Google Reader 2. Participate in a MOOC ◦ ◦ 3. Follow and Interact with Educators in Twitter 4. Build Personal Learning Network Connections through tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook Then practice in your own courses!
  20. 20.  Facebook (  LinkedIn (  Ning (  PLN for Educators (Courtesy Michele Bogue!)  Free Ning Alternatives  Elgg (open source-needs a web server) (  Wikipedia list of social networking sites:
  21. 21.  Finding Blogs ◦ ◦  Free Blogging Services ◦ ◦
  22. 22.  Consolidating Blog & Internet Feeds ◦ Google Reader - ◦ feedraider -  Mashups ◦ iGoogle - ◦ Pageflakes -
  23. 23.  Microblogging is a networking service that allows mobile users of cell phones and other Internet connected devices to stay abreast of activities within a group by receiving frequent published updates, typically of 140 characters or less. Text messages are uploaded to a microblogging service such as Twitter, Jaiku and others, then distributed to group members.  Twitter (  Tumblr (  Jaiku (  Plurk (
  24. 24.  Great client (software tool) for Twitter: TweetDeck  A Teacher’s Guide to Twitter teachers-guide-to-twitter  Twitter in Plain English Brief and engaging video look at how Twitter works. Twittering not Frittering technology-microblogging Explanation of how Twitter can be used as a professional development tool.  TwittGroups ADE and Teachers and ps/teachers  Listing of many Apple Distinguished Educators and Teachers who are using Twitter PR 2.0: Twitter Tools for Community and Communications Professionals and.html Many free tools and applications to help make twitter a more effective community and communication tool.
  25. 25.  Mahara – Free software for creating ePortfolios. Needs a hosting service.  FolioSpaces – Free hosted ePortfolio solution that uses Mahara software.  Explanation of FolioSpaces -
  26. 26.  Scribd – social publishing (  Slideshare - share PowerPoint, Keynote and OpenOffice presentations ( )  dimdim – screen sharing and collaboration (
  27. 27. A wiki is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to create collaborative wiki websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in knowledge management systems. Pbworks ( WetPaint (
  28. 28.  (  Flickr Creative Commons (  Picasa Web (
  29. 29.  Pixenate (  Google Picasa (  Photoshop Express (
  30. 30.  Youtube – Create a channel  Vimeo – Similar to YouTube, but more space  Vimeo vs. YouTube  Ustream - Broadcast yourself & record it   Animoto for Education – Easy videos from images How to -  Video for Developers – JWPlayer & Open Source Tools
  31. 31.  Not a Web 2.0 tool, but necessary for Web 2.0 applications.  Microsoft Movie Maker (For XP)  Jaycut – Free online editor -
  32. 32.  A method for Internet users to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarks of resources online.  Cooperative Classification ◦ delicious ( ◦ Diigo ( Teaching Social Bookmarking with Diigo Education
  33. 33.  Free Web 2.0 LMS  Not recommended for MCC courses, but interesting to be aware of it for other possibilities.  Let me know if you try it.
  34. 34.  Podcasting: Audacity  Screen Casting: ◦ ScreenToaster ◦ Jing -  Free Blogging Software -  For the more adventurous - ◦ My preferred Web host – ◦ Video Player – JW Player ◦ HTML5 ◦ Scripting PHP - ◦ Databases – PostgreSQL, SQLite, MySQL (Oracle)   ◦ Content Management – Drupal
  35. 35.  A video on Connectivism and how a learning network can be used in your class
  36. 36. 1. Follow Education and eLearning Blogs, and Subject-Specific blogs in Google Reader 2. Participate in a MOOC ◦ ◦ 3. Follow and Interact with Educators in Twitter 4. Build Personal Learning Network Connections through tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook Then practice in your own courses!
  37. 37. Do one of the following activities.  Create a Google reader account and find some relevant blogs to subscribe to.  Open a Twitter account and follow some people of interest to your profession.  Explore the PLENK MOOC  Open a LinkedIn account and find a few people from MCC to connect to.  Explore some of the other tools demonstrated in the presentation.
  38. 38.  Presentation  Computer Activities/Exploration  Discussion on Potential Uses for PLNs and Social Media  Collect DE and Library Surveys
  39. 39. BHC Professional Training & Development Steve Sorden October 29, 2010