Supporting online learners

Learning with 'e's

Photo by Steve Wheeler I have just published a third module in my series on digital learning for the ZilLearn platform. If you're new to online teaching, or are revisiting it, do consider spending an hour of your time to browse through the ideas in this module. Unported License.

PLN or CoP?

Learning with 'e's

That''s quite an apt result because Google and many of the other large, supposedly ''free'' social media tools are very much focused on making money to sustain their operations. Nor is it about the morality of social media companies. In the context of this post, PLN stands for Personal Learning Network , and CoP stands for Communities of Practice. A quick search reveals that not a lot has been written about the juxtaposition of the two.

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From novice to expert

Learning with 'e's

I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The last post highlighted issues around the andragogy theory of Malcolm Knowles. In this post, we review the situated learning theory of Jean Lave. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. Unported License.

Knowledge, practice and community

Learning with 'e's

After a break from blogging during the summer break, I''m back, and here is the continuation of my series on theories of learning, with number 25. You may recall that I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The previous post highlighted issues around the situated learning theory of Jean Lave. Craik and Lockhart Levels of Processing 6.

#LearningIs connected

Learning with 'e's

Students are connected to digital content through a variety of tools and technologies, increasingly through devices that are personally owned. And students are connected to tools that enabled them to discover new content, to collate and curate it, to repurpose/remix it and to share it within their communities of practice. Being connected has given rise to an array of new learning opportunities including MOOCs, blended learning and flipped classes.

Blogging as conversation

Learning with 'e's

"A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. My professional life is pretty hectic much of the time, and I needed a space to write down my ideas and record my thoughts before I forgot them. I could have simply used a paper based diary, but I decided when I first heard of blogging that it might fulfil the role of an e-diary for me. Unported License.

Is all learning social?

Learning with 'e's

Just about every day I find myself embroiled in a discussions about fundamentals of learning, the nature of knowledge and the processes of education. It comes with the territory of working as an academic in a university, and I expect to do it much of the time. In the post I made the remark that today's learning needs to be personal, social and global, all of which can be mediated through technology. This is known as the zone of proximal development (ZPD).

Open scholarship

Learning with 'e's

Most of us by now are familiar with open learning , and many could describe their use of open source software such as Moodle, Mahara, Linux and Open Office. Many can also articulate what open educational resources look like, and have knowledge of Massive Open Online Courses otherwise known as MOOCs. How many though, are familiar with the concept of open scholarship? The link below takes you to a short video I recently made on some of my own views on open scholarship.

Open 49

Two innovations that have changed learning forever

Learning with 'e's

On the face of it, this could be quite a difficult question to answer, simply because I have been involved in the study of educational technology since 1976, almost 40 years. During that time I have seen a great number of innovations. The extent of change that has occurred in this period was quite astounding. I witnessed the development of video cassette tapes, CD-ROMs, personal computers in the 70s and 80s but this was just the start. Unported License.

A little more conversation

Learning with 'e's

Now it depends on how you define CPD, but for me it is the personal learning you require to sustain, enhance and extend your own capabilities within your professional practice. All of my learning right now, at this stage of my career, is self determined. The dialogue I enjoy is accessed via my PLN, often through Twitter, but can also come from LinkedIn or Facebook, Google Hangouts or even YouTube and any number of other of the social media platforms I use.

Instagram, WhatsApp and Learning

Learning with 'e's

In a recently published article, my colleagues Maged Boulos, Dean Giustini and I write about how learning through social media is transforming medical practices, health care and education. Learning is essentially a social activity, where people scaffold and extend each other’s knowledge gain [ 54 ], but in recent years, new theories have emerged to explain distributed forms of learning that have been made possible through mobile technology and social media. Unported License.

5 of the best

Learning with 'e's

I find it useful to look back to see what were the most popular blog posts of the previous year. In retrospect, trends are more observable than they are when you're in the thick of it. My learning definitions series #learningis (13 posts) proved to be popular with a combined hit count of almost 50,000 views. It kicked off after I watched a video of some teachers at Geelong College in Australia, talking about their definitions of learning. Unported License.

Content creation

Learning with e's

One of the most important digital literacies students require today is the ability to create appropriate content. Content creation is an important feature in many personal learning environment (PLE) models, and together with organising and sharing, makes up the cardinal triumvirate of skills that provides learners with a clear advantage. If you subscribe to constructivist theories of learning, you will understand why the creation of content is important in any context.

Opening up #learning: Access to knowledge

Learning with 'e's

The British Open University for example, was nicknamed 'the university of the second chance'. The last few years have seen the rise of Massive Open Online Courses, used by millions of students around the world to participate in learning that was previously closed to them. It's something of a revolution for education. Based on the work of psychologist J.J. Gibson on perception, Ralph Putnam has identified four categories of technology affordances.

The first technology

Learning with 'e's

I have been working in the field of learning technologies for almost 40 years. The most important thing for me has been to find out what is coming next, so that not only am I prepared for it, I can also tell my students, colleagues and my wider academic and professional community about the potential impacts of new ideas and technologies. One of the biggest surprises for me has happened in the last decade or so. We cannot overemphasise the importance of language.

Making the future of education

Learning with 'e's

The methods we use to try to align school and university teaching with the demands of contemporary society will shape the extent to which we succeed. Some advocate the flipped learning approach and to a certain extent, the transfer of content delivery from the classroom to the home (or elsewhere) makes a lot of sense. A lot of institutions are adopting versions of this method, and are employing technology, particularly video and online content to achieve it.

Taking up residence

Learning with 'e's

David White , who is at Oxford University, is probably best known for his theory of Digital Residents and Visitors. Along with Alison Le Cornu, White published an article in 2011 that countered the Digital Natives and Immigrants ideas of Marc Prensky. Unfortunately, the genie was now out of the bottle, and people believe what they want to believe. White''s argument of Residents and Visitors is therefore a very welcome and timely alternative perspective.

Cut and thrust

Learning with 'e's

Posted on the BERA blog , Peter Ford made the argument that unless academics and educationalists engage with classroom teachers on social media, they are in danger of being consigned to the periphery. Ford's argument is that currently, much of the cut and thrust of educational practice is played out on Twitter, Facebook, in blogs and other public online spaces. The 'have nots' and the 'cannots' are in Ford's words 'in danger of being sidelined'.

Learning comes first

Learning with 'e's

There are numerous examples of technology reshaping educational practices and creating new opportunities for the sharing of knowledge. Not only are MOOCs and other open, online learning opportunities challenging more established business models, they are also causing many of us to re-evaluate the way we teach, and to reconsider the very nature of knowledge, intellectual property, copyright, assessment and collaboration. Unported License.

Learning as dialogue

Learning with 'e's

Many of the earlier learning theories place the learner in splendid isolation. From the neo-behaviourist theories of Thorndike, Watson and Skinner, we were led to believe that learners respond to stimuli and make associations between the two, and that these links represent learning. This prompted new approaches in schools that included discovery learning and progressive curricula that neatly reflected Piaget''s stages of cognitive development model. Unported License.

Seriously.

Learning with 'e's

I used April Fool''s day to explore many of the issues that confront educational bloggers. Challenging as it may be to sustain writing at a high level of quality (most of us don''t succeed!), the rewards are that your ideas are quickly ''out there'' in public, and can be discussed, built upon, challenged and otherwise explored by your professional peers, your community of practice. It''s not always a bed of roses. Photo by James Clay Seriously.

Our mutual friends

Learning with 'e's

I''m gradually working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In this post, I will examine Stanley Milgram''s concept of Six Degrees of Separation. As usual, this is a simplified and concise interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. Social media can reduce the degrees of separation. Unported License.

Who's in charge?

Learning with 'e's

In this series I have been providing a brief overview of each theory, and how each can be applied in education. The most recent post in this series featured spreading activation theory - a theory adapted from a hierarchical model of memory proposed by Ross Quillian and Allan Collins. In this post, I present a brief overview of Julian Rotter's locus of control theory. The theory explains social dimensions of personality. Craik and Lockhart Levels of Processing 6.

Self fulfilling prophecies

Learning with 'e's

This is number 36 in my continuing series of blog posts about learning theories. Psychology has contributed much to our understanding of how people learn, and listed alphabetically below are all of the previous theories I have featured in this series. My most recent post featured locus of control theory, and today's post is about the Pygmalion Effect in education. It is important for teachers to realise that the potential impact of what they say and do can be profound.

Going the extra mile

Learning with 'e's

I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The previous post highlighted issues around the theory of Communities of Practice, from the work of Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger. In this post, I''m revisiting a well known and heavily used motivational theory - Maslow''s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Craik and Lockhart Levels of Processing 6.

Mobile learning and personal metrics

Learning with 'e's

It can be actuated via a smartphone or iPad, laptop or in-person, but access is constant–which in turn shifts a unique burden to learn on the shoulders of the student." Mobile devices also afford users the ability to annotate, organise and share content once they have found it, within their community of interest. measures) of understanding and ''performance of knowledge'' will be available." Unported License.

Learning first, technology second

Learning with 'e's

Many teachers welcome the idea of bringing new technology into the classroom. They see it as a means to engage learners, and as a way of making connections between school curricula and familiar territory. Ideas range from games based learning , to the use of social media and networking, to simpler approaches such as the use of digital cameras in art or data logging in science. Sometimes, the technology does get in the way of learning and teaching.

Our digital future 4: Pervasive computing

Learning with 'e's

Participants can join in and leave at any time, as the rolling programme of keynotes, discussions, panels and seminars/workshops plays out in real time on screen. It was a distinct honour to be invited to keynote, and I spoke on one of my favourite (and probably most dangerous) of topics - the future of education. In the 1990s we witnessed the rise of the Internet and the rapid proliferation of web based content. Unported License.

Learning, making and powerful ideas

Learning with 'e's

I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. My last post explored Donald Norman''s ideas around perception and the design of every day objects. In this post, the work of Seymour Papert will feature, especially his work on learning through making, also known as constructionism. By contrast, when a child learns to program, the process of learning is transformed.

Ideas 56

The point of no return

Learning with 'e's

I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The previous post featured Abraham Maslow''s Hierarchy of Human Needs. As usual, this is a simplified interpretation of the theory, so if you wish to learn more, please read the associated literature. The Theory When we learn something new, we alter the structure of our brains. It is the point of no return.

Design for life

Learning with 'e's

I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. In this post, I explore Donald Norman''s ideas around the design of every day objects. The Theory An examination of the work of JJ Gibson, as previously documented on this blog , shows that people perceive affordances in any object. It can also be present in the design of the objects you use to perform the skill.

Stage by stage

Learning with 'e's

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have offered a number of useful theories that aid our understanding of learning. In this series I''m providing a brief overview of the theories, and how each can be applied in education. My last post explored the work of Allan Paivio and his theory of dual coding. In this post we examine one of the most influential theories of the 20th Century - the stages of cognitive development model proposed by Jean Piaget.

In two minds

Learning with 'e's

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have offered a number of useful theories that aid our understanding of learning. In this series I''m providing a brief overview of each theory, and how each can be applied in education. My last post explored the work of Seymour Papert and his theory of learning by making , also known as constructionism. In this post we return to the cognitive domain, with an examination of Allan Paivio''s theory of dual coding.

Going the extra mile

Learning with 'e's

Photo by Steve Wheeler This is number 26 in my series on learning theories. I'm working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. The previous post highlighted issues around the theory of Communities of Practice, from the work of Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger. The theory has been a basic element of all teacher education for several decades.

Shocking behaviour

Learning with 'e's

I''m working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education. My most recent post examined Stanley Milgram''s concept of Six Degrees of Separation. Another of Milgram''s experiments led to a theory of compliance, more generally referred to as obedience to authority. Craik and Lockhart Levels of Processing 6. Lave and Wenger Communities of Practice 26.

Learning is changing

Learning with 'e's

What we learn in formalised settings such as school, college and university is merely the foundation of our knowledge and the rudimentary skill sets that enable us to build our own minds and construct meaning, through individual and social contexts later in life. That has always been the nature of learning. Libraries and 'seats of learning' were traditionally the places to be when formal learning was required. This in turn promotes new forms of learning.

Shifting sands

Learning with 'e's

Although it is very difficult to predict the future, we are aware of the trends and can use these to detect where we may be heading, and that may take us in one or more directions, hence the plurality of ''futures''. Technology is one of the major drivers of change in our society , and it is easy to see where this is being integrated into schools, colleges and universities. Mostly it is integrated into classrooms, but it is largely left out of most curricula.

Mapping mobile learning

Learning with 'e's

I have previously written on this blog about how mobile technology can give the edge and also about some of the social implications of learning on the move. All we needed was to reach a point in society where a critical mass of users was reached. That occurred in my estimation somewhere around 2010, and growth of ownership has been exponential since. That critical mass of users has driven a number of changes, including innovations in design of hardware and software.

Words in mind

Learning with 'e's

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have offered a number of useful theories that aid our understanding of learning. In this series I have been providing a brief overview of each theory, and how each can be applied in education. The last post in this series featured the stages of cognitive development model proposed by Jean Piaget. To retrieve an item from long term memory, the brain traverses a large network of information. Unported License.

Top Posts from August - Augmented Reality - Social Learning

eLearning Learning Posts

August was a little quiet in terms of traffic numbers and vacations, but there were some really great posts you may have missed during vacation. My e-Learning Don’ts - MinuteBio , August 8, 2010 Here is a list I compiled of things I think should NOT be done when designing e-learning courses. Instead of moving around a computer interface as a mouse, one moves around as an anthropomorphic figure. My list of top 10 resources on Instructional Design - basics and more : 1.