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S is for Second Life and SatNav

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 30 May 2014, 09:35

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I wonder. Students separate their digital and student lives. I might see the potential and value of the smartphone as a 'university in your pocket' but this does not mean it is used in this way. Faced with a grand piano people are still going to play chopsticks. Mobile Learning I've covered in M.

Social Learning is the obvious one, though to some degree it applies to the above. The student's social life is distinct from their academic one. Though they will naturally learn a good deal from friends: life skills, such as how to buy and sell on Asos and stream movies you don't pay for sad The OU had a bash at launching a Social Learning platform - and gave up a few months later (it was pants). We had or have by now a multitude of our platforms to share a collaborate with and from:  Linkedin and Wordpress are the learning, sharing, collaborating, curating, platforms I used to discuss and write. Many would say Facebook.

Is John Seely Brown and 'S' or a 'B'. An influential educator, not strictly 'e'.

George Siemens supposedly coined the term 'connectedness' that is the learning theory of the Web 2.0 age so I have dealt with him under 'c'. I wonder that if 'network theory' as it has become a science, is what is going on here though. 

Rhona Sharpe and Gilly Salmon are authors in e-learning, with Gilly Salmon known for her terms 'e-tivities' and 'e-moderator'. I feel that when and where the 'e' is dropped as a prefix these interlopers will be first to go. Find me a GCSE or A' Level student who even differentiates the learning types by platform - it is all just learning, whether in class from a teacher, from a webpage or page in a book, whether they write their essay in longhand or in Google Docs.

Surface Learning - A surface approach to learning is where a learner is concerned to memorise the material for what it is, not trying to understand it in relation to previous ideas or other areas of understanding.

Second Life offers more than I have given expression too. It is an augmented, e-learning platform too.

Surveys are an interesting one. In 2001 or thereabouts the blogging platform 'Diaryland' (launched 1999) introduced surveys and the several thousand members, myself included, went crazy about them. We created a multitude of surveys then amassed responses and comments. I did one on interpreting your dreams. There were many on depression. And sex lives. Surveys are interesting because the internet allows you to get to so many people. Were surveys made for the Internet?

Is the semantic web getting anywhere?

Then there is 'spellchecker' - in this environment it is done for you. Where is the button? IT or LTS removed it some months ago. Are there other automated practices that 'teach' us in the background? My spelling has improved because after relentlessly having certain words corrected I no longer get them wrong in any context; occasionally comes to mind. 

Then, come to think of it is SatNav.

Think about it. In the background. It takes you somewhere. You repeat the journey and after a few goes could (and should?) drive it SatNav free. You are shown the way. This is what teachers do. They show you the way, many times and ideally in a few different ways. They find ways around the obstacles, the traffic jams and road works. They help you get your vehicle to where it needs to be. So SatNav is both a learning platform, intuitive, in the background, solving a problem ... and a metaphor for e-learning?


Lally, V, Magill E, (2011) Inter-Life: Learning in 3D Virtual Worlds (editorial – Guest Editors).  In preparation for Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Special Issue) pp5.   FUNDED by EPSRC/ESRC RES-139-25-0402

Sclater, M. & Lally, V., 2009. Bringing Theory to Life: towards three-dimensional learning communities with ‘Inter-Life’. In G. Rijlaarsdam (ed.) Fostering Communities of Learners: 13th Biennial Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). Amsterdam: Graduate School of Teaching and Learning, University of Amsterdam, 190. Presentation available at http://www.inter-life.org/blog/?p=98

Lally, V. & Sclater, M., 2009. Inter-Life: where Second Life meets real life. Learning in Digital Worlds: CAL 2009. Brighton, UK: Elsevier. Presentation available at http://www.inter-life.org/blog/?p=83

Sclater, M. and Lally, V. (2013) Virtual Voices: Exploring Creative Practices to Support Life Skills Development among Young People Working in a Virtual World Community. International Journal of Art & Design Education  32 (3) 331–344. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-8070.2013.12024.x [OPEN ACCESS]

Salmon, G. (2002). E-tivities: the key to active only learning. Sterling, VA : Stylus Publishing Inc. ISSN 0 7494 3686 7

Salmon, G (2002) e-moderation

Seale, J. (2006) E-learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice

Situative Learning - ‘Several decades of research support the view that it is the activity that the learner engages in, and the outcomes of that activity, that are significant for learning (e.g. Tergan 1997)

Sfard, A. (1998) ‘On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one’, Educational Researcher, vol.27, no.2, pp.4–13; also available online at http://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/1176193 (last accessed 10 December 2010)

Sharpe, R. Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age.

Siemens, G. (2006). Connectivism: Learning theory or pastime of the self-amused.Retrieved February, 2, 2008.

Siemens, G. (2010). Teaching in social and technological networks. Connectivism: networked and social learning.

Siemens, G. (2009). Open isn’t so open anymore. Connectivism. Retrieved from http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=198


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Design Museum

H809 Activity 11.1 Paper and pencil surveys vs. online surveys ... and the ghost of Douglas Adams

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 20 Oct 2014, 11:25

Douglas Adams would have enjoyed the conundrums and shifts and highlighted the potential for farce and inaccuracy, while throwing up some universal truths about us human beings – we are chaotic, unstable and include contrarians amongst us. In particular I wonder about the sense that we have multiple and shifting personalities and behaviours which are in constant flux and either stabilised or destabilised by who we are and circumstances.
In 2001 a diary platform I used introduced surveys and they become an entertainment form both in how questions were posed and what they revealed about the person. As they were public and discussed it was clear that for some these were a performance of sorts and a long, long way from being valid, but often great stories and insightful the way good fiction can be. Adam Joinson talks of people easing off the surveys   – indeed, they are far too easy to create and more often than not these days are for 'data mining' rather than research. You know the genuine survey because of the volume of legalese and the 'boring' (though accurate) format of the survey itself. And they take time to fill in, rather than survey 'quickies' which are likely to be the first stage in a sales pitch.
Completing Job specs online are a kind of survey – it was and is so much easier simply to attach a CV, but few institutions now permit this. How therefore do we, the respondees, maintain control over what we are saying and how this data may be shared, revealed or used. Even the OU's OLDS MOOC, only now long after it is over, have I read the last couple of paragraphs saying that the MOOC will be used for research purposes and that they cannot even guarantee that identities might be revealed. This therefore leads to bias in the way people self–select – those who do the surveys having an agenda, or wanting to have a voice, while a significant percentage of others won't go near them (or even have a social presence online). Just because someone isn't on Facebook or Linkedin doesn't mean they don't exist.
As for context, courtesy of the iPad, if I complete a survey and it is 'fun' to do then I am likely to be in the bath or on the loo. Or half asleep and in bed with a few minutes to kill before my wife emerges from her study and we both give up for the day. Mood impacts results. People could just as well fit these in while commuting into work – all this has to impact on mood and attitude and therefore the kind and quality of responses. This from someone who will vote red, blue, green or yellow depending on my 'feelings' that week.
Do the problems get 'ironed out' with sample size? 10,000 online responses compared to '100' off the street for example?
My experience with medical market research is that different interviewers – crabby, old, blunt and plain compared to jolly, eager journalistic and young has a knock on effect all the way down the line - the nature and quality if the interview to start with - but this translates, literally, into the person who analyses these interviews - say 30/40 each an hour long. The scope for bias and inaccuracy increases - and is then reduced to a summary as no one has time to read the full report. (And even where commercial sponsorship of surveys is announced audiences of professional ar conferences, it has been shown, tune this information out - like warnings on cigarette packets).
On time , or late. Location. Kind of recording device. 'Payment'. Rather the same avatar, rather like a SatNav?
Questionable when feedback or desire to communicate is presented as a survey – so moments after posting I find I have the response, 'oh, that's an  interesting concern, I'll copy in, or make sure they know'.
I have from time to time just ran through a survey I felt obliged to do and given everything the top mark. Just before posting I see that the Likert scale has been inverted or turned around from time to time so I may be saying I thought X or Y was dreadful. I post anyway on the basis that it'll be marked as an invalid paper but at least I have had the satisfaction of doing the thing and in some instances 'getting it off my back' having volunteered to take surveys every quarter from the local council.
As for humanity or humour some of the surveys and results in Viz Magazine or Private Eye say more about the human psyche and British humour than any formal survey can manage.
If anyone fancies a 27 part 'dream survey' I've had online let me know.
I'll leave the kinds of things created at the frontiers of blogland circa 2001 to your imagination.
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