With no plans for further e-learning modules the aim now is to go back through four years of blogging in order to consolidate my thinking and experience. I feel like an ant being asked to draw a map.
Learning works if it makes you think; this is why most videos don't work. Watching TV you 'sit back' and turn off. How often does it make you think?
Books require some engagement - the activity is called reading. You think a bit of you takes notes. You think even more if you interpret what you read in a way that makes it your own. This is best achieved if there is a specific goal, typically to research and write a response to a problem addressed in an essay title. In the longer term to sit an exam or to write a longer piece, such as a thesis, or to give a presentation. To read without such application is to row your boat without a rudder.
If in the past I've said that is it 'time and effort' that leads to learning, then I'd now reduce two words to one. Thinking = time + effort.
What do you think?
I use the metaphor of essay writing being like sewing a tapestry but wonder if making a house of cards wouldn't be better? In many respects this is how I now write: notes from copious reading reduced to frames in a presentation, and even notes on Rolledex cards that are in time grouped into a coherent argument and then 'stacked' into shape to form an essay. Looked at in this way an essay is a case of assembling the right parts in a logical order. Looked at this way, on reading through, you can identify a card that is out of place or faulty. It takes great care if the entire edifice is not to fall, or, however reluctantly, you have to dismantle the thing and build it up again from scratch. THIS is where I fail to get the illusive distinction - faced, inevitably with such a house of cards, I am loath to fix that card, wherever it might be, knowing that to reassemble the 'house' will take time and effort and a degree or repeating a task you thought was done.
Zone of Proximal Development
- Andreas Zimmermann
I was struggling here. Even this research, though interesting, is as whacky as Professor Brainstrom. The reality is a smatphone and an earpiece. Indeed theree are museums that offer an iTouch for visits.
Any other ideas for 'Z' ?
Zimmermann, A, & Lorenz, A 2008, 'LISTEN: a user-adaptive audio-augmented museum guide',User Modeling & User-Adapted Interaction, 18, 5, pp. 389-416, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 October 2013.
There are millions of 'user generated' how to ... videos on YouTube that are the perfect shape, size and tone for applied, just in time learning.
I forget how much it is a default source for problem solving around the house from fixing a leaking tap, to the pronunciation of a word.
Michael Young undertook research to back ideas that led to the creation of the Open University and the National Consumer Association, to support the democratisation of higher education and to keep us from being ripped off. Not e-learning, more a visionary lime Lord Reith who founded institutions that make Britain 'great'.
Xerte is an e-learning creation platform that puts the student with a disability first by having readily available options to create content that is accessible. It is the creation platform in the MA in Open & Distance Education module H810: Accessible E-learning. It's an easy to use blog/PowerPoint webpage building platform with a suite of adjustments built into the frame (see above) that allows for personalization of the experience to suit user needs.
Xerte online tool kits for untechnical people
How to start a Xerte object
Guides to using Xerte and installing it.
As for an xMOOC I think 'MOOC' will do, indeed already there is a movement to call them 'OOCs' as the 'massive' thing is a misnomer given the vast fall off in participation in the things.
Wikipedia (A snowman)
Web 2.0, Web 3.0, Web 4.0
H G Wells
Having blogged since 1999, then on Diaryland, I lived through the blogging revolution of 2002-2005 when a plethora of platforms came along. I tentatively tried several, including LiveJournal, Blogger, Tumblr and EduBlogs before settling on WordPress in 2007. It remains the most versatile, open, viewed blogging platform of them all. So easy that it is my default platform for a range of interests: learning, swim teaching and coaching, the First World War and more - a couple of 'Books of Remembrance' even and a multitude of other themes, issues and intersts. Try it. And like here, remember there is one very important option: public or private, in both cases it is still a blog, but when private it can be a diary and a portfolio. Mine is both a learning journal, and a journal. As a resource its value grows with regular use and maintenance - like a garden
When it comes to e-learning academics then there are few bigger names than Martin Weller, but when it comes to a demonstration of global reach through 'user generated content' shared by hundreds of thousands of people forming interest groups and communities then for me, Wordpress, rather than Wikipedia is the e-learning blogging platform of choice.
I've called Wikipedia a 'snowman' as I had called e-mail a 'snowball' in the same sentence; one you aim, the other last as others add to it. Is it still the default for students? The problem now is that the content is like a granite cliff - unassailable it beleived in its scholarship and increasingly inaccessible as the editors become so entrenched - addressing eachother rather than a specific audience. There needs to be a dial that allows you to tone down or filter the content depending on whether you are a primary school student or have a PhD.
Web Sciences is a subject specialism at the University of Southampton.
Yorick Wilks has developed some interesting ideas on Artificial Intelligence and is at the Oxford Internet Institute.
H G Wells is a visionary, the Douglas Adams of his time.
Etienne Wenger - Communities of Practice Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Martin Weller - The Ed Techie
Tapscott, S. and Williams, D. (2007) Wikinomics; How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, London, Atlantic Books.
Pearce, N. (2012) ‘Developing students as content scavengers’, OpenCourseWare Consortium Global 2012/OER 12 Conference, 16–18 April, Cambridge.
Wilks, Yorick (ed.), Close Engagements with Artificial Companions: Key social, psychological, ethical and design issues. 2010. xxii, 315 pp. (pp. 259–286)
The on going story of the heavy metal umlaut on wikipedia.
I've had some odd, 'machine-generated' comments in my time but this one takes the biscuit!
Virtual Careers Fair
I add Virginia Woolf as she makes a very good argument for having 'a room of your own'; this can be difficult to achieve, a laptop might help then you can make any space your own. An iPad better still as I will work in the bath. But best of all, a room, even a cupboard-sized room, with a desk and a shelf is what you need. Not an e-learning thing. Just a thought on learning.
Vygotsky should be read from the original translations. He was writing in the 1920s. The translations came out in the 1970s.
Van Gundy is one for creative problem solving.
Video Arts went interactive but kept their roots in drama-reconstruction of business scenarios using top talent from TV and film. It's surprising who you find has done one of these in the post student drama school days.
Video in e-learning. Of course. But the lessons are that if watching TV worked there'd be more of it. Watching tv is too passive; you have to do something, not least make an effort, if you brain is going to engage. Video is good for variety, for motivation and inspiration, but not all the time. Back to back talking heads bores students. Often a 'how to ... ' video is the only way.
Virtual Worlds have come from gaming. Very expensive. Can become out of date both from the technology and the look and feel. But they engage people. As with video, not all of the time though.
VanGundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of Structured Problem Solving, 2nd ed, Van Norstrand Reinhold. Te hniques 4.01, 4.06, 4.57
1) Bags of odd socks. Nothing I do resolves this. Married, wife and two kids - teenagers (boy girls). We do, oddly, all have the same shoes size though.
2) Cat poo in the garden. I've had seven years of this and a new family into the street have a cat that is now fighting over its rights to shit in our garden .... pepper? cat off? the electronic thing? Our dog goes mental into the morning quite outraged at what has taken place over night. Me? I kneel in it. Stand in it. Try to bag it, wash it off ...
3) Knotweed. I incline to a rampant garden but could do with less of this. Is there a ground cover or shrub that will finish it off. As a teenager we had a flamethrower - parafin fired. And we got to use it in our early teens too. Can destroy much more.
User Generated Content
University in your pocket
- User Centred Design
Ugly Fonts is directly related to learning and the idea that something that is harder to read is more likely to stick as information. For me this puts into question every kind of 'spoon feeding' information from the TV or slide show, to games that supposedly teach instead of getting students to stand at their desks and take notes with a pencil for an hour at a time. Seriously, properly directed effort is the way to support learning. Technology can make it too easy; it ought to make it hard(er).
Universal Design is a philosophy and if variety and difficulty, as I suggest above, is what matters, then why might I think that 'Universal Design' has a role? Universal Design makes for transferability.
The 'University in your pocket' is how an MBA student described the Open University MBA he was doing while on service in Afghanistan (a colonel in the Royal Marines).
'User Generated Content' - such as this, provides multiple voices. If, for example, you seek out blogs on a subject that interests you each will have a different voice. You find the voice that expresses things in a way that makes sense to you and follow. You want to learn something, so you get a fourth and fifth opinion if you like.
UGC can be anything at all, from a blog post or a video, to the kind of annotation of an iconic First World War photograph I've done above. It is a blog, or shared student project, it is teacher content and lecture notes too. Shared content offers a reader a multitude of ways into a subject until they find one that fits the bill for them.
Professor Melissa Terras - Digital Humanities at UCL
Tutor Marked Assignment
Technorati - E-magazine
To mind the best TED lectures I've see that are education, and especially e-learning related, were given by Daphne Koller (on MOOCs), Ken Robinson (on education) and Randy Pausch (on fulfilling your childhood dreams).
- George Siemens
- John Seale
- John Seely Brown
- Rhona Sharpe
- Situated Learning
- Anna Sfard
- Gilly Salmon - all things 'e'
- Second Life
- Social Learning
- Surface Learning
- Semantic Web
- Smart Phones
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 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
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
The richness of Rosetta Stone
- Rich Media
- Dr Vilayanur S Ramachandran
- E Rogers
- Sir Ken Robinson
- Randomised Controlled Trial
Something of a mixed bag here; I wondered if any at all were to do wit he-learning. All I have therefore is 'rich media'. The award winning 'Gallipoli Day One 3D' is a great example of this. Interactive, 3D, gamified, with videos and text. From a learning point of view this is aimed at the public, not the historian, nor the student studying history - not beyond GCSE at least. I increasingly see the value of reading ... books or eBooks: well researched and written content, read at speed, at your own pace. Take notes. Write an essay. Assessment. Richness, from video to 3D slows it down, dumbs it down, and may have less to contribute than may be apparent.
Reflection is a learning thing, not unique to e-learning. This is what I am doing here; a means to reflect on four yeas of postgraduate study. Done with a sense of direction it can move your learning on, without it is to fly without a rudder.
Descriptive reflection: There is basically a description of events, but the account shows some evidence of deeper consideration in relatively descriptive language. There is no real evidence of the notion of alternative viewpoints in use.
Dialogic reflection: This writing suggests that there is a ‘stepping back’ from the events and actions which leads to a different level of discourse. There is a sense of ‘mulling about’, discourse with self and an exploration of the role of self in events and actions. There is consideration of the qualities of judgements and of possible alternatives for explaining and hypothesising. The reflection is analytical or integrative, linking factors and perspectives.
Critical reflection: This form of reflection, in addition to dialogic reflection, shows evidence that the learner is aware that the same actions and events may be seen in different contexts with different explanations associated with the contexts. They are influenced by ‘multiple historical and socio-political contexts’, for example.
(developed from Hatton and Smith, 1995)
Repetition is learning. E-learning can support the necessary repetition, with platforms such as QStream. A quiz played until you can get all the questions right does this. It's how the brain works; you forget unless you repeat and apply. See more on the 'forgetting curve' researched by Ebbinghaus.
Dr Vilayanur S Ramachandran is a neurogolist. Worth following him.
Rogers spent five decade studying the nature of innovation.
Ken Robinson does some powerful TED lectures where he talks about the right to celebrate the human side of the child, that:
human beings are naturally different and diverse
that 'lighting the light of curiosity' is key and that
human life is inherently creative.
A 'randomised controlled trial' is what you need if your research is going to stand up to close scientific scrutiny. Does the e-learning app do what it says it can do? Few can.
To reciprocate' is to collaborate. Comment on the blog would be one. Take part in a forum, synchronous or not. Generate content, but also aggregate or 'curate' the work of others ... and return the honour where someone comments on what you have to say.
Dr Vilayanur S Ramachandran - Thomson, H (2010) V. S. Ramachandran: Mind, metaphor and mirror neurons 10 January 2011 by Helen Thomson Magazine issue 2794.
Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations (5th edn), New York, Simon and Schuster.
Schon, A.A. (1983) The Reflective Practioner: How Professionals think in Action, London: Temple Smith
Kolb, D.A. 1984 Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Moon, J. (2005) ‘Guide for busy academics no. 4: learning through reflection’ (online), The Higher Education Academy. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id69_guide_for_busy_academics_no4.doc (accessed 28 Sept 2010).
Smith, M. (1996) ‘Reflection: what constitutes reflection – and what significance does it have for educators? The contributions of Dewey, Schön, and Boud et al. assessed’ (online), The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education. Available from: http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-reflect.htm (accessed 21 Sept 2010).
Phylis Creme (2005) The compulsory nature of core activities might support the underlying approach that reflective activity “should be recognised part of the assessment process; otherwise students would not take them seriously”
Format for a randomized control trial used by 'Spaced-Ed' (now QStream)
Ok, this is an odd one, but for me, over the last four years, finding out about, then reading the papers on this learning platform has shaped a good deal of my thinking and motivation. Developed by a Harvard Medic and masters postgraduate Dr Price Kerfoot, 'Spaced-Ed' as it was first called tackles the problem of forgetting; it is, to put it simply, an electronic set of flash cards. Say this to junior doctors with a hundred such cards to learn over a few months in order to pass a compulsory written exam though. Content is vital of course, but then the platform simply feeds you the 'cards' by email and link to a webpage as frequently or as infrequently as you wish - six questions in batched of three twice a week worked for me. You get all the questions back at least three times even if you get them right, while you keep getting the questions for those you get wrong UNTIL you have got it right three times. It works. Randomised controlled trials with hundreds, even thousands, show that it is an effective way to put knowledge into heads. That's just the start though. Education changes behaviour, yes, it makes better doctors, it improves decisions making, it gets them through exams.
Quality Assurance of course ought to be my 'Q' but this is like enthusing about cars Top Gear style and then saying you must remember to check the oil, breaks and tyres and have an annual MOT. I have worked professionally in QA too - it matters to check everything in the finest detail if learning is to work and clients are to be pleased.
QR Codes is simple a form of link to webpages that can be used for learning. There are other quick links to the web, including 'near field codes' and image recognition. This is like replacing the traditional car key with an electronic fob; it speeds things up. There are imaginative ways to use QR codes. During H818 I developed the idea of putting them on Commemoration Poppies to link directly to people remembered from the First World War.
My personal learning environment
Personal Learning Environment (PLE)
Punk Rock People Management
Across the period I have been studying MAODE modules the nature, shape, scape and emphasis of my 'personal learning environment' has changed, in part as finances have waxed and wained, I have gone from a borrowed laptop working from print outs to making considerable use of a Kindle and then an iPad, before adding to this armoury a desktop and laptop and keeping all working 'in the cloud' so that it is readily accessed from any device. THIS is how I work 'anytime, anywhere' - each device allows me to tap into a module whether I'm travelling, on the kitchen table, in bed ... in the middle of the night, in the back of the car, on a walk. Whilst I have, typically, a three hour stint when I work during the day, much is picked up at other times, in particular reading on the fly, highlighting passages and then picking these out in notes later. I swear by the mind-mapping app 'SimpleMinds' and have even taken to screen-grabbing pages of books or papers to illustrate and annotate in a graphics app called Studio.
Piaget is an historic name in education that you'll need to read.
Chris Pegler has made her presence felt across the MAODE while I've been doing it ... she may even have been an associate lecturer in 2001 when I made a hesitant start on the thing. More of a doer than many of the academics you read - she has been present as the Chair, at conferences, and online. The kind of educator who engages with students rather than being sniffy about student engagement as too many research-bound academics can be.
Personas are a vital way to visualise your students when designing learning ... or creating any form of communication. As relevant to the creation of e-learning as the creation of anything else.
Practice-based learning or applied learning, sometimes 'just in time' learning has also to be blended learning. It is about effecting direct change in situ, supportive learning in the work-place. A smartphone or tablet with access to the Internet is all it takes rather than specialist papers or books. It's been around for far longer than may be apparent; in 1996 I was working for the RAC when they launched a bespoke handheld device that combined diagnostics, instruction and car payment in a single device called the 'hard body'.
Randy Pausch was an inspirational lecturer on 3d at Carnegie-Mellon University - go see his TED lectures.
Punk Rock People Management is the brain child of an OU MBA alumnus.
Produsers is a term that has not caught on, but sums up the idea of 'user generated content' where we, as students, not only consume or use information, but generate it too. This would include curating or aggregating content to share. It puts the onus of learning in amongst the students.
Piaget, J. (1970) Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child, New York: Orion Press.
Pegler, C and Littlejohn, A (2004) Preparing for Blended e-Learning, Routledge.
My Open University Decade
Open Educational Resource (OER)
The Open University
Oxford Internet Institute
- Open Research
The Open University was made for the Internet. First envisaged as 'the university of the airwaves' because of its use of TV and Radio, The OU went on to become one of the world's leading providers of distance education in the world. Not surprisingly, through a number of faculties or institutions (IET, CREET, Open Learn), The OU is at the forefront of innovative e-learning and e-learning research.
In the Master of Arts Open and Distance Education degree 'openness' is one of the key themes; a movement aimed at providing and sharing education resources and thinking openly.
I've included the Oxford Internet Institute for its niche research and teaching on our use of the Web.
Open Ed – an annual conference looking at Open Education (linked to the Open Ed 2013 conference website as they have a different website every year)
OER – the annual conference in the UK looking at Open Educational Resources and Open Practice (known as OER13, OER14, etc.)
Networks (Network Theory)
If you've been involved in web design for any length of time then you'll have come across Jakob Nielsen; I still treasure my 1999 copy of 'Web Usability' because it takes a scientific approach to web design - making web pages intuitively easy to use. A decade on and Nielsen's work has grown into a substantial and significant web usability consultancy.
'Netiquette' embraces all the behaviours and misbehaviours that have arisen as a result of paramount connectedness on the Web; what we see and do reflects human society on a global scale. Spam, porn, hacking, flash mobs, freedom of speech, libel, privacy ...
Network Theory embraces many aspects of understanding who we are and how we behave in a way that can exploit the 'Big Data' offered in the 21st century. It is a smarter way to study what is going on in our heads, in society and online.
- Jenny Moon
- Mobile (m-learning)
- Trevor Marchand
- Dr Yoshay Mor
- Professor Sugata Mitra
Is 'm-learning' even used anymore? I doubt it had a shelf-life of more than five years, a decade tops. It is just learning courtesy of a computer in your pocket (that smart phone), or a tablet, and of course a laptop. I had a Mac Classic that I took into the garden so that I could write and sunbathe at the same time; was that mobile learning? If I'd been writing something about gardening it could count. For m-learning to be it is more than just taking desktop computing power outside. It is taking advantage of mobility and location, using information 'just in time' to add to your knowledge on the ground. On the beach learning about coastal erosion you use information and apps, or connect with others to better understand what is going on under your feet, for example. Walking the Western Front as you pass over a spot a dead man grabs your leg and tells you their short life story. Col. Sean Brady of the Royal Marines was taking an MBA with the Open University; a busy man, he called the online course 'a university in his pocket'. It had to be.
MOOCs are the current thing. They are changing so quickly I wouldn't doubt that in format, there are many, we are yet to see a settle shape to them, or even the term. It smacks of jargon. Online Course is adequate. A 'free course' would do, though many are short modules, not courses. Is it a MOOC if is compromises of two hours of activities a week over three weeks? Isn't everything free these days? Look at MOOP (massive open online porn). Or don't.
Sugata Mitra is worth following, from his 'hole in the wall' project in India (computers concreted in to slum areas) to themes on educating those in the greatest need of access to computing and the Internet.
Yoshay Mor specailises in patterns in learning design and is particularly strong on MOOCs. Until recently of the OU and IET.
Motivation I believe is the key to all learning. Why else do it? Where there's persistent and consistent motivation there are ways to acquire the knowledge you desire. But what has that got to do with e-learning? Quite a bit if it requires you to find your own way around the Internet.
There are shelves of books on memory. Without it you unable to learn. How does memory work? Why do we forget? How do we overcome that? You get into neuroscience, surface and deep learning, and learning design. Relevant to learning wherever it might be.
- Learning Theories
- Diana Laurillard
- Learning Activity
- Ellen Levy
- Learning Management System (LMS)
- Learning Technologist
- Learning Support Services
- Learning Design
- LinkedIn (Groups)
- Learning Journal
- Life Long Learning
- Professor Vic Lally
The quality, usability and effectiveness of the Learning Management System faced by educators and students is fundamental to their learning and teaching experience; all LMSs are not the same! Studying 'at a distance' with a number of other institutions has shown me just how different the experience can be, from light, intuitive and 'in the background' to a tangled, archaic mess.
I often use LinkedIn to share ideas, especially from the various blogs I keep. Best of all when I crave a discussion about something, joining in or starting the thread, then I go to one of the many groups on e-learning that I follow.
Life-logging I thought of doing as a research project for H809 and still think of as a project of considerable interest for all that it can do, say for supporting people who suffer from memory loss, let alone to gather interesting data about how we are. You wear a device that gathers data and anlyses it in real time. Breakthroughs are for medical reasons to monitor a person, as NASA did with astronauts, the difference is that this goes to your GP.
Learning Theories matter in e-learning though you may be thinking in terms of 'connectedness' (George Siemens) as social or networked learning. I would have liked a foundation in learning theory early on. H809 finally got me looking at learning theories and I produced a mindmap that featured thirteen of them; five will do: behaviourism, cognitive, constructed and connectedness.
Diana Laurillard is one of the big names of e-learning you will read and hear from.
It was a learning activity before Gilly Salmon called it an 'e-tivity'. They are just activities, whether online in a gamified learning context or in a workshop of classroom. You have to do something, sometimes interacting with others.
Ellen Levy prompted my first blog post in September 1999. She kept a journal for a year in 1998. It didn't even go online. I think I put my diary onto a Mac Classic in 1992 and before that in the mid 1980s put it on an Amstrad. Things happen when you create a database; it becomes an aide memoir. Ellen Levy was an early director Linkedin.
David Kolb (Kolb’s learning cycle)
Knowledge (exchange, acquisition, workers … )
If you have an interest in e-learning you will certainly have heard about the Khan Academy. The narrative is simple, though somehow predictable in the US that an Investment Banker makes a video explain 'math' to his nephew that is so successful that it goes viral, he quits his job and with $1m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation goes on to create thousands of video clips that now occupy many classrooms across North America. This supposedly heralds the 'flipped classroom' where pupils do their video and interactive learning (now) as homework and spend one to one time with teachers in class. The reality is a significant 'blend' of the technology-enhanced learning and the classroom with teacher as expert. Not revolution, just evolution. Less significant than is made out - in any case, we've had BBC Bitesize for at least 14 years: I wrote a review of the online education market in 2001 - in Great Britain there is no market as the BBC fills it.
I go for Kindle with my K. It was the first 'gadget' I bought to support my online learning with the OU some three years ago. I didn't have a smart phone, or even a laptop at the time, and certainly no iPad. I depend so much on my Kindle that I know have two - traditional and the new paperwhite that arrived yesterday. I love knowing how many minutes it will take me to finish a chapter; this timing adjusts as my reading speed and habits are logged. I race through books in this way. I like to be carried by the content and not frankly know that as a hardback such a 385+ publication may look daunting. I just read. Reading will in all likelihood be my 'R' too - it remains, to my mind, the fastest and most efficient way to transfer knowledge from an expert to a student. Faster and more effective than a video, than a podcast or some sluggish, quickly dated interactive, gamified version of the text. Just find someone who knows their subject well and can write.
I attend the inaugral lecture of Prof. Agnes KH. If you wonder if e-learning is a transient term (it is), then I believe 'm-learning' has already come and gone. My desktop is my ipad, is my iPhone, is my laptop ... is someone else's device. All are my 'university in my pocket'. Mobility and portability my transcend into wearability, but in the learning context it is just that - learning. I wrote as much in a review of a KH book on Amazon and got flamed. I gave up and removed my review; someone took it personally.
Daphne Koller gives an impressive TED lecture of MOOCs. Catch the MOOC thing while there's a buzz - it will be gone before you've noticed otherwise. Once again, a complex term that can only change into something better and will in any case rapidly dissolve into the way we learn online in a multitude of ways.
Just Plain Folks
- Steve Jobs
JISC is my J as it is such a vital resource on teaching and the use and development of e-learning. Steve Jobs is an interesting one simply because of his role in the creation of the iPad and iPhone. 'Just Plain Folks' is an expression of John Seeley Brown's that I like - preferable to 'working people' or other platitudes so often used in this country to refer to 'working people' - as opposed to whom? The landed gentry?
ICT enabled learning
A list is just a list if I can't be selective; here I would go either for iPad or for iTunes were I only to pick a couple of contenders for 'I' in the 'A to Z of E-learning'.
As e-learning is a subset of learning then, however important, inclusion, iterative research, instructional design, informal learning come outside of the 'A to Z of E-learning'; I'm taking the Internet (and the world wide web) as a given. Instagram today, Tumblr yesterday, Diaryland the day before ... and maybe WordPress when they grew up? I've followed the favoured social platforms for over a decade. What about Pinterest? I'll bag these under 'social learning'. Knud Illeris is of interest across learning as a theme. ICT enabled learning is simple another phrase for what I've known historically as: web-based learning, online learning and only lately as 'e-learning'.
So I am down to iPad and iTunes.
iPad has transformed the way I learn. I do read and interact at anytime of the day or night, just about anywhere. This often means the bath and bed. And yes, on the toilet. I do wash my hands! (Is this a reason not to use someone else's iPad? Where have those fingers been?!) My only complaint is that writing one handed on the iPad I developed a severe case of 'tennis elbow'. Really, I had physiotherapy for a couple of months and my arm in a strap; writing 4000 word assignments when reclined, left handed. Not wise. Reading on an iPad I find I devour books, sometimes reading a chapter from each of six books simultaneously. I have finally developed a system for highlighting too; each colour highlight goes against an essay-related theme so that on completion I can then pick out and assemble the notes, quotes and points. I have a Kindle though; how else do you read in bright sunlight. For long journeys it matters to have a battery that appears to last forever. Access online at anytime, clearly a smart phone does this too, means you can follow asynchronous forum discussions in real time. It is more engaging to read and respond on the fly. When driving I will set the Kindle to audio and have it read the book to me. (I can start to sound like the book and SatNav are having a conversation).
iTunes U offers tens of thousands of free, open educational resources. Some of the very best come from the Open University.
Henry Hitchings (The secret life of words)
Harvard (Harvard Referencing, Harvard Business School)
- Tony Hirst
An odd collection of Hs here, but each relevant in their own way; only the one's in BOLD directly relevant to e-learning. We 'home work' because of the Internet and learn by default how to communicate and connect. E-mial is an e-learning tool. We apply learning in wikis and other shared spaces. We work collectively on presentations, speeches and scripts.
The Horizon Reports are extraordinarily insightful. I particularly like their predictions for five years hence; these prefer to be conservative rather than over confident so the Horizon Report 2011 features where we are today, at least at the cutting edge of e-learning.
The Hewlett Foundation funds Open Learn and other organisations. Without it we may not have some of the gems that have come from the Open University.
And Tony Hirst, if you can make sense of the visualizations he does of analytics is something of a guru in online learning circles.
That's my 'H'. Do please suggest others or add to my notes. I think I ought to work this into a presentation, each one tailored to a different audience.
Dion Hincliffe is a consultant for social media and the Web in business; his infographics are legendary.
Henry Hitchings is a pet favourite with little relevance to e-learning, but I do like how he writes about the changing nature of the English language.
While Charles Handy and Jane Henry and MBA professors; creative problem solving is a pertinent to using the internet as anything else.
Do you want link for these? All are referred to, sometimes with multiple postings, here in my OU Student Blog.
Google (Google Hangouts, Google Docs)
This is as far as I got with G in relation to e-learning. Gagné is really learning and learning design, rather than the e-learning subset. Google of course is the big one. Just type your question directly into Google and take it from there. Google Scholar works so well I may sometimes start with that before putting a refined search into the OU Library. As students we used Google Hangouts often during Master of Arts in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) modules - and we did just that, 'hung-out', usually with coffee, sometimes a glass of wine. I only use Google Docs. I won't use Microsoft Office at all except where submissions require it; I love the simplicity and functionality of Google Docs and happily move between multiple devices. For an excellent example of gamification in learning I'd look at Rosetta Stone - I'm some nine months into improving my French and loving it. Another example is from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: I love it for the quality of definitions, the video clips and the games.
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