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Design Museum

N is for Network Theory

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  • Jakob Nielsen

  • Networks (Network Theory)

  • Netiquette

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. 

 

 

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M is for M-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014, 12:54
  • Jenny Moon
  • Multimodality
  • MOOC
  • Mobile (m-learning)
  • MAODE
  • Microsoft
  • Motivation
  • Moodle
  • Trevor Marchand
  • Dr Yoshay Mor
  • Professor Sugata Mitra
  • Memory

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. 

 

 

 

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L is for Learning Management System

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 12 May 2014, 06:54
  • Life-logging
  • Learning Theories
  • LinkedIn
  • Diana Laurillard
  • Learning Activity
  • Ellen Levy
  • Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Learning Technologist
  • Lego
  • Learning Support Services
  • Learning Design
  • LinkedIn (Groups)
  • Littlejohn
  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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K is for Kindle

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  • Kindle

  • David Kolb (Kolb’s learning cycle)

  • Daphne Koller

  • Agnes Kukulska-Hulme

  • Knowledge (exchange, acquisition, workers … )

  • Khan Academy

  • Kerewella

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.

 

 

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J is for JISC

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 8 May 2014, 08:18
  • Just Plain Folks

  • Just Learning

  • 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?

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I is for iPad

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 06:11
  • Informal Learning

  • Inclusion

  • ICT enabled learning

  • iPad

  • iPhone
  • Iterative research

  • Internet

  • Knud Illeris

  • iTunes

  • Instructional Design

  • Instagram

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.

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H is for Horizon Reports

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 06:11
  • Henry Hitchings (The secret life of words)

  • Charles Handy

  • Jane Henry

  • Dion Hinchcliffe

  • Harvard (Harvard Referencing, Harvard Business School)

  • Home working

  • Horizon Reports

  • Hewlett Foundation

  • 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. 

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G is for Google

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 06:12

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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Computer Help Desk: the incomplete A to Y of answers

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 5 May 2014, 07:58

Don't have a problem beginning with the letter 'Z'.

I'd like to zip a file. I look at the A to Z of questions for a 'Z' to click on some advice and find that the list in the OU Computer Help Desk that calls itself an 'A to Z' only goes up to 'Y'.

What the heck??

See for yourself

 

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F is for Future Learn

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 6 Jun 2014, 03:49

  • Flickr

  • Forum

  • Facebook

  • Face to Face

  • Flipping (Flipped classroom)

  • Fingerspitzengefuhl

  • Future Learn

Surely I've missed a few Fs in my 'A to Z' of e-learning? An author? An App? I've added 'face to face' as this is the perennial argument against self-directed distance and online learning - Rosetta Stone a gamified way to learn a language lacks the currency of being there.

On Flickr for seven or more years I found myself sharing an interest in the First World War and Hastings courtesy of some photographs my grandfather had of his time there during early training in the Royal Air Force (just formed). Further links led to a lengthy interview for a research paper (UCL), BBC South East and BBC Radio 4. Since when the grandson of someone else featured in the photos has come forward. Flickr makes for an interesting story as it was developed as a games platforms then turned into something else. 

Facebook for learning? For informal learning. I don't see it yet. Correct me if I am wrong. Perhaps people are learning far more than they or we are aware. I keep Facebook to immediate family and friends. If I want to learn anything I got to Linkedin Groups. 

Fingerspitzengefuhl expresses what I feel we do an the human-technology interface - finger tapping on keyboards.

'Consider this medium as like talking with your fingers - half-way between spoken conversation and written discourse.' (Hawkridge, Morgan and Jeffs, 1997, quotes in Salmon 2005)

Future Learn is a bit of a new one and an unknown quantity. I've done a couple of MOOCs on future learn (Massive Open Online Courses). Will they and it be a passing phase? There will be competition. Every university will be MOOCing in due course. I admire their enthusiasm and simplicity: a short video, some content, some sharing and a quiz. An assessment. A buzz. 

Forums are a tool in the e-learning design of online courses. How they are placed strategically and whether they work and contribute to specific learning objectives is another matter. 

'Flipping the classroom' is hype. The expression may be used to imply or suggest the need for some kind of revolution in school teaching; I think not. Evolution yes. Teachers and classrooms still matter. It is a way into conversations on how learning technologies and resources are used though. Which is more than a TED lecture and the Khan Academy.

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E is for E-mail

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 06:34
  • E-learning

  • EBooks

  • E-tivity

  • Ebbinghaus

  • Ed-Media

  • E-mail

  • Engeström
  • Ethnographic fieldwork

  • Experiential Learning

  • Extreme Learning

  • Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research

  • e-portfolios

  • e-Reader

  • Educational Technology

  • Externalisation

It stared with e-mail. Since then we've got e-learning and more. e-books has stuck, as has the e-reader. The lexicographers will have to decide whether we have adopted e-tivities and e-moderator. It is e-learning, it is never e.learning, but surely elearning is wrong? 

Ebbinghaus matters if you see the opposite of learning to be the problem that educators try to fix - forgetting or unlearning is easily rectified through repetition and application. Various platforms seek to address this. I like what was spaced-ed, and is now the corporate platform Q-stream.

Engeström is an academic who specialises in Activity Theory. Not exclusively e-learning at all, he ventures into management and community communications, but the thinking is valuable if you want to make the complex comprehensible. I wonder if Activity Theory hasn't been overtaken by network theory though, that complexity is the reality and the concept to embrace.

Approaches to research are not exclusive to e-learning either.

E-tivities are activities or learning activities, the pixie dust of learning online. Have people do stuff. I wonder if reading and taking notes, whether online or with a book is not, still, fastest way to gather, process, then integrate, act upon and share knowledge? Reading is reading that transcends the platform. It depends on the subject of course. A law student will read a great deal, a civil engineer may need to be out in the field more. 

Which possibly leaves me with e-mail as the game changer in e-learning.

Already this morning I have exchanged a few e-mails with a fellow student on a MA History course - not at the OU, but at the University of Birmingham where the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is such a mess that we are reduced to or reliant on e-mail. Not all universities are like the OU (though they will have to be one day soon). 

 

 

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D is for Digital Literacy

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 06:50
  • Digital Literacy

  • Data Visualization

  • Diaryland

  • Design for all

  • The Digital Scholar

  • Deep Learning

  • Dewey

Everyone needs to develop digital literacy alongside literacy and numeracy. Knowing your way around the Internet and skill at using computers, whether they are in your pocket or on someone else's desktop matters in the 21st century.

Data visualised and animated, with a voice over, can help explain the complex. Beware the nonsense infographic produced by an advertising agency though.

The Digital Scholar is a spurious and elitist concept. Either a person is or is not scholarly whether or not they use the Internet a lot or not at all. For digital we could just as well so e-Scholar, which rather undermines my idea for the 'A to Z or e-learning' as, if not already, and to some, learning is learning however it is achieved and where it matters is in the brain of the student wherever they read or do.

Whether learning goes deep or is left a the surface is platform non-specific too. Indeed, too many games or watching videos might be the surface learning that is of such little value compared to the effort of reading, the effort of sitting in class and the effort of revising for and taking an exam.

Diaryland is one of the earliest blogging platforms where much that we see online was first played with: friends, likes, groups, surveys, stats, advertising ... 

Dewey is one of a couple of dozen learning gurus that you need to know about to understand learning, which is no less important just because you stick an 'e' in front of it. Dewey saw reflection as a specialised form of thinking. ‘a kind of thinking that consists in turning a subject over in the mind and giving it serious thought’. More on reflection later. Here the Internet has a valuable role to play - you reflect online in order to share thoughts, issues and ideas.

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Registered for L120 Ouverture: intermediate French

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 May 2014, 06:57

I missed the opportunity to register for this last year by a couple of weeks - just as well as I would have been trying to completed an MA ODE module, start an MA in First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham ... and do this. Sounds nuts, but actually pushing my reasonable spoken, reading French to the point that I can write it too is fairly important for personal and professional reasons: I used to work in France, we have or inherited some legal/property mess over there and my inclination is to continue what I started in my teens and then tried to continue soon after getting married, and then thought about again before the children started primary school. All of that eons ago. I have been signed up to Rosetta Stone for the best part of nine months which has slowed my spoken French down making it marginally more intelligible. 

Visiting France over the last two months I shared the view with my teenage son that we have every reason to live in France as Britain, that I'm sorry we didn't when he was little (he'd be bilingual) and that he can see for himself how much it has to offer. (We'd been back and forth on Eurostar and were on the TGV from Lyon). 

A lifetime ago but working from a French TV News Agency in Paris I'd got as far as interviews to work for Euronews in Lyon before an appealing contract brought me back to England. 

Returning to studying, research and this apparent study overload: I am reading books in French on the First World War, so there's some overlap. My MAODE and e-learning studies are well and truly over. It is now applied in work and in the back of my mind, sometimes front of mind, for PhD research.

In any case, once the OU has you in her grips, like so many others, it is a hard to kick the way life: without it my brain has no skull to contain it, the thing just fizzes with ideas and issues and I turn circles. I need the structure of course deadlines. I don't do it to gain qualifications, but to gain practical know-how that I can apply. That said, I think the French module may contribute towards an Open Honours Degree - it'll be a hotchpotch of learning, language and creative writing, should I ever care to complete it over the next ... 16 years. 

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C is for Connectedness, Comments, Curation, Collaboration and Constructivism

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 30 May 2014, 07:44

  • Comments
  • Grainné Conole
  • Connectedness
  • Constructed Learning
  • Cognitive Learning
  • Communities of Practice
  • Curation
  • Cognitive Overload
  • Collaboration
  • Complexity Theory
  • Constructed Knowledge
  • Csicksentmihalyi
  • Creative Commons
  • Crowd Sourcing
  • Cox
  • City & Guilds
  • CREET
  • Composting

Connectedness, Comments, Curation and Collaboration are interrelated: you get 'connectedness', a George Siemens coined term, as a result of curation (putting content online) which garners comments and thus creates collaboration. Comments bring like minds together and the learning experience is enhanced as a result. 

Prof Grainné Conole would be in any 'who's who of e-learning' along with a couple of dozen others. Follow her blog, read her many books and papers. I can't think that there is an MAODE module where she does not have an influence.

I've added cognitive overload as a warning really; some modules and e-learning tries to hard. Less is best. I love Rosetta Stone as a language learning platform as it keeps it simple - like playing with coloured bricks, whereas some modules I have done become unduly complex, with too many 'optional' activities and extra reading which simply adds to the complexity. Our educators are there to make choices for us.

Csicksentmihalyi isn't taught in the MAODE modules, though he ought to be. I came across him in an MBA module on creativity, innovation and change. Csicksentmihalyi coined the phrase 'in the flow' and neatly explains that balance between boredom and stress that is cured by further learning and training so that we are challenged and progress.

City & Guilds I've added as with their acquisition of Kineo, an e-learning agency, they have become a global learning and development provider online as well as off. The OU has baulked at being a global player, pulling out of Europe and resisting developing further afield. Other players, Phoenix comes to mind, are becoming global universities.

'Composting' is an odd one without explanation - it is my term to describe the need for space in learning, that whatever it is you learn takes time to bed down. It matters to me that students take two to three years to master their subject. The modular nature of OU courses may be convenient, and the 'end of year' or 'end of course' exam largely avoid, but I feel this is a significant loss. The final written exams, by their nature, galvanise your effort and pull your thinking together and produce a lasting effect. 

Communities of Practice

Wenger (1998) identifies three essential features:

  • mutual engagement

  • a joint enterprise

  • a shared repertoire.

Engaging in practice over a period of time develops a shared repertoire of practices,

understandings, routines, actions, and artefacts (Wenger 1998).

Participation in communities of practice is not only about learning to do, but as a part of doing, it is about learning to be (Lave and Wenger 1991)

Firstly, it shifts the focus from teaching to learning and the practices the learner engages in (Adler 1998).

Secondly, it recharacterises the role of the teacher as not primarily being a holder of knowledge but an expert in the practices of a subject based community. The teacher exemplifies for the learner how to legitimately participate in these practices.

Thirdly, as a situated theory of learning it helps to explains the issue of a lack of ‘transfer’ of knowledge from school to non-school contexts (see Evans 2000; Lave 1988; Lerman 1999, for a discussion of this issue).

Fourthly, it recognises the intimate connection between the ‘subject’ practices and the pedagogical practices and therefore helps us to understand why different pedagogies not only influence the amount that is learned but also what is learned. The acquisition (Lave 1988) or representational model (Seely Brown and Duguid 1989) of learning in school contexts distinguishes between what the students are to learn or to ‘acquire’, and the means by which this learning occurs. A division is made between subject and pedagogy.

Fifthly, it highlights the extent to which educators are not imparting knowledge nor even only helping their students to engage in particular social practices but rather to become particular types of human beings. Thus it opens avenues of inquiry to understand learners' patterns of identification and non-identification with schools mathematics (see for example, Boaler 2000)

The community of practice model, based on the metaphor or actuality of apprenticeship learning identifies three basic positions that participants take up.

These can be referred to in the following way:

  • master/old-timer/expert,

  • journeyman/established-member/adept,

  • apprentice/newcomer/novice.

REFERENCE

Adler, J. (1998) "Lights and limits: Recontextualising Lave and Wenger to theorise knowledge ofteaching and of learning school mathematics." In Situated Cognition and the Learning of Mathematics, ed. Anne Watson, 161-177. Oxford: Centre for Mathematics Education, University of Oxford Department of Educational Studies.

Boaler, J. (2000) "Mathematics from another world: Traditional communities and the alienation of learners." Journal of Mathematical Behaviour 18, no. 3: 379-397.

Boylan, M (2004) Questioning (in) school mathematics: Lifeworlds and ecologies of practice PhD Thesis. Sheffield Hallam University

Herting, K (2006) Balancing on a thin line - Thoughts from a study of Swedish voluntary leaders in children’s football. AARE’s 36th Annual International Education Research Conference Adelaide Australia November 27 -30 2006

Lave, J, and Wenger.E (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lemke, J. (1997) "Cognition, context, and learning: A social semiotic perspective." In Situated Cognition: Social, Semiotic, and Psychological Perspectives, ed. David Kirshner and JamesWhitson, 37-56. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Lerman, S. (1998) "Learning as social practice: An appreciative critique." In Situated

Cognition and the Learning of Mathematics, ed. Anne Watson, 33-42. Oxford: Centre for

Mathematics Education, University of Oxford Department of Educational Studies.

Seely Brown, J, and P. Duguid. (1991) Organisational learning and communities of practice: Toward a unified view of working, learning and innovation. Accessed November 2000. Available from http://www.parc.xerox.com/ops/members/brown/papers/orglearning.htm.

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cox, R. (2006) Vicarious Learning and Case-based Teaching of Clinical Reasoning Skills (2004–2006) [online], http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ esrcinfocentre/ viewawardpage.aspx?awardnumber=RES-139-25-0127 [(last accessed 10 March 2011).

Conole, G. (2011) ‘Stepping over the edge: the implications of new technologies for education’ in Lee, M.J.W. and McLoughlin, C. (eds) Web 2.0-based E-learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching, Hershey

Conole, G. (2004). E-learning: the hype and the reality. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 12

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1975). Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-87589-261-2

Despite the rhetoric of the content industry, the most valuable contribution to our economy comes from connectivity, not content’. Lawrence Lessig (2008:89) CF Andrew Odlyzko ‘Content is not King’.

Calvani, A. (2009). Connectivism: new paradigm or fascinating pot-pourri?. Journal of E-learning and Knowledge Society, 4(1).

Kop, R., & Hill, A. (2008). Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past?. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning,9(3).

Connectivism: Its place in theory-informed research and innovation in technology-enabled learning

de Waard, I. (2011). Explore a new learning frontier: MOOCs. Retrieved from Learning Solutions Magazine website: http://bit. ly/mSi4q

Bruner, J. (1986). Actual Minds, Possible Worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of learning for instruction. 2nd ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Cobb, P. (1994). Where is the Mind? Constructivist and sociocultural perspectives on mathematic development. Educational Researcher, 23 (7), pp. 13-20

Fosnot, C. T. (1996). (Ed.) Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Jonassen, D. H. (1992). Evaluating constructivist learning. In T. M. Duffy, & D. H. Jonassen (eds), Constructivism and the technology of instruction: A conversation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Association.

Piaget, J. (1985). The equilibration of cognitive structures. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (1999). Instructional Design. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Von Glaserfeld (1992). Constructivism reconstruction: A reply to Suchting. Science and Education, 1, 379-384.

Vyogtsky, L. S. (1979). Consciousness as a problem in the psychology of behavior.Soviet Psychology, 17 (4), 3-35. (Original work published in 19-24).

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychology process. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original published in 1930).

Wertsch, J. V. (1992). L. S. Vygotsky and contemporary developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology, 28 *4), 548-557. Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Original work published 1962).

 

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B is for Blogging

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 12 May 2014, 07:12
  • Blogging

  • Helen Beetham

  • BBC (BBC education, BBC Bitesize, BBC iPlayer)

  • 'Birds of a Feather' (not the TV sitcom, but the research concept of like-minds connected online)

  • Blended Learning

I pick out blogging as the most important 'B' in an A to Z of e-learning as I've come to feel that the act of blogging, as a shared learning journal, meets many learning criteria: constructing meaning and connectedness. You share what you do, even if comments are few. This ties into 'bird of a feather' - the title of a paper that shows how people with common interests or beliefs will associate with each other, share and support. Personally this was particularly apparent in the early days of blogging, say 1999-2003 when the numbers online was manageable and less gamified. It'll take me a while to edit, collate and write on blogging from the 400+ posts I have made on blogging over the last decade. I've made a start.

The BBC is a magnificent resource: inspirational programmes and for schools the magic of bitesize for revision.

While Helen Beetham is an academic and author you ought to be reading often.

B is also for:

  • Back Channels
  • Martin Bean
  • Behaviourism
  • John Seely Brown
  • Doug Belshaw
  • Boud
  • Boyer
  • Bruner
  • Tony Benn
  • Boyer
  • The Brain
  • Books

REFERENCE

Birds of a Feather: How personality influences blog writing and reading. (2010) Jami Li and Mark Chignell. Science Direct. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 68 (2010) 589-602.

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A is for Apps

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 28 May 2014, 16:21
  • A List Apart
  • Academic Writing
  • A room of my own
  • Accessibility
  • Activity Theory
  • Applied Learning
  • Amazon
  • Ackoff
  • Action Research
  • Assessment
  • Assignment
  • Assistive technology
  • Augmented Learning
  • Asynchronous
  • Auto-ethnography
  • Alt-C
  • Analytics
  • Apps
  • Terry Anderson

I continual scramble learning and e-learning as separating the too seems so foolish - we learn and use whatever tools we have to hand and society and our moment in history makes available to us. The age of the printed book is not over, it has simply found over forms of expression, both linear and interactive, with moving images and sound. 

This is to be an A to Z of E-learning though so 'Apps' must head my list as I have come to rely and love so many. Having various apps on your tablet or smart phone supports learning in all kinds of ways, whether you are organising your time, drawing a mind map, or simple drawing and manipulating images and charts. Then there are apps that offer insights and support learning 'in the field' ... and the many thousands of choices too.

I have lived either side of Rodmell for the last 14 years so Virginia Woolf's life, work and death are forever present, not least as I often walk our dog along the River Ouse between Rodmell and Piddinghoe where the writer drowned herself by filling the pockets of an overcoat with rocks. The point, relevant to all learning, is to have 'a room of your own' - though a space will do and I dare so we can all make head-space with a pair of headphones and then work on a smartphone or iPad. Having space, the time and geographical kind, matters in all learning. 

Accessibility in e-learning, like all things, needs to be in the design, like inclusivity as the MAODE module H810 spells out. E-learning's strongest card is the ability to use technology to assist and augment experiences for students who may have struggled with traditional modes and methods of learning. Now font and text sizes and contrasts can be adjusted, the page can be read to you and various inputting devices attached.

Activity Theory is one of those vital models that help explain the world and how we behave in groups or between institutions. 

Applied Learning, from an apprenticeship to an MBA, to any learning that is situated in and of the workplace means that the constructed part of the learning process is actively putting the learning into practice. 

Amazon comes ahead of Apps in my personal experience. Whilst I have a number of Apps I love to use, the support my learning, from iWriter on the iPad, to SimpleMinds and Studio, it is the ease by which I can track down books and eBooks that makes Amazon like the Bodleian Library I knew as an undergraduate. I feel I can get, beneath my gaze, just about any book, in days, if not in moments. I wish to chase up a reference I can find the book and have it on my Kindle in minutes. I find an out of print book that has not been digitised and it arrives in a day or two - often old stock from an university library. And then there are quite special texts that organisations such as the Library of Congress have digitised and print on demand and send over. These are just the books, then there are the forum like reviews where readers tussle over the strengths and weaknesses of a publication.

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What is academic writing???

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’In every day life we cheerfully use language as a blunt instrument for cudgelling our way through the cut and thrust of events around us. However, in academic writing language is meant to be used more like a scalpel, cutting precisely between closely related arguments, so that they can be prised apart and analysed in detail.’ Northridge (1990:29)

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B is for Blogging

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 09:15

For an A to Z of E-learning this is the easiest letter to fulfil. I could write a book on blogging alone. Indeed it's about time I stopped accumulating and writing on blogging and instead my bit to push it as a platform for education good.

Why blog?

  • As a learning journal or e-portfolio
  • To share research
  • To build and retain an audience
  • For professional credibility
  • For a personal and professional to create and keep a social media presence
  • To connect with others.
  • To find 'like minds'

I did a Mindmap too, some 24 reasons why an academic should blog, and another one for students. Even if you post privately there is value, that grows over the weeks and years, to have so much content logged, tagged and in one place. 

If you have some other 'Bs' to add to an 'A to Z of e-learning' please offer them. 

  • Helen Beetham
  • Blook (this is what a publisher thought a book from a blog should be called in 2006)

 

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The A-Z of E-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 08:30

A is for:

?

not a good start.

Thoughts anyone!!! I'll add stuff here as it comes to mind or I get a prompt.

1) A is for “A List Apart”

Coming from a learning and training background and beginning to try to migrate content from linear video and interactive disk to 'The Web' I remember finding 'A List Apart' and subscribing to it. A couple of years later I was full-time at a web agency though it was a decade before the richness of the DVD could be recreated online. 

On 5 January 2000 I posted a blog on keeping an online diary that mentioned a list apart” ‘In defence of online diaries’

 

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Precision writing

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Fig.1. My ever changing desk

Some weeks into preparing a 4000 word essay I finally, painfully, through copious notes, and assemblages of arguments to support my chosen thesis hit 'Word Count' and to my amazement find this fourth draft far from massively overfilling the cup comes in at 4036 words. It is with an uncharacteristic confession that I should know by now that this kind of considered effort will deliver, while writing as if in a blog will never do. A few marks short of a distinction for my last effort what I need now to do is prioritise the multitude of references that I've attached - some 67 (from a core set of seven or so books and eBooks). Actually I am still missing a dozen references at least. Whilst some of the ideas are mine, most are not, when it comes to the First World War, thousands have been there already (some 23,000 publications on the topic).

There is method to this. All other approaches having failed the above is to be the approach I take for my very last effort to constructing, rather than writing, a novel. It has its moments in the First World War, though it covers a period that a lecturer at the weekend expressed in the phrase, as 'From Super Power to the three day week'. He wanted to know how Britain had gone from Empire to near collapse over 75 years; this just so happens to be the period my main character lives through. 

Over the last four years I migrated from pen and paper, to purist working on and from digital platforms only. Today my approach is blended - anything and everything that works. This means hard back reference books as well as eBooks, a pad of paper and an ink pen and the interface an iPad, and laptop or desktop - documents in Google Docs so quite frankly anything that gets me online will work. Often I take photos of a book rather than take notes. With eBooks I highlight, add notes - then assemble choice points onto Rolledex cards. What counts, I have learnt, is the time and quality of engagement with the subject matter. At some stage the fog does clear and it makes sense well enough for you to be able to talk about it willingly and in an informed way if you so choose - recommended, where and if you can find some many willing and able to listen and respond. 

The result is my understanding of 'Why Britain went to war in 1914'. It is not the conclusion I would have come to a few weeks ago. It has relevance today as 100 years ago too - it comes down to a handful of political leaders: who they are, what they desire and represent, how they behave and to whom (if anyone) and how, they are accountable. 

Somewhere across these posts there are other images of 'my working space' and my 'Personal Learning Environment'. This space is temporary: its the kitchen/dining table for a start. When my teenage daughter gets in from college she takes over with art materials and a sewing machine and I retire to a corner of the bedroom with an iPad. 

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There's something vital missing in my life ...

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The answer is not another OU module, the answer is a project. All my career I have orientated myself to the pace, rhythm and expectations of a a project: working to a brief, with a fixed deadline and fees to earn ... or pay. An interest or enthusiasm isn't enough, I have to have a client, or audience, or even a team to be responsible to. Seeking funds for a project is one way forward. Meanwhile I still have an MA on the First World War to get on with, though this is settling into a pattern of copious amounts of guided reading for a quarterly essay and a day of lecturers/seminars every six weeks. So I sign up to the ocTEL MOOC, alongside some MAODErs. To keep my hand in.

An interview to become a lecturer last week may progress.

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77 posts short of 2000

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 11:34

This numbers game is what drove me obsessively to blog between 1999 and 2003/4. Back then being the first to have blogged every day for a year, then two then three. To be the first to blog 1000 words a day for a month and so on, we all thought, meant something. Most potty of all was the 24 hour blogathon I initiated in 2002 where participants had to post 1000 freshly written words an hour for 24 hours. An interesting exercise.

What makes any diarist do it?

There is, after many years, great personal pleasure in looking back: I kept a diary for some twenty years between the age of 13 1/2 and into my early thirties ... with a significant fizzle out I should add when I got engaged and married, only revising the format when the children were planned and born - that not gives me a record of their first actions and words.

As a learning tool it is great too - putting your first ideas here, then building on them means that you can watch how an essay that got a 53 moves to a 63, 73, 83 and beyond. 

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Why did Britain go to war in 1914? In 100 words

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A handful of belligerent political leaders, primarily in Berlin, but also in Vienna, exploited the murder of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand to pursue their long held belief in Germany’s need for a world policy ‘Welpolitik’, even the right to world power ‘Weltmachtstellung’. Their machinations, deviousness, obfuscations and at times ineptitude and delusions, led Britain’s leaders, reluctantly, in August 1914, once all efforts at mediation had failed, and enough of Britain’s divided Cabinet could unite after Germany’s invasion of Belgium, to enter a state of war when Germany failed to respond to Britain’s 4th August ultimatum.

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Why did Britain go to war in 1914?

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My reading may have reached 2000 pages on the subject (including several hundred original documents).

My target is a 4000 word essay.

Writing 40,000 words is easy; a Tweet is easy too - Blame Reich Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Moltke.

A summary of 600 words, expanded to 2000 words is straightforward too. The problem is 4000 words - here the need and expectation to prove a point required considerable fine and considered editing of the mass of evidence.

There are over 23000 books on the First World War. I've read perhaps 40 of them and own 100. Do I know enough? Have I satisfied this itch once and for all?

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Back in France

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... and reluctant to leave. All I need to do now is the OU Course in Intermediate French. I had meant to sign in last year, missed the deadline by a few days and got a very snotty 'non' when I tried to sign in late. Maybe I should look elsewhere. 

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