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 Can become out of date both from the technology and the look and feel.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.
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??
Face to Face
Flipping (Flipped classroom)
- 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.
Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research
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).
Design for all
The Digital Scholar
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.
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.
- Grainné Conole
- Constructed Learning
- Cognitive Learning
- Communities of Practice
- Cognitive Overload
- Complexity Theory
- Constructed Knowledge
- Creative Commons
- Crowd Sourcing
- City & Guilds
- Communities of Practice - Etienne Wenger
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:
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:
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).
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
- John Seely Brown
- Doug Belshaw
- Tony Benn
- The Brain
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.
This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.