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Archive for the ‘Learner-Generated Contexts’ Category

The Beatles Creativity

In 2007 I was part of the Learner-generated Contexts team that presented the Open Context Model of Learning at the launch of the OU’s Open Learn initiative. Our view was that if OER’s we being offered in a post-Web 2.0 world we also needed a new pedagogy. We believed that various approaches that existed to learning had developed with the limitations that came from the sector or institution in which they originated. However Open Learning means more than just “open access” which it seems to be limited to in the University sector, but means learning that is open to all and emergent. So we, the joint authors (from every sector of education) proposed a new “pedagogy” that was open to context. 

The Open Context Model of Learning was the result, fusing pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy, and it is what this blog is about. The Learner-Generated Contexts presentation at OpenLearn was successful and loved by John Seely Brown. We were first asked to write that up for the Conference proceedings, which we did collaboratively as the Open Context Model of Learning  but that was rejected. We re-structured it as book chapter but I argued that we needed a more accessible form of publicising this work and wrote a novel 63/68 A Visceral History which I subsequently publicised by writing about The Beatles. At the request of Russell Francis I applied the Open Context Model of Learning to The Beatles recording career and found that they developed their recording craft in line with the PAH Continuum. All You Need is Heutagogy captures that and is, perhaps, an easy way into understanding Heutagogy;

I think the Beatles Career went through 6 phases;

1. Live 1957-1963 This was the period from the Woolton Fete in July 1957 when Paul McCartney was introduced to John Lennon after he played with The Quarrymen skiffle group, who played a Buddy Holly track that became their first recording –  That’ll Be The Day;

Until Love Me Do

During this time John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison they evolved into The Beatles who, with Pete Best on drums, became a great live rock n roll group. They were finding their identity together with help from their mates, hangers-on and admirers, and learning from the context they were in. Managed by Brian Epstein they got a recording contract and evolved, with the addition of Ringo Starr on drums, into a potential recording group.

2. Singles 1963-1964 Determined to make a hit record during their “pedagogic” phase they did as instructed by the music industry professionals they worked with, especially George Martin, in order to learn how to make hit records. They first achieved that with Please Please Me;  ;

They continued to develop as hit recording artists, the Pop Mop Tops, until Hard Days Night

Although by She Loves You they were stating what they, as a group, thought was a hit record as opposed to being directed towards a hit by George Martin, who was describing himself as their “school teacher” at this time. They disagreed on the ending & The Beatles prevailed over Martin; She loves You was the biggest selling single of the 60s.

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From Open Scholar to Open Student

This is a blog post version of the paper “Towards a framework for co-creating Open Scholarship” by Fred Garnett, and Nigel Ecclesfield given as a paper at ALT-C 2011 published in the Proceedings and freely available in their open Access repository. The shorter slide presentation is on Slideshare. This post includes the arguments as to how we might develop Boyer’s Model of Scholarship in the digital age towards an open model of learning by developing his arguments about Discovery, Integration, Application and Teaching, to include Co-creation. It is a ‘modest proposal’ not the finished article. However it develops our long-term thinking that digital learning is not a subset of old models of learning but a superset of ideas that are capable of transforming our understanding about, and the practice of, learning. (more…)

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CAL11 Workshop 1pm  April 15th  #mosialong

This workshop was exploring how to design ambient learning environments using the Emergent Learning Model. Slides for this session were updated from the Ambient Learning City talk March 2011.

If this is too abstract then we can reference the works of Howard Rheingold, Dave Weinberger and Clay Shirkey and describe the Emergent Learning Model as; Smart Mobs + Everything is Miscellaneous means Here Comes Everybody

We are also thinking of how we might use Innovation as an ‘Open Platform’ (Steven Johnson) to allow ‘generative innovations‘ to further transform learning.  (more…)

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Heutagogy, Emergent, Ambient (2)

This is the second of three posts looking at developing the heutagogic qualities of the Open Context Model of Learning (OCM) into the Emergent Learning Model and from that examining the possibilities of building an Ambient Learning City in Manchester (with MOSI-ALONG). The OCM is an attempt to re-conceptualise learning post web 2.0, with a concern to rethink roles and responsibilities for learning as suggested by the LGC Manifesto. An earlier blog post, the first of a sequence of three of which this is number two, used the concept of the PAH Continuum to look at how teachers might develop a craft of teaching that would enable and support the self-organisation of learners. Sugata Mitra, who works on similar ideas, is now talking about Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLE).  However what we are discussing here is perhaps the conceptual follow on, what I call an Emergent Learning Model (ELM), for reasons that I hope will become clear.  (more…)

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Louise Michel

It’s only during the past year that I discovered what a remarkable woman Louise Michel was having seen the French film Louise Michel La Rebelle (full film in French) and heard @paulmasonnews talk on the Paris Commune at the Really Free School. She was a key Communard in the Paris Commune of 1871 who was tried, convicted and sent to New Caledonia for 9 years before being part of a general pardon and returning to France in 1880. In New Caledonia she supported the political and educational struggles of the local people, and on her return to France she returned to her political activism, was imprisoned again in 1883 but remained an active educationalist. Like all true revolutionaries she saw that education was where activism had her home.

#contextisqueen We use the concept Context is Queen as a result of research we did when commissioned to identify a Digital Divide Content Strategy (by the DfES). We concluded that, rather than there being some explicitly defined content that was socially inclusive, so proving that Content is King, in fact socially inclusive learning was better served by tools and skills appropriate to context. In fact social inclusion requires a move from Access to Content to Context;  Fair Access is not enough. As a consequence Ronan O’Beirne ironically coined the phrase ‘Context is Queen.’ So on International Women’s Day here is a little more on Louise Michel and also on some of the women working today to make Context the Queen of Learning; which is why we created the hashtag #contextisqueen for Twitter.  (more…)

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Learning Matters

As mentioned in last weeks blog Education policy tends to focus on institutions and management rather than on learners and professionals. These big picture issues not only allow politicians to show how well (value for money) they spend our tax-pounds (School buildings), but also to retain the political assumptions behind the policy. Critically the current approach to policy formulation hides both the context within which education operates and ignores the learning and teaching process itself. Education policy continues to remain concerned with discussing the business model and not the learning-process. So lets look at what education policy might be if it was the learning that really mattered and it we focussed on learner-centred approaches.

This blog is concerned with promoting the Open Context Model of Learning and the post-Web 2.0 views of Education of the Learner-Generated Contexts Group. As a group we also realise that you have to change education policy to get the kind of systemic transformation necessary to implement the learner-centred approaches we advocate. As a result we have already spent some time reviewing what a learner-centred policy in the 21st Century might consist of. Over the past two years we have surveyed a range educational professionals on what their preferred policy might be in a project called the Policy Forest. So let’s examine what happened when we offered a range of possible policy statements reflecting traditional, web 2.0 and learner-centred approaches.

If you would rather take the survey before learning of its outcomes then download the Policy-Forest-survey. (more…)

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#BectaX

Well organised, chaotic, frustrating, fascinating, optimistic and dynamic event, which allowed for policy, research, comment, argument and debate to speed-date each other in a twitterfall of networking, finally topped off with a learner whisper that roared with youthful wisdom and eloquence from the very edge of Skype, thanks to the kids from Cramlington.

Education in schools is hemmed in and shut down by the political constraints that come from the combination of their in-loco parentis responsibilities and the artificial demands developed by the current managerial target culture that denudes teachers of their professionalism. Teachers have to both manage kids and meet targets for which the rewards are elsewhere. Learning, motivation, identity and values get lost in the current mix, which is why trying to do something stimulating relating to schools can be so damned frustrating. (more…)

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