Feeds:
Posts
Comments

From Education to Learning; A Brief History of Open (2)

Last Week I asked; what have we learnt from Web-enabled Education? Has the Web begun to enable more learning-centred approaches? Have we used the affordances of new technology to improve our learning, lives and society? This was in answer to @aleksk on Untangling the Web observation who said she would focus on ‘pedagogical theories, online education enablers, novel learning techniques and approaches that the web affords’. In fact her brief article in todays Observer disappointingly focusses on university research issues, a customary mistake by academics and policy-makers. Shockingly she quotes the complacent Hamish MacLeod (who he?) at Edinburgh “I wouldn’t say there are any profound changes in the way we should be thinking about theories of learning”. I beg to differ! So let’s look a little more inclusively at what the web has afforded us for learning.

What have we learnt from Web-enabled Education; in terms of pedagogical theories, online education enablers, novel learning techniques and approaches as Aleks Krotoski asked? Well last week as I argued that in untangling the web on education’ we are only taking a fifteen-year snapshot of a 50-year process of social change. Picking out the educational consequences of the web is a small and partial view of a broader ongoing set of social processes. Primarily we can say that the web has resulted more in changes to the processes of learning than in changes to the nature of the institutions of education; the consequences of the web on those institutions are yet to be fully realised.

However in terms of pedagogy there can’t have been a richer 15-year period since Continue Reading »

(1) From Education to Learning; A Brief History of Open

If we try to untangle the impact of the web on education we can describe it as enabling a shift from a focus on education as a system to learning as a process, particularly since the web itself has become more open, social and participatory, especially since Web 2.0.  So how did we get here?

Background; I myself (@fredgarnett) started looking at the impact of the Web, indirectly, in 1984 when I began teaching a Unit called Information, Technology and Society. Deciding that taking the tropes of the Industrial Revolution and applying them to the Information Revolution was way too limited I looked instead at how the social organisation of settlements emerged out of agriculture and that from hunter-gathering; maps, flints and fires. Inspired by Yoneji Masuda and Nikolai Kondratieff, and my own observations, by 1988 I had evolved the NSU model, so-called because I think social change comes from new Networks being built, new Services being provided and new User behaviours emerging, over 50-year long-wave Kondratieff economic cycles stimulated by new technologies; the micro-chip was invented in 1971. New economies emerge from new networks of distribution. In 1989 I wrote a story to capture the changes we might see by 2021 as a Masters paper called Homi & the NeXT One (the title a tribute to Steve Jobs). Consequently I have had some understanding of the process by which new technology changes society ever since. For me the key aspect discernible over the last 250 years (especially when preceded by a knowledge revolution like the scientific revolution) are the cumulative effects of unnoticed second-order, or unanticipated, effects; hence the poverty of most predictions about the future which focus on first-order (anticipated effects) based on the knowledge of experts whose expertise is historically based.

Watching the Web Flow 1990s; Being more Utopian than dystopian I looked forward to the, then, forthcoming information revolution democratising our representative democracy, with its UK roots in the 17th Century (1689), by enabling new participatory *constitutions* to be written, redefining the social relations by which we live. Whether they be communications, networked or mash-ups, technologies don’t change society, they create first-order effects, that is consequences of what the technologies were designed to do. Social change comes from users inventing new use-states in line with their beliefs and social behaviours. Continue Reading »

#purposedpsi Sheffield April 30th

This is a post expanding on my talk at the Purpos/ed Event for a wonderful bunch of  educational ‘Instigators’ at Sheffield. The slides are on slideshare and I will expand on those points and include some of the discussions from the day here. Doug Belshaw had asked me to keep it simple and to look at Keri Facer’s new book on Learning Futures. Keri looks at a number of issues relating to how schools might be organised in 2035 but the point that appealed to me most was the one of ‘slow citizenship‘ as it tied in with my Purpos/ed post discussing the Scottish notion of the Democratic Intellect and our  complete (English) inability to make the link between the life we want and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Keri’s vision of slow citizenship, or taking time to build the future you want, requires ‘sustained commitment to the lived communities, local neighbourhoods & social relationships through which we liveContinue Reading »

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.  Continue Reading »

#CAL11 & #11rsj

There is a debate going on in the conference on what CAL Researchers can do to enable social justice. Here are 11 ideas for a start, there are many more;

1. Set up a Public Interest Research Group and undertake research that benefits your community eg CoPIRG; Train your researchers to be socially responsible

2. Volunteer. Work in a community centre and enable socially inclusive learning to happen; learn from the socially excluded  Continue Reading »

Emergent Learning Model

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.  Continue Reading »

Context is Queen

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.  Continue Reading »