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Venus Summer School 6 September 2007. Peter Scott, Elia Tomadaki Knowledge Media Institute The Open University,UK. Social Networking Concepts for Higher Education. Social Networking Concepts for Higher Education Peer support is cool. You don’t need to be told about:

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venus summer school 6 september 2007
Venus Summer School6 September 2007

Peter Scott, Elia Tomadaki

Knowledge Media Institute

The Open University,UK.

Social Networking Concepts for Higher Education

social networking concepts for higher education peer support is cool
Social Networking Concepts for Higher EducationPeer support is cool
  • You don’t need to be told about:

Social Content like Wikis

Communicative Content like Blogs

Social Awareness like IM

Social Visualization like Second Life

Social Search like Facebook

Social Telepathy like Twitter

  • BUT If you are a teacher, you need to do this quiz

Check out the full

OU Schome Park movie:

Build a 3d world

Interact with others in 3d worlds

Movement and interactions are engaging, but …


Manual Telepathy

IM/SMS style mini-blog for pervasive awareness

(and a terrible waste of time?)

the knowledge media institute the future of learning knowledge media
The Knowledge Media Institute The future of learning = Knowledge + Media

“The current teaching/learning paradigm is one where the faculty are expected to work very hard (preparing for class and lecturing) while the student sits back and listens. I want to reverse that dynamic”

Professor Jack Wilson Rensselaer Polytechnic

Maybe, in addition to getting STUDENTS to do the HARD work,THEY should be providing the SUPPORT for it and each other?

IS that what it means to say that learning is a social process?

uk open university story
  • ‘mega-university’ (no distracting physical students on our campus);
  • 250k students; approx 200k online.
  • Huge central production facility, admin, warehousing, distribution, quality control, broadcasting, tutors, …
  • 13 regional centres; >300 study UK centres; >4,000 exam venues (in >90 countries)
  • Cost effective (~50% of UK ave. Grad.Cost)
  • >80% of students in full time employment

Demands of Open Learning
  • Learner centric pedagogy
  • Expensive student support
  • Excellent learning materials
  • Driven by “logistics”
  • Driven by “timetable”
  • Excellent People
  • Cheap Student Support
  • Teacher centric pedagogy

Demands of Classroom Learning

towards an open participatory learning infrastructure
Towards anOpen Participatory Learning Infrastructure

OPLI work :

starts with OpenLearn

  • Enables SenseMaking
  • Empowers peer support
  • Frames Mentoring

New public spaces on the internet are transforming socio-spatial relations through flexible and multiple interactions (Dodge & Kitchin, 2000)
  • Cyberspace seems to be a useful way of constructing network of knowledge in virtual communities (Burbules, 2000; Davis, 1997; Lévy, 2001)
  • New technologies represent a genuine paradigm shift in human communications and learning, a transition from the modern to the postmodern (Porter, 1997; Smith & Kollock, 1988, Miah, 2000)
  • Communication and the movement of information are essential for collective building of knowledge (Jones 1998)
  • Nowadays, online community systems provide centralized areas in which participants can easily share all types of information and knowledge can be shared, reconstructed and stored (Eisenstadt and Vincent, 1988)
  • The age of mind for learning organizations means addressing the question of how knowledge technologies can be integrated in the learning process meaningfully(Jefferson, Kirschner and Buckingham Shum, 2003)
  • Open access can benefit learning communities by increasing the democratic circulation of knowledge (Willinsky, 2006)
With open learning, people have greater access to higher education material than ever before, at their pace and time and from anywhere in the world.

OpenLearnSupported Open Content Sites for Learners and Creators

  • 10 topics of study (arts and history, mathematics and statistics, modern languages etc.)
  • 3-20 hours study time for each unit
  • Samples from current OU courses plus other web based materials or discontinued courses
  • Course creation and management tools
  • For and community building and supporting tools
sensemaking social networking tools
Sensemaking Social Networking Tools




msg instant messenger
MSG – instant messenger

Web based IM

Integrated into OpenLearn

just another im client
Just another IM client?


Integration into forums (

Groups auto-created from course enrolments

Google Maps

the flashmeeting system
The FlashMeeting System

designed to be simple and lightweight3+ years of research 4,000+ online meetingsOver 33 EU projectsDifferent communities of practice Highly varied events Various communication channels

public replays shared with the world
Public replays shared with the world
  • Academic seminar
  • Video lecture
  • Interview
  • Web-cast
  • Peer-to-peer learning event
  • Project meeting
knowledge mapping with compendium
Knowledge Mapping with Compendium

Knowledge maps related with a unit can be downloaded, remixed and re-uploaded to be shared with the community

flashmeeting memo recording p2p learning sharing and understanding
FlashMeeting Memo recordingp2p learning, sharing and understanding

In this event25 computer animation students

show and tell


Instructor led : 03-05-05

Peer facilitated : 05-11-05


BURBULES, N. C. (2000). Does the Internet Constitute a Global Educational Community? In N.C. Burbules & C. A. Torres (Eds.). Globalization and Education: Critical Perspectives. (pp. 323-356). New York: Routledge.

DAVIS, M. (1997). Fragmented by Technologies: A Community in Cyberspace. Interpersonal Computing and Technology, 5(1-2), 7-18. Distance Education Report, (June 15th 2005) World Conference calls for Open Educational Resources,

DODGE, M. AND KITCHIN, R. (2000). Mapping Cyberspace. London: Routledge

EISENSTADT, M. and VICENT, T. (1998) The knowledge web learning and collaborating on the net London: Kogan Page

HOLMES, D. (ED.). (1998). Virtual Politics: Identity and Community in Cyberspace. New York: Sage Publications

JEFFERSON,C A.; KIRSCHNER,P.; CARR, C. AND BUCKINGHAM-SHUM, S (2003). Visualizing Argumentation: Software Tools for Collaborative and Educational Sense-Making. London: Springer

JONES, S. (1998). Understanding Micropolis and Compunity. In C. Ess & F. Sudweeks (Eds.), Proceedings, Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication, 1998 (pp. 21-23). Australia: University of Sydney.

LÉVY, P. (2001). Cyberculture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

MIAH, A. (2000). Virtually Nothing: Re-Evaluating the Significance of Cyberspace. Leisure Studies, 19(3), 211-225

PORTER, D. (Ed.). (1997). Internet Culture. New York: Routledge

SMITH, M. A. & KOLLOCK, P. (Eds.). (1998). Communities in Cyberspace. New York: Routledge.

WILLINSKY J. (2006) The access principle: the case for open access to research and scholarship. Cambridge: MIT Press.