Going boldly into the dark: Who will drive the learning process? What is the future of the relationship between learners, their tutors and institutions? Rosemary Luckin firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk Outline • Part 1: Background • Part 2: The Ecology of Resources model; integrating activities with technologies across multiple locations • Part 3: The Ecology of Resources model and the Learning & Teaching process • Part 4: The Future and Learner Generated Contexts
How to use this presentation • Part 1: Background – overview please read • Part 2: The Ecology of Resources model; this looks at a real project we developed in Kenya and offers a practical view of my perspective • Part 3: The Ecology of Resources model and the Learning & Teaching process; more of a theoretical overview to get you thinking about your own institution & practice in two parts • Part 4: The Future and Learner Generated Contexts; as we might develop
Part 1 BACKGROUND
Background 1 • Ownership of mobile and networked devices amongst young people is increasing (LSE, 2006). • Greater access to broadband connectivity (Ofcom, 2008) and an increase in the use of participatory digital technologies amongst young people – these technologies are now integrated into the lives of young people (Green and Hannon, 2007; Grunwald Associates, 2007; Lenhart and Madden, 2007) • Amongst a sample of 2,500+ UK secondary school learners 96.6% had access to the Internet. Over 74% of participants had at least 1 social network site account, and the use of Email and Instant Messaging was almost ubiquitous. Over 50% of participants had shared pictures, video or music in the last week, with the most common products being published and shared being photographs (Luckin et al, 2008). • Learner generated content "is becoming a significant feature of the educational landscape" (JISC, 2007). • Early investigations suggest that content generated by the learner for themselves and for other learners can be beneficial for learning (Lee et al, 2007).
Background 2 • The focus is on the social and there is a lack of criticality (Boyd, 2007), innovative skill development (Buckingham, 2007), self-management or metacognitive reflection (Luckin et al, 2008). • Learner interest can be limited to a small subset of applications and technical skills sets can also be limited: Amongst 2,500+ secondary school learners: less than 20% used VoIP, only 36.5% used a webcam, podcast and discussion board use was rare, and use of wiki technology focussed on Wikipedia. Learner interest in technologies for learning was limited to familiar activities, such as presentations (Luckin et al 2008). • Few examples of good or effective student-generated content available online. Enthusiastic learners and good ideas are not enough if there is no imperative to improve the quality (Sener, 2007). • We need to ask how we can better support the creation of content for learning and the formation of learning communities (Wolf, 2007).
Figure 2: Learners use of related Web 2.0 activities in and out of school Source: Luckin et al 2008
QUESTIONS • How can we support learners and teachers to make more effective use of new technologies for learning, particularly when these technologies are evolving fast?
QUESTIONS • To what extent are you supporting learners and teachers to make more effective use of technologies in your institution? • To what extent can you sustain this as technologies continue to evolve?
Background 3 • In parallel with this increasing learner activity there is also an increase in the availability of mobile, ubiquitous and pervasive technologies that offer multiple choices for staying in touch, and capturing and storing information about learners’ interactions in and with their environment. • Young people are keen users of technologies: technologies that are increasingly integrated and that can link their different locations, environments and experiences.
QUESTION • How do you use technologies to link your experiences across different locations, times and subjects? • Is this something that your institution tries to encourage and support?
The Potential and the Challenges • Technologies now offer enormous potential to support learners and teachers as they interact with the multiple locations, tools, people and knowledge that make up their personal learning context. • Along with this potential come several challenges. These include finding ways to: • Use technology to offer learners and tutors a more holistic experience of their learning interactions through technology to better link the different elements of their learning lives • Develop a clearer understanding of the nature of the relationship between learners and tutors that can help us to fulfil this potential. Learners may be able to drive their interactions with technology, but evidence suggests that without support these interactions are still relatively unsophisticated. • Could we address both these challenges by taking a closer look at what we mean by a learner’s (or tutor’s) context?
Part 2 THE ECOLOGY OF RESOURCES MODEL; INTEGRATING ACTIVITIES WITH TECHNOLOGIES ACROSS MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
Example: Vesel http://www.veselproject.net/ • How understanding more about a community’s wider context has helped us design an appropriate technology intervention • VeSeL is a research project, and part of the Bridging the Global Digital Divide network, sponsored by the EPSRC in the UK. The aim of the VeSeL project is to enable rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa to use advanced digital technology to improve their agricultural practices and education levels.
Example: Vesel • We are working with two communities using participatory methods to develop technology resource kits to support community learning. One of these communities is in Kambu.
The Community 10 % of villagers comfortably read English. 50 % in one village, and 90 % in the other, indicate they have used, and like using, computers. Less than 20 % have heard of email or the Internet. Nearly all have access to and have used mobile phones - almost exclusively for voice, not text.
Communication,e-mail, Internet 1 3 KMS access experiments 2 Recording Agricultural Activity, Blogging, Mapping Local Resources, Educational activities, School linking… 4 Agricultural & weather sensors for decision support ‘One laptop per village’ Resource Kit
Plus Instructions, Introduction and Training • Agricultural podcasting http://www.veselproject.net/files/activity-podcast.pdf • Agricultural trails http://www.veselproject.net/files/activity-trails.pdf • Water education http://www.veselproject.net/files/activity-wateradio.pdf • Blogging http://www.veselproject.net/files/activity-blogging.pdf
‘One laptop per village’ in Kambu Solar power training video Community presentation ceremony School Community Training Session Head Teacher Teacher
Silanga school • Having learned to post text and images to a blog, use email, and most importantly charge and maintain the laptop themselves, teachers and students have been posting stories and accounts of their activities on an almost daily basis.
Modeling Context • To support the work of the Vesel project we used the Ecology of Resources model of context to map out the different elements that learners and teachers in Kambu might interact with. • It can help identify the different elements with which people interact and that make up their context. • It can also help us to identify the relationships between these elements and these interactions. • This can indicate how we can use technology to strengthen the desired links between elements within and across different environments, people and tools. • This model was originally conceived and is still being developed through work conducted in the UK
Question • What can we learn from this example that is relevant to designing technology interventions in the UK? • How does the One Laptop per Village approach contrast with the One Laptop per Child approach?
The Ecology of Resources Model Key = category element Environment Knowledge Resources
The Ecology of Resources Model Key = category element = filter element Environment Curriculum Knowledge Organisation Administration Resources
EXAMPLE • A Higher Education senior manager’s challenge: Create an institutional e-learning vision and strategy • This example highlights of the implications of the sociocultural roots of the Ecology of Resource approach. These roots bring a view of learning as a process that results from a learners interactions within their environment. Therefore different environments and cultures will result in different social interactions. Therefore a large responsibility lies with those who provide the educational environment to ensure that it is one in which productive interactivity can take place
Questions • To what extent could a learner centred approach such as the Ecology of Resources have a role in your institution? • What kind of ‘filter’ elements might support or detract from technology supported learning in your institutions?
Part 3 THE ECOLOGY OF RESOURCES MODEL AND THE LEARNING & TEACHING PROCESS
The Ecology of Resources Model Key = category element = filter element Environment Curriculum Knowledge Organisation Administration Resources
The relationship • The proposed relationship between learner and More Able Partner is one that recognises the skills each can offer. Tutors in the role of More Able Partner know more than learners about learning and about the subject or skill to be learnt. Learners may know more than their tutors about some aspects of the technological tools that might help them to learn. The role of More Able Partner may alternate between tutor and learner • Such an approach emphasizes the need to help both learner and tutor to adapt the resources available to them at any particular place and time to best support their learning needs. • So how can we do that?
Example Learners and Teachers map Resources • The study was conducted with learners (11-15 yrs) & mentors. • The aim was to explore the resources that comprised these learners' contexts and to work with them to develop tools to support learners and mentors to select from these resources. • One aspect of this work involved the participatory development of a card game to increase people’s understanding of the relationship between their technologies, their learning activities, and their learning situation and environment. The latest iteration of the game was used to support the planning and execution of a group trip. • The exercise enabled the research team to increase their understanding of the learning contexts of learners. • The game also enabled learners and mentors to work together to decide which resources might be appropriate for their learning and is an illustration of the type of relationship I have just described.
Game Play Version 1 Each player takes an Activity pad sheet and Player writes down name of activity Player adds a goal arising from activity (includes notion of what to do and why with technology) Player selects an appropriate ACTION card based on this information to start their game Player annotates planning pad to record ACTION Player selects MEDIA card to go with ACTION and annotates planning pad Dealer deals each player a hand of 6 TECHNOLOGY cards Players will find some cards useful, some not. First point of play is to try to find a TECHNOLOGY card in dealt hand that matches the ACTION and MEDIA cards selected at start of play. Match is identified via colour coding between TECHNOLOGY card and ACTION card. If player has a suitable TECHNOLOGY card, they place it with the ACTION/MEDIA card and place set to one side and continue play. If player does not have a suitable TECHNOLOGY card, they show their ACTION/MEDIA cards to the other players and ask whether anyone else has a suitable card. If another player has a suitable TECHNOLOGY card they are willing to ‘deal’… they must describe ways in which their card is appropriate and useful. There may be more than one player who is able to furnish a card. In this circumstance, they must persuade the player whose game is in play to accept their card.
Game Play Version 1 Once they have a suitable card, the player spins the QUESTION WHEEL and matches the word from that to their MEDIA selection, e.g. AUDIO and WHERE. The ‘where’ is not the location of the activity, e.g. if it’s a trip, or in school, but rather a quality of the location, e.g. ‘inside/outside/underwater’. Once identified the player writes the response on the planning pad, next to the question word. Next, the player selects an ISSUES card to identify any possible problems/considerations that might affect their use of the selected technology. If it is irrelevant, they simply replace the card at the bottom of the deck. If relevant, they write it in the ISSUES section of the planning pad and keep the card until the end of the game. Finally, before play switches to the next player, the current player connects the MEDIA card with the QUESTION WHEEL word and any relevant ISSUES and looks for another ACTION card for the next round. If there are no relevant ISSUES to generate the next ACTION card, the player needs to make a selection based on the next logical sequential action, e.g. CAPTURE might lead to STORE or PROCESS or SHOW. Play passes to the next player. Player can only take one turn (based on ACTION card) at a time… so cannot say, I need a computer to PROCESS it and a TV to SHOW it…
Game components 1 Question Wheel 6 x 6 ACTION CARDS 6 X 7 Media Cards
Game components 50 x TECHNOLOGY CARDS 40 x ISSUES CARDS 12 x ? CARDS
Part 4 PART 4: THE FUTURE AND LEARNER GENERATED CONTEXTS
Learner Generated Contexts This phrase is designed to capture the fact that technological developments over the past 15 years or so have changed the nature of what learning could be like. Learners now have lots of tools that can help them produce their own material wherever they are. This contextualized content can enable them to build their own knowledge networks. Learner Generated Contexts are concerned with exploring how education (both formal and informal) could scaffold learners to more effectively generate their own learning contexts.
Learner Generated Contexts Working Definition = A Learner Generated Context can be defined as a context created by people interacting together with a common, self-defined or negotiated learning goal. The key aspect of Learner Generated Contexts is that they are generated through the enterprise of those who would previously have been consumers in a context created for them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learner_generated_context http://learnergeneratedcontexts.ning.com/ http://www.slideshare.net/tag/learnergeneratedcontexts
Example • A learners’ eye view of Learner Generated Contexts • See yoodoo video clip at • http://yoodoo.org.uk/index.php?siid=6461
Summary • I have offered a context model called the Ecology of Resources as a tool to help develop appropriate technology interventions so that we can ‘Go boldly into the dark’ • I have also used this model to consider the future relationship between learners, their tutors and institutions • In particular I have highlighted the importance of exploring the links between learners’ experiences across and within different environments
Questions • Can you see how a context based model might be useful to you and your institution? • Technology provides us with the operational capability to integrate our learning experiences across different locations, times and disciplines. How can we help learners integrate their experiences at a conceptual level? • What is the role for tutors in this process?
References • Boyd, D. (2007), 'Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The role of networked publics in teenage social life'. In D. Buckingham (ed.), MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume. Cambridge: MA: MIT Press. • Buckingham, D. (2007), Beyond Technology: Children's Learning in the Age of Digital Culture. Cambridge: Polity. • Green, H. and Hannon, C. (2007), TheirSpace: Education for a digital generation. London: Demos. • Grunwald Associates, L. (2007), Creating and Connecting//Research and Guidelines on Social - and Educational - Networking: National School Boards Association. • JISC (2007) Briefing paper to support the call for projects on the Repurposing & Reuse Of Digital University-level Content, and Evaluation (RepRODUCE). e-Learning Briefing Paper Supplement to Circular 4/07 available at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/funding_calls/2007/10/reuseofcontent.aspx • LSE. (2006), The Mobile Life Youth Report 2006. London: London School of Economics (LSE)/Carphone Warehouse Group Plc.
References • Lee, M.J.W., McLoughlin, C. and Chan, A. Talk the talk: Learner-generated podcasts as catalysts for knowledge creation. e-mentor No 4 (21) / 2007 • http://www.e-mentor.edu.pl/eng • Lenhart, A. and Madden, M. (2007), Social Networking Sites and Teens: An overview. Baltimore: Pew Internet and the American Life Project. • Luckin, R. (2008) The learner centric ecology of resources: A framework for using technology to scaffold learning Computers & Education 50 (2) 449-462 • Luckin, R., Shurville, S. and Browne, T. (2007) Initiating e-learning by stealth, participation and consultation in a late majority institution, Organisational Transformation and Social Change Volume 3 Number 3 and Volume 4 Number 1 pp. 317–332 • Ofcom. (2008), The Nations & Regions Communications Market 2008 (May). London: Ofcom. • Sener, J. (2007) In Search of Student-Generated Content in Online Education in e-mentor No 4 (21) / 2007 www.e-mentor.edu.pl/eng • Wolf, K. (2007) “YOU Learning - the impact of user generated content on education” ITK conference 2007 in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Found on http://www.ifeb.uni-bremen.de/wordpress_wolf/?p=59