Cloud created by:
23 May 2013
Comment 1 by Gráinne Conole
8:24am 1 April 2009
Summary of some of the issues from Day 1
- Tension between vertical and horizontal but it is not a dichotomy – need to learn to deal with it
- No clear boundary between formal and informal learning
- Formal assessment methods are incompatible with informal learning
- Need for better understanding of the characteristics and activities within informal learning spaces
- We should not romantize online learning communities
- Shaping identify through individual trajectories is important
- Online learning spaces seem to help develop nurturing transversal competences
- Formal educational institutions cannot ignore informal learning but they need to prepare people for it and should learn from it
Comment 2 by Thomas Ryberg
9:42am 1 April 2009
Doh! Did not see this as I posted a cloud...
Comment 3 by Martin Owen
12:15pm 2 April 2009
Reflections on IPTS Lifelong Learning in online communities: Part 1
These are some personal thoughts arising from the IPTS Workshop in Sevilla March 30th and 31st 2009
The reports that the validation group were sent formed an excellent basis for exploring the issues in lifelong learning in online communities. These notes notes aim to broaden the perspective and address some issues. Specifically the notes will address a) the diffuse nature of knowledge spread across the internet and internet users b) the multilayered ways in which people can interact with that knowledge c) the problems of fitting in this diffuse structure into policy (Lisbon 2000), which although it is progressive is based on assumptions that engagement with the digital world begin to contradict.
Some key points in the report and discussion
I do not seek to analyse the report or provide direct critique of the contents of the report. The report is based on an analysis of case studies of some identified learning communities. It has identified processes and outcomes within those communities and in turn has developed some key messages for practice and policy within an EU context.
The Executive Summary of the report notes:
It is suggested that
1) Online communities are becoming an important element of many people lives and have potential to be used as a key tool for the desired lifelong learning continuum in the educational systems;
2) Online communities can provide social and specific environments for different types of learning outcomes, where learning with practitioners can provide effectively relevant knowledge, skills and competences of the field;
3) After initial barriers for access, skills and attitudes for participating in lifelong learning in online settings have been overcome, the diversity of opportunities and ICT affordances for personalization in online communities can support equity and active citizenship;
4) Personalised approach for learning in social environment and versatile tools for productive activities can nurture creativity and skills for innovation, and community approaches could enhance innovative capabilities of the educational institutions.
Overall, there is reason to believe that online communities can provide a means to learn new skills for new jobs in new ways, if educational systems learn to take up the opportunity.
The executive summary also offers some useful parameters for characterizing the field of discussion:
ICT enabled communities are enabling
· different ways for learning (narratives, discovery, experimentation, observing, reflection),
· social support for learning (peer support, apprenticeship and situated learning, social acknowledgement of learning, social knowledge management), and
· new ways to access and organize learning (applying community models for courses, organizations, linking communities to learning and education in new ways).
Some of these approaches have also been experimented in formal and non-formal education
This report is based on case studies of on-line learning communities who used a diversity of internet tools to facilitate their learning including mail-lists, wikis, forums, peer matching etc. However a very important element was missing in this iteration. Most of the communities studied had an intention to learn about some specific topic or set of issues (microbiology, foreign languages etc) and one or to covering social support (eg GAY.TV). What the report has not investigated are two other activities. One is the deliberate learning intervention into extant communities (Bebo, FaceBook etc) and the other is the establishment of groups who coalesce around some specific practice using their social media tools of choice to undertake some (learning) activity. These groups may have met within wider social networks, come together for a fixed period or activity and then disband (or carry on). I contend that there is much more learning happening in these two contexts rather than the more formal learning intentioned actions. Elsewhere I have suggested that if we wanted to engage young people in thinking about careers in the age of print we might have chosen to create a careers magazine for 16-yr-olds or do we put effort into articles in magazines that 16-year-olds read. Most marketeers would find this an easy decision.
Another issue highlighted in the Executive Summary is
Online communities can facilitate learning related to all the key competences for lifelong learning (Communication in the mother tongue; Communication in the foreign languages; Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology; Digital competence; Learning to learn; Interpersonal, intercultural and social competences and civic competence; Entrepreneurship; and Cultural expression).
I can see the importance of mapping the lifelong learning agenda supported by online learning onto the policy agenda of the EU, as well as trying to fulfill the requirement for evidence based practice. However in the notes below I wish to discuss the ways in which networked learning begins to question the very nature of both key and competence as a basis for curriculum and pedagogic design.