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David Jennings: My Dream: Designing for Agility: experiences that learners can reconfigure easily and cheaply

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David Jennings
11 January 2013

Your situation (context)

Environment in which I operate: the big wide world, outside institutional walls, but able to draw on the technologies and resources that modern commerce and academia make available.

Where will my project take place? anywhere where people want to learn, but especially the places where there is no formal educational/institutional provision that is within reach of learners.

Who are the main actors involved? Put crudely, poor people in the first, second or third worlds.

Hole in the Wall self-organised learning.

People who scavenge an education from the likes of Khan Academy, etc

One Laptop Per Child & similar initiatives

The change you would like to see (challenge)

What do you hope to achieve? Designing learning that learners can easily and cheaply redesign and reconfigure to meet their needs. Modular, flexible.

What would be different if you succeed? Quite a lot of things, but here's one (trivial and tongue-in-cheek) one: instead of registering for ten MOOCs, learning to use ten different cloudworks-style platforms and then dropping out after one tenth of the course, you could just remix your own course based on the bits you want from these courses [as I said, it's tongue in cheek: I know there are many reasons why this would be difficult or undesirable]

Not sure. I think may be showing the way, or one way.

Mozilla-style kits for building DIY learning experiences

How you might go about bringing that change

What is your pedagogical approach? Not committed to any one pedagogical approach: anything that is agile and flexible could be useful, but this priority generally rules out any of the "adaptive", so-called "intelligent" learning technologies that embed learning design in a black box that users cannot hack. These deskill learning and atrophy the learning "muscles" that I want to strengthen.

Which technologies will you use to implement it, and how? Broadband internet and web browsers.

As above

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David Jennings
11:26am 15 January 2013

I'm realising now, after a few days of inactivity on this, that this project is possibly too generic and abstract for it to be practical and achievable -- and bounded within the space of a course. At the same time, I don't want to restrict it to any one learning context or community -- I'm open to doing anything that meshes with this broad theme. And if you've got a particular context or community in mind, please comment here and we'll see if we can apply it, or merge with your project?

Terry Di Paolo
10:54pm 16 January 2013

Hi David

I came across your project and think there are resonances with some of the thoughts I've been having about the potential of online and the way in which its potenial should be shared across communities and educational boundaries.

I'm no longer working in academia (I moved from the UK - I used to work at the OU - to the US). I'm interested in ways in which local agencies (I'm using the term incredibly loosely!) can come together to share best practice and effect change not just in formal education but also informal education. 

You can read more about my project here

I connected with this project (as have many others) - this might be of interest


David Jennings
9:53pm 18 January 2013

Thanks for the thoughts, Terry, and I'd be interested to hear (if you have time) about your shift from within to outside academia and from UK to US.

I too have now connected with Fawei's project. How are you doing with your own one? There seem to be quite a lot of orphan projects around here (not that I'm presuming yours is one of them).

The more I reflect on my original project outline, the more I see it as hopelessly abstract and generic. I think if I had my time again (I suspect it's too late now to get any collective buy-in to the idea), I'd frame it in a much more practical way. Like writing or at least conceiving a Fieldbook for DIY Online Learning (the next step on from the Edupunk's Guide), but that's for another time.

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