#PLENK2010 Experts in online, social and personal learning

Steve’s post on PLE’s need teacher discusses on why and how to develop PLEs with the help of teachers.  That sounds great.

So, would one be able to develop PLE within social network with the help of experts? This is a challenging task for me as I realize from the discussion in Twitter that there are so many Social Media Experts and Referral Web out there that we could find difficulties in finding the experts who could help us  in such development.

I could see the difference between a technology savvy expert from an expert teacher in that experts could often provide us with their expertise knowledge in a particular field.  The question is: who would be the master expert and teachers that may help us in developing PLEs in a way that suits our needs?

In this How people learn

How Experts Differ from Novices?

We consider several key principles of experts’ knowledge and their potential implications for learning and instruction:

1. Experts notice features and meaningful patterns of information that are not noticed by novices.

In the social media, the guides posted by experts or those resulting from research often provide us with many practical guides that are useful.  The social media experts that could help us most would be those who highlight the important features and significant trends that we might need to observe. Typical examples are the experts who have provided expert advice in the Horizon Report, Pew Report etc.  Also, such guides could sometimes be the experts (non-human actor) that help in guiding me through in my information filtering and choice of materials for learning and research – a recommender.

2. Experts have acquired a great deal of content knowledge that is organized in ways that reflect a deep understanding of their subject matter.

To what extent of content knowledge is required will one needs to become experts.  The 10,000 hours cited may be a guide to start with.  However, would the acquisition of content knowledge be enough for one to become an expert? What does a deep understanding of the subject matter entail?  Here is a checklist of experts.

Who are these experts? Have you got a favorite list of experts?

Here on PLENK2010

Stephen Downes

George Siemens

Dave Cormier

Rita Kop

Open/Online/Distance Education

Terry Anderson

Tony Bates

David Wiley

Alec Couros

Grainne Conole

Kurt Bonk

On Communities of Practice

Etienne Wenger

Jean Lave

On Social Media

Henry Jenkins

Howard Rheingold

Jay Cross

Jane Hart

Harold Jarche

Clark Quinn

Will Richardson

Clive Shepherd

Tony Karrer

Nancy White

Here is a list of Workplace Learning Professionals

I may not be able to include many experts on the list.  So please help in adding your favorite list in the comments to this post.

3. Experts’ knowledge cannot be reduced to sets of isolated facts or propositions but, instead, reflects contexts of applicability: that is, the knowledge is ”conditionalized” on a set of circumstances.

In social media, I think there is a trend towards treating experts’ knowledge as distributed, rather than centered around a particular expert only.  So, I would rather re-state this as distributed experts’ knowledge is situational and contextualized on a set of circumstances.  We need different experts on different occasions, and lots of expertise knowledge emerged out of the conversation with knowledge, rather than “acquired” through “transmission”.

4. Experts are able to flexibly retrieve important aspects of their knowledge with little attentional effort.

This sounds so true.

5. Though experts know their disciplines thoroughly, this does not guarantee that they are able to teach others.

This could be perceived as a critical judgment call on experts.  How far is this true in determining whether experts are great teachers? What are your experiences?

6. Experts have varying levels of flexibility in their approach to new situations.

Here in Learning as Action[1]

This ability of gestalt perception is brought to perfection by the expert, the final stage in the learning process. An expert identifies him/herself with the complex real-life situation in which he/she is bound to act. The “art” of the expert consists not in solving problems, but in constructing them out of the amorphous complexity of life. This act of creating the problem already contains its solution.

I would consider the best experts are those who could create the problem, challenging me to think about the problem rather than those who solve the problem for me.  Such experts show me the direction towards what problems that I might have missed out in my big picture problems identification (the vision and mission), and so I could think “out of the square” in tackling problems that may require a strategic solution, not just a solution to solve the immediate problem.

In summary, for those of us who would like to seek out experts in the networks or MOOC (PLENK2010) or in the web, would the natural questions be? Who should or would be the experts that we need to be connected to? Would this depend on what you want to achieve?  This depends on who you think would be most suited to your learning, based on your present level of capability and competency, and the experts that would most suit you, and are responsive to your questions.   After all, the experts that you are looking for must be able to support you in your learning journey, and that would motivate you to move on to learn in this information abundance media space.  If you are an independent learner, that most likely you would be self-motivated to search and explore PLE yourself, with or without the help of mentors, or experts in the field.

So who are those experts ?  What are the expertise that you are looking for? Why are these experts important to you?

How about your peer learners?  They may also be the experts in their fields.

Here is a list of favourites from Heli:

Some favorites I list here so it is easier to check them during the course:

Alan Cooper blog a careful and honest thinker

Barbara Fillip blog I recognize something of myself here or did I imagine?

Chris Jobling blog – Fresh and crispy! I love the heading

Chris Saeger blog with a beautiful Plenk heading

Maria Fernanda Arenas blog – she participated CritLit

Lindsay Jordan blog – University of the Arts London

Sean Fitzgerald  blog -MOOC is like dining at a banquet (post 18.9.)

Martin Weller blog

Steve MacKenzie blog -CritLit

Steve Wheeler blog

Niklas Karlsson blog from Sweden

Linn Gustavsson blog from Sweden

John King blog – Just retired and still a student

Roland Legrand blog

Zaid Ali Alsagoff blog

Jarmo Talvivaara blog

Mc Morgan blog

Mohsen Saadatmand blog – a researcher in Helsink

My favourites here:

Roy Williams

Jenny Mackness

Matthias Melcher

Lisa Lane

Now I have got the lists of  experts, what’s next?

How would my search for “truth” relating to a search of experts and research on learning materials and artifacts?

Having interests in Emotional Intelligence for a decade, I was surprised to note the various comments about EI here on Daniel Goleman and an artifact on promotional intelligence here.  Here are more criticisms on EI.  In this paper on EI, the authors conclude:

In this article, we hope to have separated this EI from
other constructs that may be important in their own right but are ill-labeled as emotional intelligence. By clarifying our model and discussing some of the confusion in the area, we hope to encourage researchers and practitioners to distinguish
EI from other domains of study. Such distinctions
will help pave the way for a healthier, more convincing, and better understood EI, one that best can serve the discipline of psychology and other fields.

There has long been interesting debates about EI and the experts in this area, and so I am convinced that research and discourse on EI is necessary to better understand EI.

What have I learnt from the above case study on EI? I think learning with the experts are important.  Also, listening to the experts’ advice are important in my learning journey.   Perhaps more importantly would be to consider who those experts are for me, and how it will impact on my learning – especially for me as an autonomous learner with the transformative learning in mind. Here:

The process involves transforming frames of reference through critical reflection of assumptions, validating contested beliefs through discourse, taking action on one’s reflective insight, and critically assessing it.


2 thoughts on “#PLENK2010 Experts in online, social and personal learning

  1. Pingback: Записная книжка Владимира Алексеева : #PLENK2010. The neXt Web

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