#PLENK2010 Tools of use in online learning – PLE/PLN

Tools (to provide the basic means for manipulating information)

* Processing tools ( to support learners cognitive processing)

  • Seeking tools (to locate and filter needed resources) – Slideshare, RSS, Google Reader, Delicious, Google, iGoogle, Netvibes, Amplify, Twitter, Youtube,
  • Collecting tools (to gather resources) – Slideshare, Delicious, Google, iGoogle, Netvibes, Amplify, Twitter, Blogs, wikis, Email, Linked in
  • Organizing tools (to represent relationships among ideas) – CMap, Bubbl.us, Brain, Google Reader,
  • Integrating tools (to link new with existing knowledge) – RSS, Google Reader, Delicious, Google, iGoogle, Netvibes, Amplify, Twitter, FB, Moodle, Blogs, wikis
  • Generating tools (to create new things or artifacts to think with) – Podcasting, Digital Story, Media, Webcam, Blogs, wikis, CMap, Bubbl.us, Brain,

* Manipulation tools (to test the validity of, or to explore, beliefs and theories) – Blogs, wikis, Twitter, FB

* Communication tools (to communicate among learners, teachers and experts)

  • Synchronous communication tools (to support real time interaction) – Elluminate, Skype, FB chat, Twitter, UStream, Dimdim, Plurk
  • Asynchronous communication tools (to support time-shifted communication) – Moodle, Blogs, wikis, FB, Amplify it

* Scaffolds (to guide and support learning efforts)

  • Domain – specific versus generic scaffolds – Asynchronous sessions (Moodle Forum discussion)
  • Conceptual scaffolding (guidance on what to consider) – CMaps, Brain
  • Metacognitive scaffolding (guidance on how to utilize resources and tools) – Synchronous session (Elluminate), Asynchronous sessions (Moodle Forum discussion),
  • Strategic scaffolding/guidance on approaches to solving the problem – Wikis – artifacts, selected readings, Synchronous session (Elluminate), Asynchronous sessions (Moodle Forum discussion), Blogs

An alternative way to classify the Social Networking Tools:

Social sites: My Space, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Amplify, Google Wave

Photosharing: Flickr, PhotoBucket

Videosharing: Youtube, Blip.tv, Vimeo, Teachers’ Tube

Professional networking sites: LinkedIn, Ning

Blogs: Blogger.com, WordPress, Posterous,

Wikis: Wetpaint, Pbwiki, Wikispace

Content tagging: MERLOT, SLoog, Delicious, Diigo

RSS Aggregator: RSS feeds, Google Reader

Virtual worlds: SecondLife, Active Worlds, Club Penguin

Slideshare: Slideshare.net

Aggregators: iGoogle, Google, Netvibes, Delicious, Symbaloo

Others: Voicethreads, Digital Story

Ref to Steve Wheeler’s Slides here on Communities Spaces and Pedagogies for the Digital Age

My ten top Web 2.0 tools (slide 28)

Blog – Blogger; WordPress

Wiki – Wetpaint; PB wiki

Podcasting – Audacity; Podbean

Slide sharing – Slideshare

Photo sharing – Flickr; Picassa

Social Tagging – Delicious; Diigo

Video sharing – Youtube; Vimeo

URL Shortening – bit.ly; ow.ly

Aggregator – iGoogle; Pageflakes

Microblog – Twitter; Tumblr

#CritLit2010 Social Networked Learning

In this post of Moving the Social Networked Learning forward by George Siemens, he asks:

What is a course? What is the role of educators in social networks? How does self-paced learning with trailing social identity compare with cohort-based learning? What new tools are needed? What types of skills do educators and learners need in this environment?

What is the role of educators in social networks?

I have discussed here on the what is the role of a teacher?

How does self-paced learning with trailing social identity compare with cohort-based learning?

I have discussed here on Reflection on CCK08 experience – connections and learning.

What are the features of a blended learning model?

This blended learning model provides a comparison of the different models of learning.

What new tools are needed say in Social Networked Learning?

This use of course management systems to support e-learning provides an overview of what course management systems could offer, and the importance of a metacognitive e-learning approach when designing instruction using Course Management Systems.

This position paper sets out to inform policy makers, educators, researchers, and others of the importance of a metacognitive e-learning approach when designing instruction using Course Management Systems. Such a metacognitive approach will improve the utilization of CMSs to support learners
on their path to self-regulation. We argue that a powerful CMS incorporates features and functionalities that can provide extensive scaffolding to learners and support them in becoming self-regulated learners.

What types of skills do educators and learners need in this environment?

Jon discussed about the technology skills here for teachers.

Steve is exploring the Critical Literacy Taxonomy here, which should prove useful for developing the skills needed for educators and learners in an e-learning environment.  This could relate to the degree of expertise of educators and learners. I have also discussed the development of the taxonomy and Connectivism here.

This Information Literacy Awareness Month highlights that:

We must also learn the skills necessary to acquire, collate, and evaluate information for any situation. This new type of literacy also requires competency with communication technologies, including computers and mobile devices that can help in our day-to-day decision making.

What are the significance and implications of self-directed learning in social networks?

This Self-directed learning provides an interesting perspective on such mode of learning.

How will web 2.0 transform learning?

See this How web 2.0 will transform learning in higher education

Thanks George for his stimulating questions raised.

What are your views on the above questions?

CCK09 Microblogs, blogs and forums

How about the following analogies /metaphors for social networking via media of

microblogs (twitter/facebook)/blogs/forums?

 1. taxi/private car/public bus or train

2. private coaching (quick response)/homeschooling with self directed learning /public or private school

3. (pizza delivery/fast food restaurant) /home party (eating at home) /hotel party or restaurant (eating out)

4. (sms/internet chat, MSN/mobile)/home telephone/public telephone


CCK09 Metaphors of Learning Networks

Here are some interesting discussion in the forum relating to Blogs and Forums as Communication and Learning Tools.

May I start with some metaphors and analogies?

My observation so far is that our “network(s)” do exhibit some of the phenomena of singles and flocks of birds or schools of fish, when it comes to CCK08 and this CCK09 course.  Some would prefer to fly individually in the sky, whilst others would fly with flocks of “birds”, flying freeing through the sky, with multi-directions, and multi-“guidance” at times, and then the way they go afterwards…. Others would like to go for a “swim”, like a school of fish, through the ocean, and explore the deep, deep world down the ocean(s), and across the different oceans, where they encounter big and small school of fishes of all kinds.  Are there any borders in these network exploration?  Where are the limits?  The sky?  The ocean? The clouds (cloud computing, artefacts, social media)?

Would the birds and fishes meet?  May be, if they want to. But it’s all up to the desires and needs of the individuals. There are more and more “clouds or tools” forming, sometimes blurring the flights of the birds, but often they would help in guiding the flight paths as “mediators or navigators”.  The traces (artefacts, URL, tools, media and techniques) left behind could often be used as guidance for others. Would that be the emergent learning?

Are the “birds”, “fishes” self organising?  Will the “clouds” help in the flight journey? Any thoughts?


fish thumbnailCA20H3IT

How about this aquarium as a school, college or university?

aquarium 20081022_172355_aquarium

 Enjoy this Social Ecosystems too.

Sociality and Idea

Chris Lott: From Plato to Perl: the Problem of Sociality and the Idea provides stimulating insights into various aspects of education and learning.

Here are some ideas that I have picked up, and would like to reflect upon:

As a learner, to build up the capacity to self critique and self actualise, and be a different learner with a mindset of creativity and openness to new learning

What is important in learning? 

Concentration and listening is important in learning.

How could concentration and listening be achieved?

These could be achieved through meditation.

How to practise meditation? 

Slow blogging

How do we practise mind meditation? 

Having a space of contemplation.

What is meditation?

Anything done with focus, awareness or mindfulness is a meditation.

What is a Theory of flow?  

How could we experience and achieve that flow?  By over-learning, that means through repeated practice, and reflection, until we are in a state of mind that we could perform the task naturally. 

What about echo chamber in social networking?

Avoid the trap of echo chamber in social networking. Sometimes this may happen in blogging when we are only receptive to like-minded responses, and avoid any constructive criticisms.  Echo chamber may not allow for self-criticism, especially when we do not want to listen and respond to constructive feedback.

What is important in social networking?  Engage in diversity – diversity of views, perspectives, networks, ecology.  Look for new and different perspectives that would add to our learning, that would spark the fire of creativity.

How would I perceive learning?

Learning would then become a self-perpertuating activity. 

What does learning over social networks require?

Learning over social networks requires openness and trust.

Who is my friend? 

A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.

What are the virtues we should aspire in our life?

  1. Wisdom and knowledge
  2. Courage
  3. Humanity
  4. Justice
  5. Temperance
  6. Transcendence

Thanks Chris for his inspired presentation.


Postscript: Here is the full keynote in text

Social Networking

In this Social Networking in the workplace Increases Efficiency-Survey 

London — AT&T Inc announced that the use of social networking tools as part of everyday working life has led to an increase in efficiency, according to an independent market report released by AT&T. The pan-European survey of more than 2,500 people in five countries, conducted by Dynamic Markets, shows that of those employees using social networking tools in the workplace, 65% say that it has made them and/or their colleagues more efficient. In addition, 46% say that it has sparked ideas and creativity for them personally.

The top 5 social networking tools being used by organisations across Europe are:

1. Companies’ own collaboration sites on intranets (39%)

2. Internal forums within the company (20%)

3. Company-produced video material shared on intranets (16%)

4. Online social networks, like LinkedIn, Facebook etc (15%)

5. External collaboration sites on the web and internal blogging sites (both 11%)

When asked, 74% of European employees think there are benefits to using social networks and online communities in the workplace. Increasing an individual’s knowledge and giving access to solutions to problems (both 38%) were the two main benefits highlighted. Harnessing the collective knowledge of employees, customers and suppliers (36%) and stimulating team building and better internal collaboration (32%) were also mentioned by those employees who have first-hand experience of using social networks at work on a daily basis.

In contrast, the research also highlights a number of challenges, with the two main negatives being that social networks are a distraction to employees (49%) and a source of company leaks of confidential information (45%). In addition, 24% of employees admit they are not sure how the return on investment (ROI) of internal sites could ever be measured.

What are the benefits of using social networks and online communities in your workplace? 

Do your employees consider social networks a distraction?  How about the leaking of confidential information via social networks?  Is it a concern for your company?  What strategies would you recommend in overcoming those challenges?

What are the implications of social networking and Web 2.0 on our company’s internal networking strategy?

A response to Social Networking and Talent Management

I read this post on Social Networking and Talent Management by Dave Wilkins with great interests. Are leaders tall, thin and attractive? How would one define leaders? Whilst there are formal leaders in organisations, there are informal leaders leading in a social direction. How these social leaders are interacting with others are yet to be known.
In most organisations, employees often praise their leaders to achieve “collaboration, and cooperation”. Why? They are employed by these leaders of the company. I don’t see any reasons why employees are going to criticise the employers upfront, unless they are under serious grievance, or they don’t like their boss. But one common understanding is: Most employees leave their companies not because of the “system”, but because of their boss – the leader.

So when it comes to Social Network Analysis, we could see a lot of interactions – and may conclude that there are lots of collaboration. But there are certain assumptions that require further exploration. Are those other “non – top performers” consulted based on social reasons, or for technical support etc?  Why are the formal leaders not being consulted or interacted?  What happens if an employee openly criticises his/her organisation or the leaders?

My observation is: Never comment or criticise your organisation in public. It is both unprofessional and unhelpful. So, does it partially explain the phenomena?

I have once been with a company with the motto of everyone is a leader. If leadership is about empowerment of their employees, then social networking is the complement of leadership where employees could shine. Both leaders and their followers would resonate and shine in the organisation.