I find myself wondering if and when I’d have learned about this community resource if I hadn’t enrolled in the Emerging Environments for Learning unit led by Peter Evans (as part of my M.Ed study through the University of Southern Queensland). It is possible I might have come across links to it on some of the sites/blogs I visit but there’s no guarantee: let’s call it serendipity! John Seely Brown acknowledges the power of serendipity for learning 🙂 but that’s another post perhaps.

A new node in my network (see George Siemen’s blog connectivism), a  fellow learner, Deepak Prasad, posted on what I’ve discovered is an awesome resource: WikiEducator where we are invited to join this community in “turning the digital divide into digital dividends using free content and open networks“.

I’ve copied an extract from the home page that explains its purpose:

The purpose of WikiEducator

The WikiEducator is an evolving community intended for the collaborative:

  • planning of education projects linked with the development of free content;
  • development of free content on Wikieducator for e-learning;
  • work on building open education resources (OERs) on how to create OERs.
  • networking on funding proposals developed as free content.

I can see I’ll be visiting it often and hope to be able to contribute in some way as well as benefit from the extensive opportunities it presents: a vision well worth working for.  The Content page currently covers Education Background (the full continuum of formal education from early childhood to tertiary, and teacher education); Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC); technical and vocational education; professional development (elearning and ICTs, free and open education resources, workshop toolkits and health); active development hubs; funding sources & other.

It’s supported by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) which is “an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies”.

One resource example is the Designing for Flexible Learning course offered by staff in the Educational Development Centre of Otago Polytechnic and is designed to help both formal and informal learners access and interpret models, research and professional dialogue in flexible learning. I followed links to a great section on reflecting on learning (the context being with blog tools).

Leigh Blackall and Bronwyn Hegarty look to have constructed some amazing learning experiences and spaces here. My apologies to any others contributing to these I haven’t recognised in this post.

I’ll be sharing this resource with my fellow learning designers, something we do is share links to interesting resources in our community of practice. I suspect I could spend every waking moment exploring leads less awesome than this one, and the informal professional development time ‘allocated’ in our working week certainly couldn’t afford to support such a learning path. However, when it might contribute to the ‘greater good of humanity’ I believe being paid doesn’t matter so much.

USQ has been exploring a web 2.0 approach, particularly in the unit with Peter, using tiki wikis and mahara for an eportfolio. It was certainly an interesting learning experience, adventuring through interesting learning spaces. The knowledgeGarden wiki pages we produced during the unit have been relocated and are open to public access.  I have some pages there you may like to visit and there are many more well worth visiting:

Thanks for any interest,

Janice


I’m one of many who’ve signed up for the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08) massive open online course (MOOC) facilitated by George Siemens and Stephen Downes. It’s a brilliant opportunity to learn in a more structured way about an area of interest I’ve had ignited since encountering George’s Knowing Knowledge book (and SCOPE Seminar around it) in January 2007. It’s also an opportunity to widen and strengthen my networks – there are some familiar names in the participants list.

My first digital fingerprints have been adding my pin and some details about myself to the Google Map created for the CCK08 learning community by Rod Lucier. This led to me adding a Google profile (using some google apps but I hadn’t done this yet). I viewed the introductory presentation (made with Articulate) and visited the moodle site but don’t seem to be able to log-in to post an introduction in the forum. Did I mention managing multiple accounts being a risky business? I’ll sort it out tomorrow!

Here’s the course description: “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge is a twelve week course that will explore the concepts of connectivism and connective knowledge and explore their application as a framework for theories of teaching and learning. It will outline a connectivist understanding of educational systems of the future”.

There have been a few emails from George leading up to the start of the course (which is this week) to keep in touch and provide links to some pre-activity tasks and readings. There’s been an option to pay to do the course through the University of Manitoba but it has also been open to others on a non-accredited basis. It is part of a Certificate in Emerging Technologies for Learning. This will tie in well with my current course with University of Southern Queensland, FET8611 Emerging Environments for Learning. I’m exploring using Mahara for reflective blogging and as an eportfolio tool as part of that course, along with the tikiwiki knowledgeGarden (mentioned in previous posts).

I’ll be using this blog for the course so I hope to share some of my learnings and excitement here.  I can see we’ll be using some familiar tools, some I’m aware of but haven’t really investigated yet (eg Pageflakes) and some new ones. It will also help me get into the habit of posting more reliably and frequently!

Lovin’ learning,

Janice

I find myself wondering if and when I’d have learned about this community resource if I hadn’t enrolled in the Emerging Environments for Learning unit led by Peter Evans (as part of my M.Ed study through the University of Southern Queensland) this semester. It is possible I might have come across links to it on some of the sites/blogs I visit but there’s no guarantee: let’s call it serendipity! John Seely Brown acknowledges the power of serendipity for learning 🙂 but that’s another post perhaps.

A new node in my network (see connectivism), a fellow learner in the unit I’m doing this semester, Deepak Prasad, posted what I’ve discovered is an awesome resource: WikiEducator where we are invited to join this community in “turning the digital divide into digital dividends using free content and open networks“.

I’ve copied an extract from the home page that explains its purpose:

The purpose of WikiEducator

The WikiEducator is an evolving community intended for the collaborative:

  • planning of education projects linked with the development of free content;
  • development of free content on Wikieducator for e-learning;
  • work on building open education resources (OERs) on how to create OERs.
  • networking on funding proposals developed as free content.

I can see I’ll be visiting it often and hope to be able to contribute in some way as well as benefit from the extensive opportunities it presents: a vision well worth working for. The Content page currently covers Education Background (the full continuum of formal education from early childhood to tertiary, and teacher education); Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC); technical and vocational education; professional development (elearning and ICTs, free and open education resources, workshop toolkits and health); active development hubs; funding sources & other.

It’s supported by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) which is “an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies”.

One resource example is the Designing for Flexible Learning course offered by staff in the Educational Development Centre of Otago Polytechnic and is designed to help both formal and informal learners access and interpret models, research and professional dialogue in flexible learning. I followed links to a great section on reflecting on learning (the context being with blog tools).

Leigh Blackall and Bronwyn Hegarty look to have constructed some amazing learning experiences and spaces here. My apologies to any others contributing to these I haven’t recognised in this post.

I’ll be sharing this resource with my fellow learning designers, something we do is share links to interesting resources in our community of practice. I suspect I could spend every waking moment exploring leads less awesome than this one, and the informal professional development time ‘allocated’ in our working week certainly couldn’t afford to support such a learning path. However, when it might contribute to the ‘greater good of humanity’ I believe being paid doesn’t matter so much.

USQ is exploring a web 2.0 approach this semester, even more-so in this unit with Peter, using tiki wikis and mahara for an eportfolio. It is certainly looking like an interesting learning experience, adventuring through interesting learning spaces.

Thanks for any interest,

Janice

The content of this post has been moved to the Reflective Journal Page. It includes a list of references used throughout the unit. Note: blogs I’ve linked to have been retained here, but also appear on the blogroll.


Related blogs

Note: Fellow learners have been blogging their own journeys through this learnscape (a term used by Jay Cross – see his Informal Learning blog in my blogroll). You can visit their blogs:

  • Javed’s Blog – maintained by Javed Yusuf, based in Suva, Fiji, and working with moodle for the University of the South Pacific
  • Mr B’s Masterful Space – maintained by Bruce Knox – the IT Coordinator at an international school in S.E.Asia
  • SKI Blog – maintained by Irene Ostrenski who is based in Brisbane, Australia
  • Jane’s Reflections about FET 5601 – maintained by Jane Ross who has been teaching in Indonesia for many years.

Cheers, Janice

Life-long learning and mobile technologies appear to be moving towards a ubiquitous state… but not for all. Nomadic and/or isolated learners appear to be under-represented in current conversations: access, feasible learning designs (if indeed there are any) and theoretical underpinnings, the users themselves, sustainability and equitable education for all are just some of the less-charted waters to be explored. This is encouraging in terms of scanning for research potential in my current formal learning (Masters of Education) but presents some challenges for my own future as one of many nomadic learners!

Who are they? Where are they? How/are they learning? What enabling technologies are available/not available? Can they afford them? How do they learn to use them? Which learning design options are feasible? What theoretical frameworks and approaches are usefully applied?

Jan and Anthony Herrington have explored “Authentic mobile learning in higher education” in an excellent paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2007 Focus Conference.

In general, mobile learning—or m-learning—can be viewed as any form of learning that happens when mediated through a mobile device (Winters, 2006) and a form of learning that has established the legitimacy of ‘nomadic’ learners (Alexander, 2004)” (2002, P3).

It’s not just generational differences to consider in mobile learning, but also the sub-cultures, the diverse communities existing under the umbrella term ‘nomadic learners’. The Herringtons refer to Reeves’ findings that “differences within these generational groups are greater than differences between them” (P 6). It’s not just traditional nomads: some contemporary versions include itinerant workers and their families, Recreational Vehicle (RV) nomads, corporate nomads, liveaboard boat cruisers and technomads (the latter two will be me!).

Mobile technologies are evolving rapidly, encompassing mobile phones (particularly multimedia and web enabled), PDAs, portable media devices (such as iPods) and smartphones that converge these capabilities, epitomised by the new Apple iPhone3G (a mobile phone, a touch controlled wide-screen iPod, and an Internet communications device all in one). Prensky (2005, cited in Herrington & Herrington, 2007) urges educators to recognise and design to realise the potential for more than just transmission of information. Communication and social networking, user-generation and sharing of digital artefacts, collaborative projects and complex problem-solving offer rich media choices and channels for engaging, authentic, situated, networked/connected, distributed learning environments and experiences. We’re talking ‘2.0’ and beyond here: web 2.0, pedagogy 2.0, learning 2.0, and Bruns’ pedagogy of produsage.

There are and will be many ‘conversations’ to explore apart from those touched on in the Herrington & Herrington paper (that appropriately looks to Lave and Wenger; Brown, Collins & Duguid, George Siemens, Prensky, and Lee & McLoughlin among others). Jay Cross, Stephen Downes and Axel Bruns are further sources of enlightenment and are sure to lead to more again.

I’ll be back living aboard an Adams 49 steel sloop soon and technology options are a huge consideration, specifically, access to the internet. Once cruising the options and expenses make decisions critical. Some in mind to date are mobile wireless broadband (better when in metropolitan areas but need something for when up and down the east coast and eventually further abroad) or mobile phone as modem (3G or GPRS). Back-up or supplementary options include internet cafes and libraries. There’s also marina net, and I’d like to check out ham radio also. All ideas or information welcome.

I’m sure variations on this question have appeared elsewhere, in spaces where educators and learning/instructional/educational designers are sharing experiences and exploring the potential of MUVEs (multi-user virtual environments) for teaching and learning. The myriad conversations are lively, creative, connected, critical, reflective, practical and illustrate the intense interest virtual worlds such as Second Life engender.

The number of Australian universities (and other sectors such as TAFE) with a presence in Second Life is on the rise. Queensland University of Technology is one of the more recent entrants, inspired by established examples such as University of Southern Queensland’s Terra Incognita, an inspiring sim from visionary PhD innovator Lindy McKeown <aka Decka Mah>. I’ve been fortunate enough to be working as a learning designer with QUT in Teaching and Learning Support Services (TALSS) at a time when support for exploring the teaching and learning possibilities and activities outside and inside the organisation was beginning. My avatar, Rilla Shan, was only a couple of months old at that stage and had been developing basic mobility and communication skills whilst discovering what the environment had to offer in education… and socially.

I’d heard about Second Life a couple of years before from… yes, a librarian! I’d been involved in a TAFE Learnscope project with her previously and had continued to exchange ideas and information on emerging technologies and learning. However, I didn’t follow up on it as the tone was one of doubt in terms of value in a real world context and there were other interesting paths being explored for digital storytelling through the basic Windows MovieMaker application, Audacity for sound editing, podcasting, wikis, blogs and other ‘web 2.0’ tools for publishing.

It is involvement in the field of education that has brought me into Second Life. Innovative people and open attitudes abound I’m pleased to find; here I am encountering a strange ‘land’ with its own protocols, standards, communities, skill-sets, tools, learning, administrative and support challenges. I had played some PC games such as Myst, my children were engaged in some multi-player games, yet Second Life didn’t feature.

It would be interesting to know how others have come to enter Second Life. Responses welcome!

It may pay to read the instructions for effective use of this WordPress blog opportunity… but as usual I will leap in and try the rapid prototyping approach. This is better than holding off on tapping the keys until I’m confident the words are judged worth publishing.

It is now four weeks into the current unit I’m studying through University of Southern Queensland, Instructional Design for Flexible Learning. Discussion forums are plugging along but a little quiet this past week as our first assignment, a project outline, is due. It’s unfortunate timing for me as responding to high priority issues has been my work focus with study coming off second best. Throw in the work-life-study balancing act where journeying to visit family and friends was also a high priority, a simultaneous quandary on the project … and I’ve had to request some extra time to submit. Ah well!

I’ve decided to go with blogging for my reflective log we’ve been asked to keep throughout the unit. It’s easy to share with my cohort that way with the bonus of keeping me commenting on other areas of interest related to work projects, readings and education overall. I may well create another page in this blog for the reflective journalling, just as I have created one focused on Second Life in education.