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’ve mentioned the ‘small pieces [of web 2.0 tools] loosely joined’ idea as an alternative to a monolithic LMS before. I don’t have the direct blog posting but I found it via Jay Cross (his Informal Learning Blogis a goldmine for web 2.0 conversations). Emerging technologies from the ‘read-write’ ‘2.0’ web we are likely to be working with these days in the education field offer mind-boggling advantages, but there’s a price to be paid methinks. Most applications are sort of free (Facebook, blogger, Second Life, frapps, wikispaces, etc etc). However, this last week or so I’ve been extremely conscious of the ‘juggling’ mode (I suspect I’m not alone in operating in) at work, in my learning and personally. The work-life-study balance is a juggling act for many. Any of these can be chunked down into further juggling acts.

Let’s take the ‘small pieces’ aspect of the Emerging Environments for Learning course through USQ. We are exploring some pieces such as tikiwiki, mahara and moodle (core tools, our separate interest areas for our facilitated pages and projects open up myriad further tools). There’s no single sign on for these components, although I think it’s time to investigate the OpenID option as it may allow me to bring these together in some way. I’ve used ‘janicebreenwhite’ for my knowledgeGarden activities, not realising it becomes an oddity when logging in to it as one component in the course.

Thank goodness I kept the same password! I’ve had to create and maintain a special file listing all the tools I’ve created accounts with: the usernames, passwords (enough hints for me to know which they are) and any specific email account they are associated with. All the small pieces, (bloglines, del.icio.us, wikispaces, Flickr, Scribd, slideshare, blogger, wordpress, facebook, bebo, this course, ezine subscriptions, email accounts, online repositories… and that’s without our online banking and workplace setups), are in danger of becoming a ‘dog’s breakfast‘ (translation of this colloquial term… imagine the scene) and management is definitely a significant factor in juggling participation in contemporary digital environments.

And I straddle the digital native-digital immigrant divide! I’m a defacto native. Some of our students face the challenges of comprehending and navigating between multiple windows running simultaneously, let alone what we are doing.