There is life after print

At the beginning of the 1st Meeting of TICS Virtual and teaching at the highest level UBA # UBATIC, I attended the virtual presentation [see video on YouTube] bearing the title of this post by Alejandro Piscitelli – philosopher and specialist in Internet and digital media, university lecturer and author of several books and articles. In this video,  Alejandro exposes his concerns and experiences on the current scenario of teaching practices in the upper level ( in Argentina) reviewing theoretical notions (Piaget’s pedagogy of Paulo Freire, Lacan, structuralism, intelligence colectivaentre other), authors (Sherry Turkle, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Robert Putnam with Boiling Alone, among others) and collective learning environments (those created in Moodle, or experiences: COURSERA, OPNEN MIT courseware, etc …). Alejandro also invites new ways to think and perceptual horizons referred to the passage in the book culture to digital culture. Its premise is very interesting, and I recommend him fully because each may draw their own senses and questions.

In this regard, I am interested to highlight some issues and problems that are referred to the redefinition of the meaning of “education” that challenge cognitive monopolies. In particularly, in relation to the academy university (as traditional institution) to technological upgrading Internet (1st Revolution: writing, printing the 2nd, 3rd Internet):

  • Permanent polarizations on internet (technophobia, technophilia)
  • War by appropriating  sense spaces that challenge the notion of authorship and intellectual property
  • The authorship of the book Culture versus the Culture Free or Open knowledge (Open Knowledge)
  • Information access to closed and open access content
  • Redefinition of the concept of personal subjectivity; emergence of collective intelligence
  • Traditional and new pedagogies Pedagogy budding
  • Revision of the authority over the “scientific”
  • The manner and time in which communicates the knowledge is traditionally  imparted subverted by access (surf) to: you tube (each minute of video requires production 52horas one day 14,000 hours of video production), Facebook, twitter , etc.

 Alejandro ´s speech is interesting because it recovers debates and perspectives that open new horizons of thought to scenarios in which open knowledge, collaborative participation, collective decisions, social interests will permeate the sense of learning and experiences training and development for life. As quoted Alejandro Piscitelli, you can “pour mieux sauter reculer” (go back before the leap forward thimble) to, as does the American writer and anthropologist and ethnographer first communication Sherry Turkle in education who has the courage to review and critically questioned after a decade starting their grievances in his latest book – review, step back and see with a new perspective and future scenarios.

FUTURE: Is there life in the next stage of formal education?

In this regard, I find it interesting to connect the issues above exposed to those raised by Anka Mulder (*) who show possible answers in relation to the monopoly of knowledge in academic areas. These arguments are cited in the article by D. D. Guttenplan entitled “Open Resources: Knowledge Is Transforming the Way Spread, New York Times.

(*) Anka Mulder is Secretary General of the Technical University of Delft (UK) and made this presentation at the “Open Education Week,” an event held in early March (2012) on the campus of the University of California, Irvine, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the University of Cape Town, Leeds Metropolitan University in England, and the National Science Library in Beijing. I am interested in his approach and referred to the problems of the universities that are experiencing this “cognitive restructuring” to “open knowledge” within their educational walls.

Mudler highlights the importance of open resources and mentions five issues to be reviewing at universities:

-Space for social interaction and knowledge of students
Test-supply feedback in the form of ratings;
-How to maintain institutional reputation (being a good place to learn)
-How to certify what graduates know through accreditation

Mudler said also that:

-There is a kind of skepticism about the tendency to move content online;
-Economic issues is a barrier to the growth of open source;
-Completion rates of students in purely online programs are very low.
-The organizational-educational and research have to adjust their digitalization processes, management and reuse of knowledge objects to the extent that the process can become routine and less exepansive.
-Teachers and researchers will have to achieve a paradigm leap in the ability to acquire, assimilate, exchange knowledge.

Furthermore, Mudler highlighted three important technical aspects of law and society towards knowledge-based e-:

1) Maintain an open and widely accessible network worldwide.
2) Having the most powerful tools for knowledge extraction, which complies with “open” standard for data format and communication protocols.
3) Propose viable plans law to protect authorship.

Finally, several proposals Mudler presents:

• Foster the study of new technologies and methodologies for knowledge production simple, accessible and reusable, with special attention to issues of localization (translation).
• Encourage pioneering experiments, highlighting success stories and best practices.
• The establishment of a board of experts to gather, evaluate and maintain a repository of available technologies of open source software for creating and using knowledge objects and sessions management e-learning, also producing relevant documentation as necessary.
• Establishment of a Standing Committee and open to make the best ‘open’ licensing agreements for digital content, with particular attention to the international legislation
• A regional and inter-annual conference to disseminate achievements.

We could consider that the future scenario of the learning, as Alejandro Piscitelli said in the text quoted above, is to overcome the dualisms (a better to learning with or without ICTs) and polarized positions. Knowledge sharing is a fundamental condition of collaborative research and teaching and learning. In that sense openness to collaborative resources should be considered, also suggestions Ana Mudler-to enable the exchange of research and knowledge as well as their dissemination so as to facilitate their access by interested persons and that needed.

In my opinion, this process will be accompanied by a new media ecology and revision of beliefs and mandates of aspects involving traditional teaching will increasingly focus on education without borders or levels (as it is fragmented by academic years training), but in other more critical that contribute to meaning in life.

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Wiki project in peer to peer learning

A course wiki site is a collaborative resource that may allow members of a community share information and produce contents.

The word “wiki” is a short form of the Hawaian wiki wiki, which means “quick”. The well known wiki is Wikipedia, the most important site for educators that most represents the potential on collaboration on the web (All Wikimedia projects).

Working with wikis was one of the most rewarding experiences that I ever had. In my experience as a professor of Technology Information and Communication in a course at university (UCES), using eduwiki as a learning support tool- and a collection of new media tools like blogs, yahoo groups, social bookmarking- reused for educational purposes, changed my thinking about how students create contents. It is a very democratic process on knowledge creation. Students might generate contents based on their course reading and work.

This was an interesting opportunity to engaging student in participatory learning, with class generated lists of task deadlines and procedures. Using wikis at project teams was also a way to track their work.

In small groups of students, they interact editing their writings, publishing videos, and add tags and links to contextualize information, notes and associated commentaries about weekly thematic several topics from article readings for each weeks.

Anyone can add, modify, delete and re write information and resources (links to other sites, images, videos, podcasts, add pages, documents, etc..) there with several levels of permission to do this.(read only, read and write, read write and eliminate, all of them and administering the site; etc…)

How does it work?

Every page on a wiki has a link that allows edit the page, when clicking it takes you to the editor that enables you to make yours editing. There is a page history that allowed you to revert back to a previous version of the page. It shows you when the changes were made by whom and the content that was changed.

Wikis are next to open source ideal that the collectively production of knowledge is part of the process.

From my experience…

Wiki project was a learning support tool and, in order to let students be oriented to the whole process there were tasks and a timeline to the entire collaborative work. We must provide a training period in order to let them learn the tool -as a community developed resource- and provide learners guidances to clarify goals and of the project before commencing with it.

The whole class work consisted on co create a wiki source in wetpaint tool with contents of many of the concepts of the course program: papers with presentation of the theme, writings to sum up ideas and present cases as examples of applied those ideas, with link references to their blogs and other blogs to contextualize, videos produced by the students themselves with their arguments that support the creation and a glossary of the main concepts with links to this contents. All the entries have had references from the sites and books that were sources for their posts.

Every group of students had different tasks that rotates weekly, so at the end of the project, as they have already read, written, commented and evaluated others students work. So the wiki process had a collaborative revision in which students (while monitoring the progress and provide feedback) can see the evolution and recognize that could always be made better and there the students recognize that the collaboration itself made it a valuable resource.

In the end, in a special class, in groups they made a final presentation (in a PechaKucha style ) to the course (as an audience ) the topics that they co produced and share a synthesis of the learning experience. Some of the wiki experiences in which I participate are here .

What collaborative skills do students developed?

Once they learn how to edit entries and publish information, collaborative skills that students may develop in a wiki process may be: respect others ideas, negotiating with others to agree on correctness, meaning, relevance; etc.

Why wikis on peer learning?

Because wikis may contribute that students teach each other that includes active learning (reflexive, writing, reading, audio visual levels), student engagement, generating and participating learning, reading and writing in the web 2.0, appreciation of multiples perspectives. Appart from the benefits and limitations that mentioned Regis Barondeau, a french rechercher on wikis applied on organizations who takes part on a collaborative wikibook project (part of a collaborative experience in a Social Media Clasroom) coordinated by Howard Rheingold, wiki work is also an opportunity to introduce students to the concepts of open source software, community collaboration, intellectual property and public domain. It contributes to an activity that requires interweaving of thoughts and not as a result of individual thoughts and actions.

Can be applied in any learning environment (between pairs of students, teachers, researchers) and virtual or blended mode, to investigate, as a repository of links and references, as wikibook projects developed by a community interested in a particular idea or topic.

Wetpaint wiki in plain English, You Tube.

Wiki examples:

Wiki Resources
Tiki Wiki
Media Wiki

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What is Peeragogy?

Toward Peeragogy

As a facilitator and professor at university, I am interesting on reflecting, reading and learning about learning environment and learning experiences, specially the ones that emerged through on line communities. That involves collaborative and cooperative work, sometimes in working groups, with dyads or many other ways.

Before I have reflected about Connectivism pedadogy theory in a MOOC by Stephen Downes and George Siemens. This experience was exciting and I have had learned a lot.

Today I am very grateful to contribute to help use a forum and wiki to start creating a Peeragogy handbook on Peeragogy Virtual Course by Howard Rheingold.  Regarding this,  I have the extraordinary opportunity to reflect and write about Peer-organized pedagogy (P2P). As it is a new term for me, I have looked for it:

Peeragogy (which he refers to as “paragogy”), is a collection of “the best practices of effective peer learning.”

“It is also a theory of peer-to-peer learning and teaching that addresses the challenge of peer-producing a useful and supportive context for self-directed learning”.Charles Jeffrey Danoff 
“Peer to peer (P2PU)” Philipp Schmidt believes that a set of specific factors made space for initiatives like P2PU to come about: an abundance of high quality free content, the ability to connect with millions of learners on the Internet, and a series of challenges in higher education.

In the context to start creating a peeragogy handbook Howard exposed some main issues to think:

      • What does a group of people who want to colearn a subject together need to know about methods, pedagogy, resources, tech to put it together themselves?
      • To find, vet, prioritize resources, construct a syllabus and learning activities, and use online media to co-teach, co-learn- dividing the labor of facilitation?

Regarding the questions below, I consider that learning is a social phenomenon that happens on an personal and interpersonal level. In this regard, educational technologies can facilitate the content and make the learning experience a more meaningful and friendly, but only the student will develop their subject knowledge through practice, reflection and skills to get in game the time to learn.

Increased accessibility to information networks enable the development of collaborative learning. And networked people  group learning, can contribute in building knowledge collectively.

Collaborative work in an online group can help to develop skills and competences needed in a learning community.

With regard to the article:”Toward Peeragogy“, Howard wrote  his experience about an experiment peer-to-peer, in a global learning via the internet and social networks. On this article, Howard shared his insights based on his personal experience. I consider valuable that through collective discussion and argument, Howard explained how the tacit knowledge becomes explicit knowledge that he transmitted in formal language.

On the following I write some concepts from several ideas about Howard´s experience regarding Peeragogy that I found interesting because they reflects a self acknowledgment of this theory:

Sharing power (empowering students): “The more I give my teacher-power to students and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning, the more they show me how to redesign my ways of teaching”.

Sharing Interactivity & Collaboration “We had learned that learning to collaborate ought to be collaborative — the teams should interact with the other students in the class as co-responsible learners during the collaboration process, not just as an audience for the final product”.

Sharing responsibility: “I asked several students to take responsibility each week for conveying the main points of the texts and helping me to engage others in classroom discussions about the readings”.

Shared meanings:Co-learners came into my vocabulary and practice when I started experimenting with my own purely online courses”.

Shared Knowledge: “…when I tell them I’m attuned to learning from them while they are learning from me”.

Clearly, Howard ´s experience revealed great flexibility and reflection in the pace of learning and his planning learning path. This had allowed further customization of the process and  resulted in increased motivation for students and Howard himself.

In Howard´s words: “It is a challenge teaching and workshopping participatory media literacy, to make sure we all know how to read and make the new media that we’re all creating together”.

The commitment of “creating together” assumes that collaboration peer to peer is the center of the educational peeragogy experience. That invites us to reflect out of the box from traditional learning.

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WEEK 1 | What Is Connectivism?

I have just applied to “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” which is a Modular Open Online Course (MOOC) that over 12 weeks explores the concepts of connectivism and connective knowledge and explore their application as a framework for theories of teaching and learning.

I have had an experience on a MOOC by the end of July 2010 and it was about Critical Thinking. This concept involves  an essential personal skill that we must use to filter information and develop understanding. The experience was productive and an inner process. I learned in a new way to connect and collaborate to others. I think that “connecting  & collaborating” are challenges during the long life learning because of the complex of the learning environment which is open and always changing.

The characteristics of a MOOC are:

  • Course Open
  • Participatory
  • Distributed
  • Life Long Network Learning

I can agree with Jennymackness in that, in comparisson with CCK2010, this new Session CCK11 has a new distributed learning approach that facilitates learning autonomy. I can see that there is no central meeting place.

I order to be in touch and connected & collaborating:

I have a delicious account

My account in Twitter @maferarenas
My account in Facebook @ferarenas

I expect to experience learning connection and collaboration as Georges Siemens ´s  point of view of Connectivism as a Science of  Change.

Even though there is a link on the course web, I decided to post this video to share with the lecturers that describes what is and what is not a MOOC in an didactic way.

What is a MOOC?

Written and Narrated by Dave Cormier
Video by Neal Gillis

Massive Open Online Courses for Network Creation
by Davecormier

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#PLENK2010 | My learning environment – firth week

A new Massive Open Online Course #PLENK2010 begins.

First week and the topic is to clarify the concepts of Personal Learning Environments (PLE) and Networks and to evaluate it against our own experience with the intent of developing a comprehensive understanding of them.

On the following, there is a Learning Design Diagram (hybrid abstract model) (1) that reflects the passage from Closed Models to Open Models of learning Design from my own experience.

Learning Design Diagram (by @maferarenas)

On the diagram above, we can see the changes that remain on Learning Models Design with the emergency of Web 2.0 environment.
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Learning from Social Network

Regarding to the topic of Openess or Closeness of Education posted by John Mak today on Facebook I found a connection with the topic of an interesting book called “Learning Network Services for Professional Development” By Rob Koper that  Giorgio Bertini refered on Facebook today.

John ´s post motivated me to think on the debate about open and close education with emerging technologies that  is most understood by regarding formal and non formal way.  This is a duality that remains on the discussion of  learning with emerging technologies.

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#CritLit2010 | How can micro blogging help participation?

On this post I would like to reflect about the following topic:

“Learning in social networks.
How can micro blogging help   participation?”

My motivation to this post came from the topic of “Measuring the Unmeasurable: Digital Participation Seminar” that was developed by Steve  Mackenzie on his interesting entry named “Digital Participation, Digital Inclusion and Social Learning”.

I am interested on  micro blogging in a blended learning environment as a quick and easy medium for informal
communication. Since I began to use Twitter (this service of  micro blogging ), I discovered that apart from being in touch with people by telling them in 140 characters “What I am doing at anytime” , I found that Twitter can be an engaging tool for a community of students and teachers (and colleagues) that provides an opportunity of innovation on the (formal and informal) learning experience.

The purpose of this post is to give an overview of the
characteristics on  micro blogging, its contributions on
engaging learning, the critical literacies and the benefits
and problems. Finally, there is a reference to a Twitter
learning experience.
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#CritLit2010 | Serendipity, a way of thinking?

I would like to reflect about the concept of serendipity phenomena in a not scientific way. That is because there is a neuroscience matter and it is out of my domain. Here is a
project “Serendip” which is more connected to scientific resarch.

Is it a way of thinking?.
I think it is a way of “thin slicing“.

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#CritLit2010 | Moebius connectivity

On the story that came from a book ( a university student  once lend to me)  called “Subway Named Moebius,by A.J. Deutsch ”  I found an interesting relationship on the bases on connectivity (S. Downes):

“The principles of connectivity state that as a system makes more connections to other parts of itself, the connectivity of that system increases in an exponential fashion to staggering levels.(1)”

Moebius strip by warwick

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#CritLit2010 final reflections

At the end of the course, I would like to return and close the matter of  semantic language, the cultural dimension as a matter of “linguistic relativity”.

Different in interpretation of the world are based on linguistic differences, but rather in a particular way of seeing the world, which depends on the conditions under which life develops and culture of a community.

Do we only see the world that which is distinctly reflected in the syntactic and semantic categories of language?
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