Educational Social Software EDMEDIA 2007


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Social Learning 2.0: 

Social Learning 2.0 Ed-Media 2007 Terry Anderson with lots of help from Jon Dron


Overview Traditional Opening Joke Setting the Context Affordances of the Web Emerging Pedagogies Granularity of Social Learning 2.0 Social Learning 2.0 across: Personal Learning Environments Formal education delivery Institutional learning Design principles for educational social software

Why is E-Learning Better Than Sex?: 

Why is E-Learning Better Than Sex? If you get tired, you can stop, save your place and pick up where you left off. You can finish early without feeling guilty. You can get rid of any viruses you catch with a $50 program from McAfee With a little coffee you can do it all night. You don’t usually get divorced if your spouse interrupts you in the middle of it. And If you're not sure what you are doing, you can always ask your tutor.

Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada: 

Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada * Athabasca University Fastest growing university in Canada 34,000 students, 700 courses 100% distance education Graduate and Undergraduate programs Master andamp; Doctorate – Distance Education Only USA Accredited University in Canada Athabasca University


Values We can (and must) continuously improve the quality, effectiveness, appeal, cost and time efficiency of the learning experience. Student control and freedom is integral to 21st Century life-long education and learning. Education for elites is not sufficient for planetary survival

The Net Changes Everything!: 

The Net Changes Everything! Affordances of the Net, Net 2.0, e-learning 2.0, Semantic web and related other acronyms: Content Communication andamp; Agents (Anderson and Whitelaw, 2004) New pedagogies

Affordance 1. - Massive Amounts of Content: 

Affordance 1. - Massive Amounts of Content Any information, any format, anytime, anywhere Customizable content Interactive content User created content Open access content

Wiki and Open Courseware: 

Wiki and Open Courseware Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. – Terry Foote, Wikipedia

A Tale of 3 books: 

A Tale of 3 books Open Access 84,000 downloads plus indiv. chapters 350 hardcopies sold @ $50.00 Free at Commercial publisher 934 copies sold at $52.00 Buy at Amazon!! E-Learning for the 21st Century Commercial Pub. 1200 sold @ $135.00 2,000 copies in Arabic Translation @ $8.

Content - conclusion: 

Content - conclusion Cheap or free Need to learn to develop business models and culture allowing us to share and re-use content Don’t build your value on your content Content is necessary, but not sufficient, to create a quality educational experience

Affordance #2High Quality, Low Cost Communication: 

Affordance #2 High Quality, Low Cost Communication Multi mode Synchronous, asynch Text, audio and video A2A (avatar to avatar) Stored, indexed and retrievable Reflective, emotive and cognitive Mobile Embedded andamp; Pervasive Learner, teacher, community and commercially created


Chaz Maloney


Challenge: Creating Incentives to Sustain Meaningful Contribution The New Yorker September 12, 2005

What’s so great about Face-to-Face?: 

What’s so great about Face-to-Face? 'I learned more about Clive by reading his introduction tonight online than I did in our entire course together last summer' (Kerlin, R-A, 1997)

Affordance 3Agents: 

Affordance 3 Agents Google Alerts MeetingWizard RSS Athabasca Freudbot AIML E-Advisor Are you ready for AU? Agents

Affordances of the Educational Semantic Web (Anderson & Whitelaw, 2004): 

Affordances of the Educational Semantic Web (Anderson andamp; Whitelaw, 2004) Content Communication Agents WIKI Blogs FaceBook Flicker Filtering SecondLife Calendaring Geotracking Learning Email, Skype, IM Learning Objects Open Access Press Google Alert RSS

Interaction Models of Learning: 

Interaction Models of Learning Effective interaction between and among learners, content and teachers makes learning happen.


Learner Teacher Content Educational Interactions Learner / teacher Teacher / content. Teacher / teacher Content / content Learner / learner Learner / content Anderson (2002) Equivalency Theorem


Learner Teacher Content Educational Interactions Learner / teacher Teacher / content. Teacher / teacher Content / content Learner / learner Learner / content Anderson (2002) Equivalency Theorem Group as educational actor Jon Dron, 2007


Learner Teacher Content Learner / teacher Teacher / content. Teacher / teacher Content / content Learner / learner Learner / content Anderson (2002) Equivalency Theorem Group as educational actor Stephen Downes, 2006 Stephen Downes, 2006


Learner Teacher Content Learner / teacher Teacher / content. Teacher / teacher Content / content Learner / learner Learner / content Anderson (2002) Equivalency Theorem Group as educational actor Anderson, 2007 Dron andamp; Anderson

Models of the Many : 

Models of the Many 'Collective representations exist outside of individual consciences, it is because they derive not from individuals taken one by one, but from their interaction, which is very different' Emily Durkhiem Sociologie et Philosophie (1963, p. 35-36) translation Masse

Evolutionary Model Of Collective Conscious Creation (from Durkheim, ): 

Evolutionary Model Of Collective Conscious Creation (from Durkheim, ) Mechanistic Organic Emergent Primitive, similarity, dependence Family, tribe and religion orientated Modern Specialization Division of Labour Mass media, State institutions Post modern, Net Based, networked, Ubiquitous, weak and strong links, Syndication andamp; Aggregation , Individuated media, Collective Consciousness

Collective Conscious: 

Collective Conscious 'Being placed outside of and above individual and local contingencies, it sees things only in their permanent and essential aspects, which it crystallizes into communicable ideas.  At the same time that it sees from above, it sees farther; at every moment of time it embraces all known reality; that is why it alone can furnish the minds with the moulds which are applicable to the totality of things and which make it possible to think of them' (Durkheim 1954 (1912), p.444'). ...The state of anomie is impossible whenever interdependent organs are sufficiently in contact and sufficiently extensive. (1972, p. 184 The Division of Labor in Society)

Choosing the right tool?: 

Choosing the right tool? 1313 logos as of June 22, 2007

Taxonomy of the ‘Many’Dron and Anderson, 2007: 

Taxonomy of the ‘Many’ Dron and Anderson, 2007 Group Conscious membership Leadership and organization Cohorts and paced Rules and guidelines Access and privacy controls Focused and often time limited May be blended F2F Metaphor : Virtual classroom


Group Network Shared interest/practice Fluid membership Friends of friends Reputation and altruism driven Emergent norms, structures Activity ebbs and flows Rarely F2F Metaphor: Virtual Community of Practice


Metaphor: Wisdom of Crowds

Social Learning 2.0: 

Social Learning 2.0 Dron and Anderson, 2007 Collective

Social Learning 2.0: 

Social Learning 2.0 Each of us participates in Groups, Networks and the Collective. Learning is enhanced by exploiting the affordances of all three sources of social learning. Issues, memes, opportunities and learning activities arise at all three levels of granularity. Certain network tools are optimized for each level of granularity

Social Learning 2.0 Applications in Educational Contexts: 

Social Learning 2.0 Applications in Educational Contexts

Formal Education and Groups:: 

Formal Education and Groups: Classes and cohort Increases: completion rates, achievement satisfaction Same logistic challenges as for institutional, campus -based learning Can operate ‘behind the garden wall' to allow freedom for expression and development - refuge for scholarship

Formal Learning and Groups: 

Formal Learning and Groups Longest history of research and study Need to optimize: Social presence Cognitive presence Teaching presence ( Established sets of tools – LMS Synchronous (video andamp; net conferencing) Email

Problems with Groups: 

Problems with Groups Confining in time, space pace, andamp; relationship Often overly confined by teacher expectation and institutional curriculum control Isolated from the world of practice Paulsen 1993 Relationships

Challenges of using informal social software tools for formal tasks: 

Challenges of using informal social software tools for formal tasks Control Support Privacy Assessment Ownership and perseverance

Example: The Educational Blog: 

Example: The Educational Blog Structural characteristics: Multimedia Chronological order Web based, easy to edit Networked Characteristics Linked to other sites Syndicated (RSS, Atom etc) Comments and Trackbacks– spammed Pedagogical Reflective, personal, archival, communicative, public

How are Blogs used today in Groups?: 

How are Blogs used today in Groups? 'You are required to post at least two messages to your blog and respond to the postings of at least two other enrolled students. Please use your postings to address the issue discussed on pages 34-38 of your text. Your post and responses will be assessed for 10% of your final grade To protect your privacy, your blog is not accessible outside of the LMS and postings will be destroyed at the end of the course.' Paraphrased from major UK university graduate school requirements

Assessing Reflective writing: 

Assessing Reflective writing If we don’t assess the blog, will students use them?? 'It is important to distinguish from the start journals that are essentially available for public or semi-public inspection and those which are designed to prompt reflection. It is misleading to treat all forms of journal writing as equivalent to each other.' Boud, 2001 Only learners should be able to decide on the audience (no-one, everyone (including Google), teacher, class, parents etc.) Elgg has this capacity.

Formal Education and Networks: 

Formal Education and Networks Provides resource from which students’ extract information In school one should learn to build, contribute to and manage one’s networks Through exposure provides application and validation of information and skills developed in formal learning Basis for ongoing support and advise from alumni and professional communities

Formal Learning with Networks: 

Formal Learning with Networks Each of us may belong to many networks Networks use and create artifacts, that are searchable Networks connect self-paced and independent learners Network leadership arises in multiple formats Supported by multiple, mostly free communications Allows connectivism to flourish (Siemens 2006) 'It is not what you know, but who you know to ask.'

Network Learning Applications: 

Network Learning Applications Examples: Extract and comment on the themes from last month’s IT Forum Create an analysis of affordances of Second Life for educational purposes How is the $100 laptop integration proceeding in Brazil? Using quotes from Hansard and Members Blogs, define the Conservatives’ position on global warming, and blog preliminary results for internal and external feedback

Network Tools: 

Network Tools Most web 2.0 apps including: Profiles: Finding significant others Blogging - outside the garden wall Recommendations using highest quality content (Slashdot, Diig, Cite-u-like) Scheduling meet-ups for study, debate, collaboration

Formal Education and Collectives: 

Formal Education and Collectives Personal and collaborative search and filter for learning tasks Smart retrieval from the universal library of resources – human and learning objects Requires high skill and literacy skills to effectively extract Need to develop and practice skills and interest to easily contribute to the collective (tagging, sharing whenever possible,leaving traces) (only 16% of users are taggers (Pew, 2005) Allows discovery and validation of academic norms, values and paradigms


Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating. They are important partly to ensure against fragmentation and extremism, which are predictable outcomes of any situation in which like-minded people speak only with themselves (Sunstein, 2001, P.8)

Wisdom of Crowds: 

Wisdom of Crowds The concept is simple but brilliant; Ask enough people simple yes or no questions with knowledge of the demographic data of those you ask and you create an extremely useful resource. Offer those same people access to the data they've helped build Let those same people define the questions they're asked and you've created a self-propelling phenomenon that taps the wisdom of diverse communities.


Steven Warburton, 2007


How do you design effective activities for Groups, Networks and the Collective ??

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0: 

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0 Emergence and Evolution: Principle of Adaptability; Principle of Evolvability; Principle of Stigmergy (from FLYTREE) (Dron, 2007)

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0: 

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0 Architecture and Design; Principle of Constraint, Principle of Parcellation; Principle of Scale. (Dron, 2007)

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0: 

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0 Social Psychology andamp; community, Principle of Sociability Embedded opportunity for building relationships; Principle of Trust – personal control Photo by Eye Press. (Dron, 2007)

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0(Dron, 2007): 

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0 (Dron, 2007) Networking Theory Principle of Connectivity all components linked (syndicated) to each other OpenID Windley (Dron, 2007)

Conclusion: Benefits of Using Social Learning 2.0 tools and concepts: 

Conclusion: Benefits of Using Social Learning 2.0 tools and concepts Lifelong learning skill Enhances involvement with and awareness of learning process Creates legacy and real world artifacts Supports collaborative learning Supports reflective learning Increases integration with institution, teacher, other students andamp; larger communities

Strategies for Social Software Adoption: 

Strategies for Social Software Adoption Use the right tools for the right context Social software applications must: Radically improve access, enjoyment and effectiveness of learning and teaching. Must not significantly increase costs, while developing opportunity for new revenues Must be visible, easy to use and accessible

Importance of this issue: 

Importance of this issue Educational challenges are not met through evangelism, threats or technologies alone. Change happens when teachers, administrators and learners make it happen Perceived benefits – Personal Readiness - Organizational Pressure – Inter-organizational Chwelos; Benbasat; Dexter, 2001) Each of us is an agent of change


'You have to be confused before you can reach a new level of understanding anything' - Dudley Herschbach – Nobel Prize winner (Chemisty) Forward is a direction – not a speed!!

“"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever."-  Chinese Proverb : 

''He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.' -  Chinese Proverb Terry Anderson Blog: Your comments and questions most welcomed!

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