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Social Learning 2.0 Eliminating the Loneliness of the Distance Learners


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Title: Social Learning 2.0 Eliminating the Loneliness of the Distance Learners

Social Learning 2.0 Eliminating the Loneliness of
the Distance Learner(s)
  • Cambridge Distance Teaching and Learning
  • Terry Anderson
Presentation Overview
  • Setting the scene with Robert Frost
  • Setting the Context
  • Values
  • Affordances of the Web
  • Emerging Pedagogies
  • Granularity of Social Learning 2.0
  • Design principles for educational social software
  • Adoption context and ways forward
  • Demonstration of tools in use

The Tuft of Flowers Robert Frost (18741963).
  •                    I went to
    turn the grass once after one    Who mowed it in
    the dew before the sun.    The dew was gone that
    made his blade so keen    Before I came to view
    the leveled scene.    I looked for him behind an
    isle of trees      I  listened for his whetstone
    on the breeze.    But he had gone his way, the
    grass all mown,    And I must be, as he had been,
  •     As all must be, I said within my
    heart,    Whether they work together or

  •     But as I said it, swift there passed me
    by     On noiseless wing a wildered
    butterfly,     Seeking with memories grown dim
    oer night     Some resting flower of yesterdays
    delight.     And once I marked his flight go
    round and round,       As where some flower lay
    withering on the ground.     And then he flew as
    far as eye could see,     And then on tremulous
    wing came back to me.    

  •     I thought of questions that have no
    reply,     And would have turned to toss the
    grass to dry        But he turned first, and
    led my eye to look     At a tall tuft of flowers
    beside a brook,     A leaping tongue of bloom
    the scythe had spared     Beside a reedy brook
    the scythe had bared.     I left my place to
    know them by their name,            Finding them
    butterfly weed when I came.

  • And fell a sprit kindred to my own
  • So that henceforth I worked no more alone
  • But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
  • And weary, sought at noon with him the shade
  • And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
  • With one whose thought I had not hoped to
  • Men work together, I told him from the heart,
  • Whether they work together or apart.

Robert Frost (18741963).
  • We can (and must) continuously improve the
    quality, effectiveness, appeal, cost and time
    efficiency of the learning experience.
  • Learner control and freedom is integral to 21st
    Century education and life-long learning.
  • Education for elites is not sufficient for
    planetary survival

Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada
Fastest growing university in Canada 34,000
students, 700 courses 100 distance
education Graduate and Undergraduate
programs Master Doctorate Distance Education
Only US Regionally Accredited University in
Athabasca University
  • Athabasca University

The Net Changes Everything!
  • Affordances of the Net, Social software, Net 2.0
    (user-generated knowledge), e-learning 2.0,
    semantic web and other jargon names
  • I assume a world of network ubiquity
  • We construct the real uses and applications of
    these technologies
  • 94 of 9-17 Americana teenagers use Social
    Software- with education being a major topic
    (National School Board Assoc, 2007)
  • 81.6 of USA undergrads use social software
  • ECAR EduCause 2007
  • New Net Pedagogies connectivism (George Siemens)

  • As digital resources increasingly offer
    opportunities for networked, collaborative and
    distributed learning and interaction, we need to
    challenge the assumption that the easiest and
    most cost effective approach to organizing
    learning is within the walls of the school. or
    within formal distance education packages!
  • Towards new learning networks, Futurlab

Two Solitudes of Distance Education
Collaborative, Distance education 3rd gen.
video, audio and computer conf
Type C Communications Technology
Independent Study 1st gen. correspondence 2nd
gen. telecourses Type I
Information Technology
From Rumble and Hullsman
Convergence on Social Software
Collaborative, Distance education 3rd gen.
video, audio and computer conf
Type C Communications Technology
Independent Study 1st gen. correspondence 2nd
gen. telecourses Type I
Information Technology
Socially Enhanced Distance Learning Type S
Social Technology
Type S Social Technology
  • Allows users to find, collaborate (either online
    or F2F) and share resources, when needed and when
    desired, for learning
  • Uses intelligent processing to filter, control
    and enhance value
  • Uses Type I and Type C technologies
  • Uses multiple groups, networks and collectives as
    resources for learning

We are now engaged in a grand scheme to augment,
amplify, enhance, and extend the relationships
between all beings and all objects. That is why
the Network Economy is a big deal. (Kelly, 1997,
p. 140).
Educational Social Software defined
  • Networked tools that support and encourage
    learning through face-to-face and online social
    interactions while retaining individual control
    over time, space, presence, activity, identity,
    relationship, and community. (Anderson, 2005)

Interaction Models of Learning
  • Effective interaction between and among learners,
    content and teachers makes authentic learning

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

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


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


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

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
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
Dron and Anderson, 2007
Social Learning 2.0
  • Each of us participates in Groups, Networks and
  • Learning is enhanced by exploiting the
    affordances of all three sources of social
  • Issues, memes, opportunities and learning
    activities arise at all three levels of
  • Certain network tools are optimized for each
    level of granularity - Can they be appropriated
    for effective use?

Social Learning 2.0 Applications in Educational
1. Formal Education in Groups
  • Comfortable, classes and cohorts
  • Increases
  • completion rates,
  • achievement
  • satisfaction (Jung, Choi, Lim, Leem, 2002)
  • 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
  • Long history of research and study
  • Need to optimize
  • Social presence
  • Cognitive presence
  • Teaching presence (see
  • Established sets of tools
  • LMS (VLE) systems
  • Synchronous (video net conferencing)
  • Email and lists

Problems with Groups
  • Confining in time, space pace, relationship
  • Often overly controlled by teacher expectation
    and institutional curriculum control
  • Foster learner dependencies
  • Isolated from the world of practice

Paulsen 1993
Challenges of using informal social software
tools for formal group tasks
  • Control
  • Support
  • Privacy
  • Assessment
  • Ownership and perseverance

Challenge Creating Incentives to Sustain
Meaningful Contribution
The New Yorker September 12, 2005
Example How are Blogs used 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 in our class.
  • Please use your postings to address the issues
    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 VLE and postings will
    be destroyed at the end of the course.

Paraphrased from major UK university graduate
course requirements
Assessing Reflective writing
  • If we dont assess the blog, will students use
  • Only learners should be able to decide on the
    audience - no-one everyone (including Google)
    teacher class program parents etc.)
  • Elgg supports this capacity.

2. Formal Learning with Networks
  • Each of us belongs to many networks
  • Networks use and create artifacts, that are
  • Networks can connect self-paced and independent
  • 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.

Formal Education and Networks (cont.)
  • Provides a commons from which students extract
    and contribute information
  • In school one should learn to build, contribute
    to and manage ones 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

Network Tools
  • Most web 2.0 apps including
  • Profiles Finding significant others
  • Blogging - outside the garden wall
  • Recommendation systems (Slashdot, Diigo, Diig,
  • Scheduling meet-ups for study, debate,
  • Connecting people and resources - syndicating

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)
Networks are todays most widely used public
  • Public spaces have many purposes in social life
  • they allow people to make sense of the social
    norms that regulate society,
  • they let people learn to express themselves and
    learn from the reactions of others, and
  • they let people make certain acts or expressions
    real by having witnesses acknowledge them.
  • (Arendt 1998) from Danah Boyd 2007
  • Group spaces are not public spaces.

Network Learning Applications
  • Examples
  • Extract and comment on a themes from last months
    IT Forum blog results
  • Create an analysis of the affordances of Second
    Life for educational purposes blog results
  • Search and summarize from Technorati the roll-out
    problems in OLPCs 100 laptop program?
  • Using quotes from Hansard and Members Blogs,
    define the Conservatives position on global
    warming, and blog your analysis for group and
    network feedback

Networked Learning example
Choosing the right tool?
http// 1618 apps as of Sept
24, 2007
3. Formal Education and Collectives
  • Personal and collaborative search and filter to
    resolve learning tasks
  • Smart retrieval from the universal libraries of
    resources human and learning objects
  • Requires high skill and literacy skills to
    effectively exploite
  • Requires contribution 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

Collective Application - Amazon
Example 2 Aggregation of Crowds
  • How do you design effective activities for
    Groups, Networks and Collectives ??

Design principles for Social Learning 2.0 (Dron,
  • Emergence, Evolution and Complexity
  • Principle of Adaptability
  • Principle of Evolvability
  • Principle of Stigmergy
  • Architecture and Design
  • Principle of Constraint,
  • Principle of Parcellation
  • Principle of Scale
  • Social Psychology community,
  • Principle of Sociability
  • Embedded opportunity for building relationships
  • Principle of Trust
  • personal control
  • Networking Theory
  • Principle of Connectivity

Are Social Networking and Collective activities
Disruptive Technologies?
  • Disruptive technologies
  • Start out as not being good enough for the
    established market
  • Have scalability, mass production advantages
  • Appeal to non traditional consumers
  • Not understood by mainstream organizations

Clayton M. Christensen Disruptive Technologies
Catching the Wave, his 1997 book The Innovator's
Should you establish a formal institution
presence in FaceBook?
  • Is it their space or our space or
    everyones space??
  • Where will Facebook be in 12 months?
  • We are obliged to explore these contexts as
    responsible professionals

Dont Expect help from your IT department
  • in the bowling alley (pre tornado, rapid
    adoption phase) you are asking a company to adopt
    a new paradigm in advance of the rest of the
    market. This is not in the interest of the IT
    department. It means extra work for them, and it
    exposes their mission-critical systems to
    additional risk. p. 46-47
  • Moores 1995 Inside the Tornado

Great opportunity!
  • The Thomson Learning survey, (2007) n677
  • Significant room for growth in faculty members'
    use of technology
  • 59 percent do not have their own web sites
  • 82 percent have yet to make a podcast, and
  • only ten percent have their own blogs. ...
  • key findings indicate "a large opportunity for
    faculty introduction, education, and integration
    of social networking and media tools, for both
    professional and personal use."
  • about two-thirds of faculty respondents also said
    they do not feel social networking will have an
    effect on how they teach
  • Michael Hotrum

Strategies for Early Adopter Leadership
  • Use the tools you want others to exploit
  • Develop formal and informal learning activities
    in new Network and Collective spaces
  • Develop an action or design-based research
    program to validate and learn from your
  • Communicate the results through your networks
  • Use a new application in every course you teach

Conclusion Benefits of Using Social Learning 2.0
tools and concepts
  • Essential lifelong learning skill
  • Enhances involvement with and awareness of
    learning processes unfreezes old patterns
  • Creates legacy and real world artifacts
  • Supports collaborative and reflective learning
  • Increases integration with institution, teacher,
    other students across the Taxonomy of the Many

(No Transcript)
  • We need to learn to celebrate and harness
    the winds of change, to learn to sail in vast
    seas of information and knowledge while reaching
    towards the wealth of wonders that hurtle by us
    on our journey. Like those that sail the seas, we
    need to learn to respect the destructive power of
    unfettered wind and to avoid the towering waves
    of distraction and the threatening rocks of
  • Educational technology is no longer about
    automation and control it is about boat
    building, the rules of the sea and the art of
    good seamanship. Jon Dron, 2007

"He who asks a question is a fool for five
minutes he who does not ask a question remains a
fool forever." -  Chinese Proverb
Your comments and questions most welcomed!
Terry Anderson Blog
  • WHAT do you make of the fact that these
    institutions do not post their materials? I say
    that we should be as suspicious of them as we
    should of an online pharmacy that does not list
    the ingredients of its "medicine."
  • nyc answer 3 was no answer
    2007-08-21 183134 CraigsList