Innovatie in leren is dood. Of toch niet?

ASTD

ASTD

De balans na twee dagen ASTD:
Verstorende technische innovaties – 0
Briljante nieuwe ideeën – 0

Zeg ik daarmee dat het gebied van leren en ontwikkelen stilstaat? Dat er geen nieuwe ontwikkelingen zijn die de moeite waard zijn om te volgen? Nee, dat nou ook weer niet. Wat mij opvalt is dat vernieuwingen in leren en ontwikkelen toch vaak variaties zijn op bekende thema’s. Buckingham’s negen types doen toch wel denken aan die van Leary, of enneagram of het 8 velden model van Joseph Kessels. Mobile learning wordt gezien als ‘the next big thing’, maar bij nader onderzoek toch vooral ingezet als aanvullingen op bestaande methoden. En ja, Storytelling kan heel wat krachtiger worden als je daar elementen uit het theater aan toevoegt (Stevenson). Breinleren? Prima om een meer wetenschappelijke onderbouwing te hebben op je methoden, maar Piaget had het toch al wel aardig ingeschoten. Deze ontwikkelingen binnen het gebied van leren en ontwikkelen vullen aan, voegen samen en verdiepen de huidige mogelijkheden. Maar echte innovatie? Nee, dat nou ook weer niet. Daarvoor moeten we imho toch kijken naar andere vakgebieden. Natuurlijk, ICT is zo’n gebied. Augmented reality kan hele nieuwe mogelijkheden bieden voor leren en werken, Google wave had de dialoog tussen medewerkers op een ander niveau kunnen tillen (maar helaas heeft Google daar de stekker uit getrokken). RFID technologie gaat hard en ook mogelijkheden voor het manipuleren van 3D hologrammen zitten er aan te komen. Is het erg om niet zoveel echte innovaties tegen te komen? Nee, want één ding merk je ook wel op de ASTD; het blijkt toch al heel lastig voor veel organisaties om de huidige best practices op te pikken en doorvoeren.

Evernote als leermiddel

Evernote

Evernote

Evernote is een applicatie die vooral wordt gebruikt om aantekeningen te maken en handig te synchroniseren over verschillende omgevingen waarin je werkt (thuis, werk, klant, mobiel, mac, windows – het maakt eigenlijk niet uit). Het is een tool die vanuit ‘lifehacking’ erg populair is. Gelukkig zien we nu ook toepassingen in leeromgevingen. Kijk bijvoorbeeld eens naar het voorbeeld van Buffy Hamilton. Voor individuele lerenden kan het handig zijn om alle aantekeningen makkelijk te verzamelen. Er kan echter meer; je kunt aantekeningen ook delen met anderen. Zo wordt een mooie invulling gegeven aan ‘social bookmarking’. De vraag is echter waar de plugin’s blijven om daar ook educatieve meerwaarde aan te geven. Het verzamelen en distribueren van content is één, het reflecteren op die content en toepassen in een leersituatie is nog wel een stap verder. Ik ben benieuwd of iemand daar al voorbeelden van kent.

Leerlandschappen als verbindende taal

In veel organisaties bestaat een scheiding tussen de ICT afdeling en HR. Deze scheiding wordt vaak sterker als de organisatie veel gebruik maakt van ICT om de eigen processen te ondersteunen. Denk dan aan overheden (en vooral de uitvoeringsinstanties als Belastingdienst en UWV), energiebedrijven en banken. In de praktijk leidt dit regelmatig tot een scheiding van verantwoordelijkheden.  Eén afdeling is opgesteld voor het invoeren van nieuwe processen en diensten binnen een organisatie (inclusief de ICT) en de HR afdeling vaak voor de ‘reguliere’ HR processen (werving en selectie, personeelsontwikkeling, beloning, ect.). Dit leidt tot een ongewenste situatie voor de medewerkers;

  • veel verschillende  trajecten die op zijn best enigszins gecoördineerd verlopen (maar vaak ook niet),
  • verschillen in onderwijskundige aanpak en aanbieders,
  • lage transfer van de opgedane kennis en vaardigheden naar de praktijk.

Vervelend  voor de medewerkers, maar tegelijkertijd ook zeer inefficiënt (en daarmee kostbaar) voor de organisatie als geheel. Sommige organisaties doen hier iets aan, lees verder…

lees meer Leerlandschappen als verbindende taal

Google Wave Good Practice in Learning

In a recent post, Kathleen Fitzpatrick has given a good description of how you can use Google Wave in class. The post is interesting to read for both novice Wave users, as well as for more seasoned professionals. Main conclusion; Google Wave is great groupware for students working together taking notes and creating shared products.nieuws

The article gives a detailed explanantion on how she setup her class and what happened during.

lees meer Google Wave Good Practice in Learning

Group Directed Learning can be formal and directed too

Jane Hart

Jane Hart

Jane Hart published an update to her acclaimed ‘State of Social Learning Today‘. In it she describes a model that distinguishes between five types of (social) learning that takes place in and around the workplace. The types seem pretty straightforward;

  1. Formal Structured Learning
  2. Personal Directed Learning
  3. Group Directed Learning
  4. Intra-Organisational Learning
  5. Accidental & Serendipitous Learning

I very much like the fact that she not only describes these different types, but also thinks about how to implement social learning within these settings. What is needed in most situations is a new toolset, but especially a new mindset and new skills.

So far so good and kudo’s to Jane. There is one point though in which I disagree with her viewpoint. Jane describes Group Directed Learning as “informal, self-directed, interdependent and autonomous’. In many organisations this can be ‘formal, directed, interdependent and autonomous’. Think of workshops, meetings with set agenda’s and ways-of-working (in which teams learn about progress, risks, goals etcetera), and even out-of-office teamwork for good causes (often ‘pushed’ by executives to boost morale and sustainability figures). The point here is that we have gotten accustomed to these types of group work, but hardly ever think of them as learning exercises. Starting to do so might be a positive way in which we can institutionalize social media as well; we need them for our work, because much of our work is actually learning from and with each other!

A temporal perspective on learning environments

In a summary  post on Education Futures, John Moravec states that we are mostly working from a linear concept of time. This has become the dominant way of thinking in our Western industrialised context. This ‘temponormative’ way of thinking has also permeated our learning environments. Together with Pekka Ihanainen he proposes three different approaches:

  1. Pointillist learning (i.e. random bombardment of chunks of information, think Twitter)
  2. Cyclical learning (compare spiral curricula and e.g. Kolb)
  3. Overlapping learning (combining characteristics of all other approaches)

Moravecs approach is quite intriguing- taking our concept of time as a central idea. He build a model in which the four different approaches can be compared in their pedagogical differences. And that’s where his post ends; describing the different approaches and their effect on learning environments. He concludes with an open question…

The problem is, although we are familiar with many of the technological tools that enable these pedagogies, we still view the process and the experience through the lens of temponormativity. Recognition of this framework with expanded temporal characteristics calls on us to develop new, purposive approaches that embrace and maximize the best of any configuration of de-, re-, and en-pedagogies.

Afforded the post-temponormative capabilities of online environments, how can we best leverage these multidimensional understandings of pedagogical time to facilitate multidimensional learning and meaningful new knowledge production?

There are some examples of environment that use these ‘post-temponormative capabilities’, although examples are still scarce. lees meer A temporal perspective on learning environments

Eerste ervaringen met iPad voor leren

Wilfred Rubens heeft een eerste overzicht samengesteld over de educatieve toepassingen van de iPad van Apple. Hij verzamelde onder andere materiaal van Elliot Masie, Jane Hart en Ellen Barrett.

Wilfred Rubens has created a first overview of educational applications of the iPad. His blog is in Dutch, but allows for a convenient way to find some English resources (e.g. Eliot Masie).

Google Wave in a constructivist learning environment

Google Wave has been around in preview for some time now.

From the moment Google Wave was introduced to the public, the potential for using it in a (collaborative) learning context was clear. Waves were created to discuss the pro’s and con’s for learning. David Hopkins collected some relevant blogs on his weblog (you can find some great explanations of what Google Wave actually is and which lingo is used in waves). Backchannelling, collaborative note-taking, chatting, class management and voting are all mentioned as possible uses of Google Wave. There is also some debate about its potential use to solve problems in the Blackboard or other LMS environments (especially the open source ones).

Looking at these discussions I am baffled; they all stem from a instructivist paradigm!

This is weird. The whole idea of Google Wave is to create an environment for co-creation. A notion that is central to the Constructivist/Constructionist approach to learning. So, taking these paradigms and what I experienced using Google Wave myselves, here’s what we’ve learned:

  1. Google Wave is best regarded as a communication service within a service oriented architecture
  2. Extentions and robots for Google Wave should allow users to tagg their wavelets and blips (‘this is feedback’, ‘this is a learning question’)
  3. Investing in webservices that make use of the metacontent from a wave makes ‘old’ LMS systems reap the benefits of Google Wave
  4. The often-heard comment of low user friendliness is rooted in sticking to old ways of working

Allow me to explain…

lees meer Google Wave in a Constructivist Learning Environment

European Partners explore Language Learning through Social Media

The University of Luxemburg has initiated a pan-European initiative to investigate the possibilities of using social media for language learning.

14 Partners, from very different backgrounds, share their knowledge and ideas. The initiative is supported by the European Commission, DG Education and Culture, Lifelong Learning Programme and specifically targets 6 areas:

  1. Language learning, social media and social inclusion
  2. Language learning, social media and development of language resources
  3. Language learning and teaching through social media in new EU countries: the case of Romania, Latvia and Poland
  4. Language learning, social media and multilingualism
  5. Language learning through social media: evolution  of teaching practices
  6. Language learning and teaching in formal and non formal contexts through ICT

In terms of ‘practice as you preach’, the participants will use different media to include the public.

The field of language learning through social media requires an open approach, due to its novelty and high potential in language pedagogy. Although teaching and learning through social media is a reality (although at different levels and with differing impact in Europe), there is a lack of a systematic approach as to practices, methods, approaches and challenges at European level. Our network responds to this need by gathering data on existing practices, methods and approaches and disseminating them to the general public.

The first webinar will be the 28th of April. The project has a Twitter account as well.

Siftables for learning

In recent weeks I have had the privilege to speak with David Merrill from Sifteo about their Siftables. In fact, they were so gracious to send me a set of mock-ups to get the feel of using them. They feel great!

Ever since Dave’s public appearance at the TEDx I have been intrigued with the possibilities Siftables can have for learning. The problem was; I kept on finding applications that can be dealt with by other means as well. Normal computer interfaces, smartboards, multi-touch displays, paper and pencil…. I decided to share my enthousiasme and conundrum with my NetOO colleagues in a TE-Learning event. Some of the more promising ideas later in this post.

Naturally, the former MIT guys have been tinking about applications for learning as well. Their main conclusion about the affordances of Siftables for learning is that they stimulate the haptic system and  are great for spacial learning. So, with that in mind I decided to ask my colleagues for their ideas.

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