Archive for the ‘Workshop’ Category

Learning 2.0

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

seville1.jpgDoes web 2.0 add something useful and different for learning? What is learning 2.0 and what are the implications of this for learners, teachers and educational institutions? These are some of the questions that were being addressed at an interesting Validation Workshop, held in Seville that I have just returned from.

Graham Atwell has already done some excellent blog posts on this (here and some of the earlier posts), so I’ll try not to repeat what he has already posted.

The validation workshop bought together experts from across Europe to discuss the outputs of a project on Learning 2.0 undertaken by the The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), which is one of the seven scientific institutes of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). IPTS has ca. 200 people working across three main areas:

  • ICT industry in an evolving knowledge economy IOCTIN)
  • ICT applications for society (ICTAS) – learning 2.0 located here
  • Techno-economic foresight in the information society (TEFIS)

seville2.jpgThe workshop was around a study they have undertaken of Learning 2.0. This consisted of a broad literature on Learning 2.0, followed by a series of in-depth case studies (focusing on innovation and inclusion respectively). The case studies were undertaken by the Institut für Lern-Innovation (FIM NeuesLernen) and ARCOLA research

The Learning 2.0 review isn’t up yet on the site - but will be in a few weeks time, having read through it I can recommend it as it provides a comprehensive review of literature in this area and draws out a set of key themes and issues. Christin Redecker was the project leader. She described how they developed a framework – iLANDS (innovative lands for learning) – which helped conceptualise and structure the findings of the review. The following is adapted from the report:

Innovative ways of deploying social computing tools in primary, secondary, vocational and higher education can be discerned:1. (LA) Learning & Achieving: Social computing tools can be used as methodological or didactic tools to directly support, facilitate, enhance and improve learning processes and outcomes.2. (N) Networking: Social computing can be embraced as a communication tool among students and between students and teachers.3. (D) Embracing Diversity: Social Computing can be thought of as a means of integrating learning into a wider community.4. (S) Opening up to Ssociety. Finally, social computing can be conceived of as a tool for making institutional learning accessible and transparent for all members of society.

The workshop focussed on both validating the findings of the study, but also discussing some of the challenges and some of the implications for future practice and policy. Here’s my distillation of some of the things discussed: 
  • Web 2.0+ still a very new phenomena, we need to think more about the potential side effects
  • Issues around vulnerable communities - adolescent users for example – cyberbullying, online grooming, disclosing personal data, etc.
  • Issues about access and skills, the digital divide, the different e-maturity levels in institutions
  • The implications of all of this for teachers and their roles – the fact that many teachers lack direct of experience of social computing, the fact that there are no incentives for use, the lack of vision for how social computing can be used, the lack of training programmes and appropriate policy support
  • What is really new about social computing? Is it more of the same, or is there something significantly different this time?
  • The importance of scaffolding, guidance, pathways, sense making – for both ‘learners’ and ‘teachers’
  • The importance of/need for ‘change of attitude’, it’s more about the way people are using the technologies than the tools per se.
  • There were divide views on ‘learners’ and ‘teachers’ roles in all this, and of course a lot of discussion about the blurring of the boundaries between different roles.






Some of the useful links for me from the event included: