Graham Attwell’s talk of PLEs at summerschool

June 18, 2008

The workshop was a discussion with students and Graham, it was a bit disappointing… I think mostly very general things were brought up by students and Graham’s answers were same general. Anyway, nice experience of how to spend 1,5 hour of making bubbles with some pearls among. Graham’s point of course was that he is not presenting anything but he is here to start the conversation, in the end he said that for those who feel disappointed, there is the slidecast of 20 min is in slideshare and lots of info is under PLE tag in his blog.

Graham: What is a learning environment?

Stein: Learning environment is all my distributed tools
Lauri: it annoys me that the learning environment is considered technology, there is a glass wall between this and more natural learning environment outdoors.

GrahaM: How much our identity, when we are in the computer environment, differs from our identity in real world?
I want my personal learning environment to represent my knowledge – i think most relevant is Matrix film representation of knowledge.

dougsymington:@cristinacost how do learners acquire a “public voice” in online environments? Obvious differences depending on age. Other issues? #scohrid

Graham: What you do and who you share in learning environments gives the public voice.
Does public voice depend on your learning in networked systems – its an interesting question.

Lilian: Personal learning environments – i have three questions, what is personal, what is learning, what is environment. I think education is manipulation, the idea of personal is MINE, how can i disconnect from it time to time? Does environment needs to be integrated, does someone need to help me to manipulate my environment.

Graham: I call it personal LEARNING environment. Lots of our learning is incidental.
We must often log in to institutional systems and adopt, why not can we come with our own learning environments. Learning environment is not a program or site in internet – its a series of tools which individual learners use across multiple devices which are used in different ways and different contexts.
Learning is not how people use technology, we use different things in different context.

xxx: Most students are too lazy to use PLEs, we must force students to use them.

Martin:You also have to control them, without control they don’t do anything.

Linda: i disagree i think it is only easier for us as teachers to control them. With PLE development the teacher must work hard, students become lazy and lost, but you must do this road with them and also do this road as a teacher. For me is difficult to leave the control to the hands of students.

Alev: if you try to change it, students don’t like it.

Lilian: in French business school young students say we know what is learning, we don’t want to change it.

Graham: Do we teach students to be lazy, sit there and let them to be taught? We come here to learn, not to teach ourselves!
I think when we invent new technology we invent it in the previous society paradigms. Our school system comes from factory system – teacher as factory overseer, when we take computer and build virtual classrooms, we take the same paradigm. Of course it does not work.

Ralf: the educational system is getting even stronger, since kindergarten we try to prepare them for labour market.

Graham: I certainly agree that in periods of paradigm shift the contradictions will get stronger in the society.

Lauri: teachers’ experience comes from history, teachers are always old-fashioned for the students. I think future is so unpredictable, we need a new way to teach providing ability to invent.

Linda: We are people from 20th century teaching people of the future.

Graham: Is important that teachers were less trying to teach technology but also use it by themselves.

Graham: Is very interesting that you drag the conversation back to schools, but i think of learning outside the school, facilitation and encouraging learning outside the school, embedding learning in wider hearts of the society than school, it may actually start addressing the problems where real learning takes place.

Google was being widely used for learning – if you want to learn something you google, you dont go to your research environments that look horrible.
Why if you are using google you expect students will do something different?

Graham: Reclaim lurking!
Paper: Searching, lurking in the zone of proximal development.

All communities are interconnected by notes, nodal learning. Are you just accessing information or are you learning? People do contextually purposeful activities, they are sequenced in the terms of their own learning not by curriculum, they are social. A lot of learning is driven through personal interest that people do by themselves. In educational technology we keep sucked back to e-learning classes.

Start help people to manage their personal learning environments for informal learning.

Ralf: life long learning as a punishment never stops.

xxx: Are we replicating in virtual learning environments the ‘prison’?

Graham: no instead we use the term ‘walled garden’ 🙂

Lilian: what do you think of the tyranny of connection?
Linda: the same tyranny is the books


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