Monday, March 27, 2006

Kickstarting my Web2.0 networked learning

Tomorrow I deliver a workshop on using a certain Learning Management System. To prepare I spent two hours deciphering the in's and outs of how a teacher simply communicates with the student, not much to say apart from arghhh!! It's a mess of intricacy, unnecessary clicks and deciphering of links just to work out how to tell the student 'Good work on your paper'! If you can find the paper!!

Speaking to the teachers about what they want from the workshop I got the sense that they where traumatised! and put off by the experience and frustration of a LMS. Now, 3 years later, they want to try again (the word nightmare was used) I'll show them how it works (what they asked for) but really... it was a big ask to get them to use this thing to manage their class 3 years ago. I don't think they'll find the technology anymore inspiring.

I like alot of others have been inspired of late by the 'idea' of networked learning; the Web2.0 technology that enables the networks to form, blogs, RSS great!! there is alot of talk, if you want to know more I recommend Stephen Downes recent podcast.

Networked learning, networked connections with people, networked relationships with people, networking to inspire and learn from each other, the idea is great!! Its easily said and conceptualised, easy in the real world, shooting the breeze around the training room. Working virtually it takes a sustained effort.

After the LMS training tomorrow I'll show the group how to pull together their own personal learning environment, pulling together a variety of Web2.0 technologies.
The ability these technologies afford together, to form connections and networks with other people is great. Lots of free easy to use technologies loosely joined that can be pulled together for each new teaching circumstance.

My job as a web developer for the past 5 years has been all about producing educational stuff with technology, stuff to be consumed. Thats changing- rapidly I now have to start to think how I can show teachers how relationships networking and participate with others in professional dialogue is off benefit in day to day. A tough call?

I have created the wiki to present networked learning examples and resources. I invite others to contribute.



Leigh Blackall said...

nice to see you using that nice domain you have there Stephen. Die LMS die! Kill it, kill it good.

stevenparker said...

Ha yes Leigh, I have visions of some kind of Pulp Fiction Samuel L Jackson, John Travolta scene with those LMS lines :-)

Leigh Blackall said...

Hey steven, can you guys come up with some code to some how add in the template (or elsewhere) that will give the option for someone leaving a comment on a blogger site to receive an email when comments are added in return?

Now that would be a great thing to spend NSW DET development money on!

Leigh Blackall said...

better email me if you think its possible, as I may forget to come back here..

Jo Kay said...

Hmmmm... interesting techie challenge from Leigh!

At least now I have an excuse to go fiddle with blogger code some more! ;-)

Sean said...

Oh my God! It awakes! Glad to see you blogging again, Steven. If all goes well I should be engaged in a few projects around the theme of Networked Learning soon. You may want to be involved. You will certainly be welcome!

stevenparker said...

Ha Ha yes it awakes :-) what can I say, shuffling feet and staring at ground.

Sean would off course be very keen to be involved in your new network learning projects. Feed the network. Drop me a line or put a link into the teacherconnect wiki.

Leigh had a look at blogger and don't see any apparent way of subscribing to a comment thread (like a forum thread).

No apparent functionality in blogger (Jo's techie fingers are twitching), you would need to supply an email address in choosing to follow comment responses or I wonder whether you could even get an RRS feed of a comment thread.

Will have to look at this more closely if we can come up with a solution it's a great way of fostering a continum of discussion and networking around an individual blog post subject. Why hasn't blogger thought off this. Will send feature request.

Jo mentions wordpress has a subscribe to comments feature.

First one to come up with a solution gets a Mars Bar.