Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Stephen Downes on a model of personal learning #learningtechday



STephen looks great while he takes the stage, and delivers an authentic, humorous talk with lots of ideas to reflect upon, while all the time simply sharing his experiences and thoughts. I must admit… I have a lot of speaking flow to learn.

Streaming life from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnI5NBo13y4 see the full talk there.

A model is somethign that seems to always be a defined object, but research and life shows that the application of a model predetermines what comes out of a model. You practically determine what comes out at the other end… how well does this approach increase learning … the conclusion is built into the model. You always find what you are looking for and a model does just that.

If a model comes into play, i twill only be at the end of the journey. Stephen refers to old age, the moment where you have the idea that ‘I get it, finally!’.

What is missing in the standards based approaches and the models-based approaches is what we used tot hink of as BAD (Bricolage, Affordances and Distribution). Technology should be build for affordances… not predicting what people will do with that technology (Inge: think Iron Bridge approach).
(
A day in the life of Stephen…. Tech selections and purposes
Sharing what I do, looking for similarities and then having a laugh at what we do.
The tech we are introduced to, is the tech that we will absorb to use, that is the ‘real point of reference’.
(everycloudtech.com is used to filter out spam, but still a lot is still).
Postlayer.com
The starting page is an overview of all he does.
Using RSS feeds to get information from others (feedly).
Stephen does not care about too much information, but to make sure he is getting enough of a snapshot of the world. IN a sense the feeds are random, as they multiply as the information is written.
OPML is then shared by entering it into feedly.
From there, he selects (from getpocket.com) the content he wants to have a closer look at. A searchable list.
Social media: twitter, linkedin (Microsoft acquired it, so now they might go to expensive learning quite quick – 30 dollars a month), plus.google.com (baseball)
Newer, distributed social networks Stephen currently uses: joindiaspora.com , app.net and what works still mastodon.social/@downes  (inge: check out mastodon!)

Learning:
codecademy.com/learn (learned basic python on it)
Stackoverflow.com is great, you type a question into google on programming and you choose the stackoverflow page.

Learning through webinars: CIDER and elearninggguild.com

The harvest of these informations is saved on gRSShopper http://grsshopper.downes.ca
Open coded, creating library (now database of others), 280.000 posts in the last 20 years… WOW! These focused posts drive you to be consize and brief.

Reflection of the talk
What has come out of all of that: the concept of the personal learning environment
No one actuallyhas been able to build it … yet.
The PLE connects to all the stuff you need or at least think is important.
The big question is: how do you pull this off?
This is completely distributed, not within one single online entity
Internet is capricious at this point in time, as things started frequently get deleted as well (in terms of software built by corporates)
Decisions to be made: what information should it record, who owns the data, how private, what should it do, what would a person do with it, where exactly is a PLE located?
So all of us should have a PLE.
So where do we connect with to do stuff with people.
There are millions of ways to connect with each other, but the network is currently broken as a lot of software cannot communicate with each other.
Properties of the network: how do people find each other? Services? How do they communicate? Is it secure? What do they share? How does a single PLE work with services? Do we need centralized registries?
We need to work decentralized for these PLE, as this will prevent total shutdown.

Why a personal learning environment?
What is the value proposition for a PLE?
Note: value is not what you can do, it is how you benefit
This is usually stated in financial terms (earn more, cost less)
Can also be stated in terms of quality: faster, bigger, better
And can be non-financial goods: satisfaction, happiness, memories… that is what is going to matter more than the financial benefits… but also different for all the people.

Education is not a search problem
It is not about finding, curating the best resources. Quality really matters only if you really did not want that learning resource anyway. If you are really engaged, you will make due with marks on a rock, … if it solves your problem…

Education is to a large extend a making problem - making
Lightroom.adobe.com (pictures), affordable because it is now in the cloud
Audacityteam.org/download (for recording as well from radio or audio sources 😊
Docs.google.com sharing documents, commenting…
Rebus community or open textbook library…
Movies: for this live stream on YouTube Stephen used  xsplit.com  combining slides with video.

Sharing
www.downes.ca/edradio.htm (from selected podcasts)
slideshare.net/downes for slides, sometimes combined with audio (also from this talk).

New learning paradigms
See carrie Paechter, metaphors of space in educational theory and practice
http://www.tandofline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14681360400200202
The original MOOC was a map, where the collective learners explore and map
Personalisation are currently: rules-based events, user models, adaptive learning… Stephen sees two approaches to this. Personalised learning is serendipitous, you do it for yourself, it is creating your own learning experience. The outcomes are not certification, but present inner network, your own persona, which manifests your interactions, experiences… extended cognition, including the network.