Internet is all around us. Ubiquitous computing power and telecommunication technologies are growing at an astonishing rate. At the same time, the world is changing rapidly.
Computer simulation, artificial intelligence techniques, cloud computing, green tech-solutions, metaheuristics, location based systems… In this blog, we invite you to explore how technological advances and engineering new knowledge can help us to build new societies, new enterprises, new horizons; a SMARTer ones.
But… are we ready?
Are we ready for a smarter world? Well, first, let’s ask: is our world becoming smarter? Several “hot” trends claim it is: big data, internet of things, and the quantified self.
Big data enthusiasts offer vivid examples of how we can harvest, process, and enjoy the fruits of the huge quantities of data which are waiting at the tip of our mouse. We can predict market trends, analyse weather patterns, monitor government spending. In my area — education — we are told that MOOCs (massive open on-line courses) will allow us to apply the same techniques that Amazon uses when it recommend products to guide learners in their education.
The internet of things, a term coined by author Bruce Sterling, portrays a future where more and more objects in the world around us have an on-line presence. Imagine an egg stamped with a QR code as it is collected in the hen-house. At that moment, that egg can acquire an on-line identity, and can be tracked all the way to your kitchen, where it is cracked into an omelette. The farmer can see where his eggs are going, perhaps choose middle-men that market his products locally (reducing environmental impact). Likewise, you can choose eggs that travelled the shortest distance to your grocers. Finally, your fridge can notice that you’re running low on eggs, and add a dozen to your next grocery order.
The third trend — the quantified self — has the potential to make the previous two very personal. It highlights the growing variety of devices which allow us to constantly collect, analyse, and visualise data about ourselves — biometric data, behavioural data, mood and social data, health data.
The combination of these three can literally make the world around us smarter. We are all aware of the physical landscape we live in, its hills and valleys, roads and gardens, private and public land. The manner in which the resources in this landscape are managed, used, abused or protected is visible to all. But, increasingly we are also surrounded by a data landscape, overlapping and interacting with the physical one.
Devices, objects, and indeed our bodies and minds, are constantly emitting data — and this data is piling up in mountains and flowing in rivers around us. Just like the resources in the physical landscape, this data landscape needs to be managed — so that we ensure that its potential value is shared responsibly and fairly for the benefit of all. Yet, in contrast with the physical landscape, most of us don’t see the data landscape in which we live. This creates a huge advantage for the few who do. Those who have access to our data, and those who know how to mine it.
The only possible remedy for this inequality is education. In my school years, I was taught to cook, sew, and saw, so that I would be able, should I wish, to produce the artefacts I need — and more importantly — understand how they come to be if I prefer to purchase them from others. Nowadays, we need to teach our kids to sew physical objects with digital systems and to cook data streams they produce so that they can always outsmart the world in which they live, rather than others using it to outsmart them.
Inga has written a very nice (and short!) post, reflecting on Stephen Downes’ presentation at LSE yesterday.
I agree with much (most?) of what Stephen says, and I recommend this slidedeck to anyone interested in MOOCs. There are a few issues which raise some questions, so I thought I’d mention those. Stephen Downes refers to #designpatterns and Diana Laurillard ‘s Learning Designer in slide 11. Diana had explored #designpatterns in her book, and we did in ours. Together with Steven Warburton, I’m currently running a project on MOOC design patterns. The examples on slides 12 and 13 are close to proto-patterns.
I would take an issue with slide 30. Very interesting, and important argument – and very timely in relation to #MOOCs. Bird formations are designed by evolution: not the actual pattern, which is dynamical, but the simple rules of behaviour which make it possible. There’s a great analogy to #MOOCs, except that there we’re talking about artificial systems, and hence we have a responsibility to design them. Emergent behaviour will not emerge out of chaos, only out of carefully managed chaos.
As for slide 52, I have an issue with the analogy between neural networks and social networks. Neurons are governed by complex electro-chemical interactions, but have no autonomy. Humans in online social networks are governed by pathetically simplistic interaction mechanisms, but have autonomy. Both are complex, dynamic systems – but they are very, very different. Neural networks have evolved to be amazingly powerful pattern recognition machines. See Andy Clark’s work on brains and predictive coding. Online social networks are good at generating patterns, e.g. #MEMEs, not necessarily at spotting them. This is the root cause of bubbles – whether market bubbles or filter bubbles.
The Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME) invites contributions for a Special Issue that expands on the trends explored in the successful ‘Bristol Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium’ (see http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/8540), which took place March 6-7, 2014. The Special Issue is due to be published in Spring 2015 and is open to Symposium participants and any interested researchers. Papers will be reviewed following the usual JIME pattern of a double blind review by two reviewers.
Requested contributions should offer any combination of conceptual, critical, design, empirical, theoretical or experimental work that addresses at least one of the following three trends of mobile learning state-of-the-art research:
- New patterns of connected social learning and work-based practices
- Learning Design for ‘mobile learning’ at scale
- Exploring the new thresholds of learning enabled by mobile technologies.
Examples of key questions in these research trends are provided below (but should not restrict contributions). We expect the Special Issue to contain up to 6 full length reviewed articles and there may also be capacity for two short ‘position’ papers.
Deadline for the submission of papers: September 22nd 2014.
John Cook, Yishay Mor and Patricia Santos (as co-chairs of the Symposium) are the Guest Editors.
Yishay Mor, Harvey Mellar, Steven Warburton and Niall Winters (Eds.)
“These are challenging times in which to be an educator. The constant flow of innovation offers new opportunities to support learners in an environment of ever-shifting demands. Educators work as they have always done: making the most of the resources at hand, and dealing with constraints, to provide experiences which foster growth. This was John Dewey’s ideal of education 80 years ago and it is still relevant today. This view sees education as a practice that achieves its goals through creative processes involving both craft and design. Craft is visible in the resources that educators produce and in their interactions with learners. Design, though, is tacit, and educators are often unaware of their own design practices. The rapid pace of change is shifting the balance from craft to design, requiring that educators’ design work become visible, shareable and malleable. The participatory patterns workshop is a method for doing this through engaging practitioners in collaborative reflection leading to the production of structured representations of design knowledge. The editors have led many such workshops and this book is a record of that endeavour and its outcomes in the form of practical design narratives, patterns and scenarios that can be used to address challenges in teaching and learning with technology.”
ISBN Paperback: 9789462095281 ($ 54.00)
ISBN Hardcover: 9789462095298 ($ 99.00)
Subject: Educational Technology
Number 8 of the series: Technology Enhanced Learning
Talk next Wednesday: Design inquiry of learning, the learning design studio, and a vision for future learning and teaching environments
I’m giving a talk next week at the University of Haifa. I’ll try to set up a google hangout on air, but the talk will be in Hebrew (and google translate doesn’t do audio as far as I know).
Teacher training and professional development programs aim to provide practitioners with a structured basis of knowledge in psychology, pedagogy and subject matter, which they will apply in their educational work. However, research suggests that practitioners often fail to connect the abstract knowledge they acquire to the
concrete situations in which they work. Consequently, they are left frustrated with the offerings of educational science, and eventually abandon them in favour of what they perceive as good craft.
Two emerging approaches try to address this dissonance: Teacher Inquiry and Teachers as Learning Designers. The first applies Dewey’s ideals of inquiry learning to teachers’ professional development, the second follows the constructionist pedagogy of learning by design, resonating the ideals of Simon, Schon and Papert.
The Design Inquiry of Learning (DIL) combines these approaches, by modelling teacher inquiry after the practices and principles of educational design research. Learners follow a cycle of (1) defining their project, (2) investigating the context in which it is situated and identifying appropriate technopedagogical theories, (3) reviewing relevant cases, (4) conceptualizing a solution, (5) implementing a prototype of that solution, (6) evaluating it and (7) reflecting on the process. The Learning Design Studio is an implementation of the abstract DIL model which draws on the studio tradition in design education.
This talk will present the design inquiry of learning model, and the learning design studio format and review initial empirical results from their application. I will conclude with some theoretical observations and consider a possible vision of future classrooms as a design laboratories of learning.
We are organising a “Mobile Learning Festival” (MobilLearnFest) as part of the “Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium” (6th – 7th March 2014, Watershed, Bristol UK; submission deadline: January 5th 2014).
I was talking to Steven Warburton the other day. He mentioned that he wanted to present PPW (the Participatory Patterns Workshop) and the LDS (Learning design studio) models at a recent talk he gave, and started thinking about how the two relate to each other.
We’ve talked about this in the past, but as always, its only when you need to present something that you really work it out in detail. So Steven came up with this diagram:
When he showed it to his audience, someone said “Oh, that’s Tintin!” and so it will be for eternity. I like the picture, although I’ll have to ask Steven to walk me through it before I can explain it properly.
This got me thinking about the commonalities, synergies and differences between the two frameworks.
|Participatory Pattern Workshops (PPW)||Learning Design Studio (LDS)|
|Is a…||Methodology for collaborative reflection on practice. Originally conceived as a device for educational design research, aimed at eliciting expert knowledge and structuring it in the form of design narratives, patterns and scenarios. Through use, emerged as a powerful form of professional development.||Methodology for Design Inquiry of Learning. Developed explicitly as a device for supporting educational practitioners in their professional development through active inquiry of techno-pedagogical innovations.|
|Suitable for…||Domain experts, seasoned practitioners, multi-disciplinary expert teams.||Novices or experienced practitioners who wish to engage with new pedagogies or technologies or both.|
|Mood..||Reflective, semi-structured, analytical, critical||Creative, productive, intuitive, iterative, emergent|
|Outputs..||Transferable educational design knowledge in the form of design narratives, design patterns, design scenarios, and theoretical contributions.||Application of design knowledge in the form of documented and evaluated educational innovations.|
I would be interested to hear from people who participated in workshops and courses based on these models how this maps to their experiences.
Mor, Y. & Mogilevsky, O. (2013), ‘The Learning Design Studio: Collaborative Design Inquiry as Teachers’ Professional Development’, Research in Learning Technology 21 http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/22054 (researchgate)
Mor, Y. & Mogilevsky, O. (2013), Learning design studio: educational practice as design inquiry of learning ‘Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact’ , LNCS, 8095, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 233-245 (researchgate)
Mor, Y.; Winters, N. & Warburton, S. (2012), ‘Participatory Pattern Workshops: A Methodology for Open Collaborative Construction of Design Knowledge in Education’, Research in Learning Technology 20 http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/19197 (researchgate)
Yesterday I participated in a webinar hosted by ALT, to introduce the recently published special issue of Research in Learning Technology on “the Art and Science of Learning Design“. That special issue, which emerged from the Art and Science of Learning Design workshop, includes 9 papers by 22 authors, on a variety of core issues, representations, practices and tools for learning design.
Seven of the authors who contributed to the special issue joined me: Valérie Emin-Martinez, Helen Walmsley, Michael Derntl, Liz Masterman, Luis P. Prieto. The session was chaired by Caroline Greves, and supported behind the scenes by Martin Hawksey.
Supplement 1, 2013 – The art and science of learning design
|Editorial: The art and science of learning design||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Yishay Mor, Brock Craft, Davinia Hernández-Leo|
|Designing and researching technology-enhanced learning for the zone of proximal implementation||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Sustaining learning design and pedagogical planning in CSCL||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Francesca Pozzi, Donatella Persico|
|In medias res: reframing design for learning||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Peter Goodyear, Yannis Dimitriadis|
|Forward-oriented design for learning: illustrating the approach||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Yannis Dimitriadis, Peter Goodyear|
|Designing and evaluating representations to model pedagogy||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Elizabeth Masterman, Brock Craft|
|Orchestrating learning activities using the CADMOS learning design tool||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Mary Katsamani, Symeon Retalis|
|Learning design Rashomon I – supporting the design of one lesson through different approaches||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Donatella Persico, Francesca Pozzi, Stamatina Anastopoulou, Gráinne Conole, Brock Craft, Yannis Dimitriadis, Davinia Hernández-Leo, Yael Kali, Yishay Mor, Mar Pérez-Sanagustín, Helen Walmsley|
|Learning design Rashomon II: exploring one lesson through multiple tools||PDF HTML EPUB XML|
|Luis P. Prieto, Yannis Dimitriadis, Brock Craft, Michael Derntl, Valérie Émin, Mary Katsamani, Diana Laurillard, Elizabeth Masterman, Symeon Retalis, Eloy Villasclaras|
Call for contributions: Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium and mobiLearnFest, Bristol, 6th – 7th March 2014
John Cook has kindly invited me to co-chair the Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium in Bristol. We thought we want a “proper” academic event, but also want to have some fun and challenge some practices. For example, do you also feel slightly amused when someone stands on a pulpit and shows a powerpoint about mobile collaborative learning? So we thought we’ll include a “mobiLearnFest” element in the event, which will take the symposium out to the streets. To make it even more interesting, we’re experimenting with an open review model for this element of the symposium.
Deadline is Jan. 5th, for a 1000 word abstract.
Oh, and John has also promised (threatened?) to play a live punk rock gig!
The Ideas in Mobile Learning symposium invites papers around the broad themes of ‘innovation, creativity and sustainability’ for mobile learning. However, we have a strong preference that papers address at least one of the following three trends of mobile learning state-of-the-art research (click here for details):
- Focus on new patterns of connected social learning and work-based practices.
- Focus on designing for ‘mobile learning’ at scale.
- Focus on the boundaries of learning that the ‘m’ in m-learning forces us to explore.
The symposium is a research off-shoot of the successful workshop ‘Towards sustainable mobile learning scenarios’ held in Bristol 9th-10th October, 2013. Requested contributions should offer any combination of conceptual, critical, design, empirical, theoretical or experimental work that relates in some way to the symposium’s broad themes and/or the three trends. Places are limited to 40 participants in order to enable a single track event where engaging, interdisciplinary conversational threads will be centre stage.
mobiLearnFest is part of the “Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium, 6th – 7th March 2014, Watershed, Bristol UK. It is an experimental, interactive, hands-on, open session which aims to give participants an opportunity to experience the ideas discussed at the Symposium and engage the general public in our conversation.
mobiLearnFest will showcase a selected number of mobile learning innovations and studies. Submission and selection of these works is completely open – see details below.
mobiLearnFest consists of three phases:
- Demo sprint selected teams will have 150 seconds to present their work to the Symposium.
- Mobile experiences each team will provide a mobile learning experience in the surrounding area, which would offer Symposium participants as well as the general public the oppurtunity to engage with their technology, ideas or research findings.
- Collaborative reflection Symposium participants will reconvene to share their experiences, and consider emerging themes and questions.
The Design Inquiry model (see Fig. 1) combines the iterative structure of educational design research with the principles of inquiry learning . Educational practitioners follow a cycle of:
- Defining their project
- Investigating the context in which it is situated and identifying appropriate techno-pedagogical theories
- Reviewing relevant cases
- Conceptualizing a solution
- Implementing a prototype of that solution,
- Evaluating it
- Reflecting on the process.
Fig. 1. The Design Inquiry model
Although this cycle is presented as a neat linear progression, in reality project work is messy and iterative. Practitioners revisit various points as their understanding evolves.
Diana Laurillard (2013) argues that teaching should be repositioned as a design science, in line with paradigmatic distinction of between natural science which describes how the world is, and design science which is concerned with how it should be. Ideally, we would want teachers to adopt a design science stance towards their practice. However, it would be unrealistic to expect practitioners to allocate the resources required for rigorous and systematic scientific investigation. Instead, we propose a model of design inquiry – a projection of the ideal of design science into realistic settings.
define learning design as “the act of devising new practices, plans of activity, resources and tools aimed at achieving particular educational aims in a given situation”. In that sense, every learning design is a hypothesis about learning: when we design a learning activity, resource or tool we are implicitly claiming that within a given context, learners engaging with the designed artefact will achieve particular educational aims. Such a claim can be the seed hypothesis for a process of inquiry.
Recent studies (e.g. Voogt et al, 2011) demonstrate how training teachers as learning designers enhances not only their practical skills, but also their theoretical understanding . Positioning their design initiatives in an inquiry cycle can further enhance their development, by adding an extra layer of rigor, and connecting educational theory to concrete experiences.
The design inquiry of learning approach is at the core of the Learning Design Studio model , which has been used in several MA courses and in the recently conducted Open Learning Design Studio MOOC (Mor & Mogilevsky, 2013a; 2013b).
Laurillard, D. (2012), Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. , Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group , 7625 Empire Drive, Florence, KY 41042
Mor, Y. & Mogilevsky, O. (2013a), Learning design studio: educational practice as design inquiry of learning, in ‘Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact’ , Springer Berlin Heidelberg, , pp. 233–245
Mor, Y. & Mogilevsky, O. (2013b), ‘The Learning Design Studio: Collaborative Design Inquiry as Teachers’ Professional Development‘, Research in Learning Technology 21
Voogt, J.; Westbroek, H.; Handelzalts, A.; Walraven, A.; McKenney, S.; Pieters, J. & de Vries, B. (2011), ‘Teacher learning in collaborative curriculum design’, Teaching and Teacher Education27 (8) , 1235 – 124