Social Software & learning

“In the electric age, when our central nervous system is technologically extended to involve us in the whole of mankind and to incorporate the whole of mankind in us, we necessarily participate… in the consequences of our every action.” (Marshall McLuhan 1964, p4)

Dieses Zitat von 1964 stammt aus dem Artikel "Social software and learning – An Opening Education report from Futurelab" (By Martin Owen, Lyndsay Grant, Steve Sayers and Keri Facer) [hier]. Ein interessanter Artikel, der vor allem die Verbindung von (e)learning und Web 2.0 aufzeigt, um hier Ansätze zur Förderung von Kompetenz in diesem Bereich zu geben. Nachfolgend einige interessante Zitate aus dem Artikel:

This paper is focused on exploring the inter-relationship between two key trends in the field of educational technologies. In the educational arena, we are increasingly witnessing a change in the view of what education is for, with an ever-growing emphasis upon the need to support young people not only to acquire knowledge and information, but to develop the resources and skills necessary to continue learning throughout the rest of their lives. In the technological arena, we are witnessing the rapid proliferation of technologies which are less about ‘narrowcasting’ to individuals, than the creation of communities and resources in which individuals come together to learn, collaborate and build knowledge. It is the intersection of these two trends (the increased focus on ‘learning to learn’ with the emerging affordances of what has become known as ‘social software’) which, we believe, offers significant potential for the development of new approaches to education.

From e-learning to c-learning?Call it community learning, communicative learning or collaborative learning, at its heart learning is a social process. Jay Lemke, in his consideration of reengineering education, suggests some ways we ‘naturally’ learn in a contemporary environment:

  • read a book or surf the web for information
  • ask a friend or an expert to explain something
  • tinker with things and try to figure them out
  • get a group together to find an answer or make something happen
  • watch other people doing something and try it for yourself
  • explore a new territory, alone or in company
  • talk to people
  • write and make diagrams, drawings, movies, music, multimedia
  • invent new things or ideas of your own
  • compare different ideas and experiences
  • ask why? and how? and how else?
  • all of the above, in some combination.

Most of this involves some involvement with other people either through conversation or by engaging with the ways other people have put their thoughts into media. Learning, from this perspective, is a process of rich and diverse encounters and experiences; it suggests that “it takes a village to educate a child” (Lemke 2002).

John Seely Brown (1999) has looked at how the ubiquitous use of ICT is leading to changing ways of learning. He puts forward four different ways in which learning is changing.

  • There is a new literacy of information navigation – to know how to navigate through confusing and complex information spaces. This is transcending the ability to use a search engine – it is also about the
    other ways that pointers to knowledge arise in technical and social forms (eg blogs, RSS).
  • There is an increasing use of discovery-based or experiential learning, especially using the web. Knowledge in digital form
    inherently and explicitly links to other sources – widening the boundaries rather than converging to a single source. Information on-demand allows for inquiries to be made as a result of ongoing activity.
  • There is a “substantially more subtle shift” pertain
    ing to forms of reasoning. “Reasoning, classically, has been concerned primarily with
    deductive, abstract types of reasoning. But what I see happening to today’s kids as they work in this new digital medium has much more to do with bricolage than abstract logic. Bricolage, a concept originally studied by Levi Strauss many years ago, relates to the concrete. It has to do with the ability to find something – an object, tool, piece of
    code, document – and to use it in a new way and in a new context.”2

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