Digital Visitors and Residents – revising

In a 2011-2013 joint project of Oxford University and OCLC Research, funded by JISC, the researchers (primarily David White, Alison La Cornu and Donna M. Lancos) set out to gain a deeper understanding of:

  • what motivates users to engage with specific aspects of the information environment in a given context;
  • understanding the complex context that surrounds individual engagement with digital resources, spaces and tools;
  • how they acquire information and why they make the choices they do (JISC Guide, p.1-2).

During the project the V&R continuum was developed to map individual and group engagement with digital technology for learning in an attempt to develop better approaches to and understanding of online behaviour.

Visitors use the Internet as a tool to accomplish a task or have a “need” to be find information or use a tool. They do not set out to leave a trace – entering and exiting without actively leaving a trace of their presence or use and not contributing.

Resident users maintain an online persona, and “live” a part of their lives online, often through contributions to social media networks, blogs and uploading images and other digital artefacts. “The web has become a crucial aspect of how they present themselves and how they remain part of networks of friends or colleagues.” (Tallblog).

Visitor and Resident characterisations represent two extremes on a spectrum/continuum of online behaviour. The continuum provides a simplistic way to describe a wide range of online engagements as well as a useful way to understand motivations in different contexts. When this linear continuum is plotted on a two-axis system with another variable – for example professional and personal use – the schematic mapping provides insight into a user’s online engagement.

The initial ideas were put forward in a post on the TALL blog about Online Education at Oxford and was reported to the academic community in an article in First Monday.

Here are links to other sources relevant to the project:

In their research quantitative evaluation tools such as surveys and compiled statistics were used but found to create a “narrow picture of performance”. They then further employed qualitative research methods (diaries and interviews) to gain insights into the “how” and “why” of user engagement with technology. For the INF537 research project I plan to investigate another angle: by using autoethnography methods, I will add a personal touch when using the V&R framework to gather and analyse data and map my online behaviour. Through this investigation I hope to gain insight into how and why and my online behaviour has changed during the two years of my Med KN&DI studies. I predict a shift towards the Resident behaviour pattern and believe that this will be explainable in terms of my increased understanding of and commitment to connected open learning practices.

I first blogged about Visitors or Residents in an online world in June 2017 and undertook to return to this at a later date – as promised, I am back now…

Ready, steady, INF536!

I am a school librarian in the secondary division of an international school in Zürich, Switzerland. I am now half-way with the MEd (KNID) course and it has felt as if I am climbing the Alps since day 1! It has been much harder and much more worthwhile than I could have expected. I have learnt a great deal through the subjects that I have finished, but up to now I had a reasonable idea of what I was taking on. Not so with this course. I know nothing about “design”. Zip. I am really stepping out of my comfort zone.

Our Middle school library seems to be in a perpetually evolving beta-state as we try to create a place that is student-centered, a space that facilitates and stimulates learning. Our school’s mission statement says: “At ICS we are committed to providing a supportive and enabling learning environment in which all members of the community are challenged to achieve their individual potential, encouraged to pursue their passions, and expected to fulfil their responsibilities. This is in essence what I want our library to be:  part of the learning environment where this happens. A lofty goal I know, and since I have no clue how to go about it, there will be a lot of reflecting happening during this module!

image by darkmoon1968 downloaded from pixabay

Like all learning”, I read in Module 1.1, “it will take time, effort and motivation to learn to think like a designer” (School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, 2015). I will be motivated, but will I have “the mental bandwidth” and time to learn the design skills needed? Time will tell…

Here is the plan:

  • I will continue to blog regularly, as I find this tremendously helpful to structure my reflections.
  • I will be more consistent in reading the blogs of our INF536 cohort.
  • I will be brave and tweet out my blog posts.
  • This time I am going to use Diigo properly.
  • I will attempt to use Instagram.
  • I will read.
  • I will discuss.

Here are some thoughts from Doorley & Witthoft’s “Make space” that inspire me now:

“Starting with what you have encourages you to start small, move quickly, invest less, be visible to others, and build momentum” (p. 30)

“Pay attention to user-initiated changes and respond to them with modifications to your space) (p. 36)

“Arrange an environment to incite and support specific behaviour” (p. 47)

“Stagnant areas, piles of unused materials, and unattended corners and closets drag down the mood of a space (p. 30)

“Shaping attitudes and the behaviors they inspire is the ‘holy grail’ of space design” (p. 51)


I am ready to learn all I can about designing spaces for learning and hope to be able to apply this in our library.

I hope this is enough for success in INF536.


References

Doorley, S., & Witthoft, S. (2012). Make space: How to set the stage for creative collaboration. Hoboken (N.J.): J. Wiley.

School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2015). Module 1: Design theory within educational contexts. Retrieved from INF536: Designing Spaces for Learning website: https://bit.ly/2lFzRb4

 

 

INF532 Assignment 2: Network literacy evaluative report

Evaluating my networked learning experiences

Knowledge Networking for Educators (INF532) is only the second module of my Master’s studies and already my conceptual understanding of fundamental concepts such as learning and knowledge, and the role networks are playing in the information age, has changed significantly (Wocke, 2017a, Wocke, 2017b, Wocke 2017c).

Siemens’ (2006) views on connectivism informed my emerging understanding of learning and knowledge: Knowledge is no longer only recorded in artefacts such as books and journals, nor is its creation and exchange exclusively the task of institutions such as schools, universities, and libraries – knowledge and information now also resides in vast and complex digital networks. We can learn from anyone, anywhere, at any time. Learning is now more than static personal knowledge acquisition, it also involves dynamic processes such as decision-making and connection-making – learning requires participating and creating in these networks of knowledge. Siemens says it well: “Instead of the individual having to evaluate and process every piece of information, she/he creates a personal network of trusted nodes: people and content, enhanced by technology.” (p.33).

I was not very well “connected” when I started this module, but quickly my INF532 studies convinced me of the need to engage in learning in these knowledge networks. The practice-based and experiential learning format of this course provided me with the opportunity to explore this networked environment. I developed the skills and competencies needed to choose who I will connect with, in which spaces I will learn, and which tools and new formats of information production I will use to manage and harness the continuous flow of resources and information. Some of my explorations were recorded in journal format on Exploring KN tools, a page on my blog (Wocke, 2017d).

Using Twitter, the social networking and microblogging service, was my first intentional step to connect with the global network of educators. This is where I read the “headlines” of what is happening in the world of education and daily receive DIY-professional development, presented by people I choose to listen to and learn from.

 

Direct contact with great educators who can and will respond to me thrills and inspires me! I learnt to curate this flow of information with Tweetdeck and Twitter lists. Together with the “#INF532”-cohort I explored a Tweet chat, a format I did not find very effective, more meaningful conversations happened in spontaneous twitter messages with other students. This is a clear illustration to me that tools must be carefully evaluated and chosen for personal use, as I wrote in the second part of this contribution to the discussion forum (Wocke, 2017e).

Communication, cooperation and collaboration with members of my INF532 cohort convinced me of the value of peer-learning in networked communities. The INF532 “ecosystem”, or knowledge network, acted as the catalyst through which new knowledge could emerge (Cormier, 2010), it is regrettable that more exchange and development of ideas did not take place in the discussion forums and that few students blogged during the study session. Links made during online meetings and in the discussion forums led to a fun collaboration experiment that one of my classmates blogged about (GWTeaches, 2017a; Gillingham, 2017). We both learnt and were inspired by the experience. While I had previously blogged about Lucier (2012)and Tolisano’s (2012) “Seven degrees of connectedness”, I was not convinced that mere connectedness would lead to friendship – this collaborative experience convinced me: I am now connected with an Australian teacher librarian who will be a friend, as well as a valuable member of my personal learning network (PLN), for a long time (Wocke, 2017f)!

I continued to build my PLN and social learning environment by joining various wikis, Facebook and WhatsApp groups for librarians. These communities act as knowledge networks where I can ask questions, volunteer answers and suggestions, and share good practice. I wrote about one such experience here (Wocke, 2017g). My “learning” has now moved out into digital spaces and platforms, taking on a social form, it happens on-demand and is completely self-directed and personalised. Learning is no longer something formally planned, but happens informally and spontaneously all the time. I am convinced that this is what learning should be and am committed to further explore alternative flexible technology-based learning environments and approaches, such as flipped, blended- and flat learning, to create authentic student learning experiences, which are teacher-crafted, but student-directed (Wocke, 2017h).

As I found it almost impossible to keep track of all the great resources I was exposed to in this world of information overload, I experimented with a number of tools until I settled on feedly, as news aggregator and diigo as social bookmarking tool. Diigo groups now form part of my knowledge networking web. I find tagging and commenting valuable knowledge networking practices, with which I curate and contribute value to my PLN (Wocke, 2017e).

For production of the required INF532 artefact, I explored many tools (see Exploring KN tools), created and narrated a presentation, uploaded the resulting video to YouTube and posted on social media for feedback – all unchartered and terrifying territory (GWTeaches, 2017b; Wocke 2017d; Wocke 2017i)!

The comments from a critiquing fellow-student provided valuable perspective on my artefact and I learnt much about design and presentation principles from viewing and critiquing the artefacts produced by my cohort (Mifsud, 2017; Wocke, 2017j). My investigations into instructional design, as part of creating the artefact led to the conviction that well-designed knowledge network artefacts makes learning more efficient and engaging and leaves the teacher free to focus on supporting student learning (Reeves, 2011).

Blogging started as a requirement for my studies. On a theoretical level, I understood that blogs are powerful platforms that encourage reflective learning; it was only after reading some of my recent posts that I realised that I had stopped creating mini-essays and am now truly reflecting on my learning (Wocke, 2017k). Reading the blogs of my cohort, and educators that I value, is contributing to my understanding of their thinking and helping me develop the use of this new mode of information production (Wocke, 2017l; De Saules, 2012, 14). Blogging is not only about publishing, but about connecting (Richardson and Mancabelli, 2011, p. 34). Jarche (2016) finds blogging his strongest form of learning, the keystone of his sense-making, but acknowledges that for him it also took time and practice to develop routines of critical thinking, processing knowledge, and creating something new (Jarche, 2010). Tolisano (@langwitches) recently tweeted: “Blogging is NOT and activity, but a process” (2017).

Through the learning experiences discussed above, I have become convinced that in our digital environment – where the Internet mediates connections – educators must utilise the affordances of the world-wide-web to connect with, learn from, and be inspired by other educators (Warlick, 2009, p. 13). By developing PLNs to learn through and from, educators can be  “connected” and harness these digital networked learning environments, not only for their own professional learning, but to facilitate authentic and meaningful learning experiences for their students.

 

Reflecting on my development as connected educator

Through my studies of INF532 my understanding of what it means to be a connected educator in the 21st century has developed, here is what I learnt:

  • A connected educator is a life-long and connected learner. A learner who consciously and intentionally develops a personalised learning network of experts, mentors and peers to learn with and from (EdTechReview, 2014; Meador, 2016).
  • A connected educator cultivates this network through social media networks and in online communities of practice, utilising this network as a resource and curation mechanism (Bumgardner & Knestis, 2011; Wenger, 2011; Cisnero, 2014).
  • A connected educator contributes to and leads collective intelligence practices through the transparent sharing of experiences, practice, and content (Nussbaum-Beach & Hall, 2012, p. 48).
  • A connected educator is a leader who brings what is learnt in these collective online experiences and communities back to his/her own institution. S/he leads educational reform by introducing innovative approaches to learning and instruction, that leverages the affordances of technology. S/he integrates creatively and intentionally designed knowledge products, creating authentic learning experiences that fosters student-driven learning and engagement (Groff, 2013, p. 9; Revington, n.d.).
  • A connected educator is a leader who contributes to and facilitate the professional development of colleagues, by modelling his/her own networked life-long-learning practices and leading peers in knowledge networking practices (Edudemic, 2015).

Here is my reflection on my journey to become a connected educator (this far) and how I see the path ahead:

The connected educator is firstly a connected learner”, I wrote early in my INF532 journey (Wocke, 2017f). I agree with the views of Nussbaum-Beach & Hall (2012, p. 18) and Richardson and Mancabelli (2011, p. 42) that connected learning is about participation, about learning in relationships, engaging in self-directed, interest-based learning, while connecting and collaborating online. As I started to participate in online communities and building my personal network, I realised that learning is social, continuous and fluid, not only formal, but also informal and spontaneous and unstructured. I became convinced of the need for “the new culture of learning” that Thomas and Brown (2011)  proposes and I wrote about it here (Wocke, 2017m).

Once committed to developing my PLN I found myself constantly reading, favourite-ing, tagging, commenting, subscribing, sharing. I now have a healthy and developing PLN of experts, mentors and peers that I utilise to enhance my professional and academic growth, to motivate and to inspire me. When I evaluate my online participation according to White and Le Corno’s model (2011) of online behaviour (that I wrote about in Visitor or Resident in the online world? (Wocke, 2017n), I note an interesting progression:

My online participation and connectedness has increased and shifted from personal to professional, due to the active engagement with knowledge networking environments and innovative social networking tools and content curation platforms exposed to through INF532.  Reflecting on the crowded state of the professional side of my diagram, it is obvious that carefully direction of my online activities, focus and organization is needed to ensure a healthy work-life balance (Richardson and Mancabelli, 2011, p.36). Kanter’s (2012) adaptation of Jarche’s (2011) Personal Knowledge Mastery model, is a good starting point. “Seeking” information and resources, must be streamlined through the use of appropriate tools, services and aggregators; making “sense” happens by thoughtfully and reflectively annotating, tagging, blogging, and adding value; and “sharing” – giving the worthwhile back to your network in enhanced, or distilled format.

With a solid PLN now in place, exploring combinations of online tools,  and spaces, engaging in connected learning environments, I am aware that I am still primarily a consumer (even an “active consumer”, according to Danah Boyd (2005)), but not often bold enough to be producer and creator. Mayfield challenges me when he says: “To Refactor, Collaborate, Moderate and Lead requires a different level of engagement – which makes up the core of a community.” I contribute, cooperate, but do not yet truly collaborate or lead. The next steps in my connected educator journey are clear:

  • I must implement lessons learnt through the case studies we evaluated in INF532 that clearly illustrate the way to construct authentic global learning experiences by seeking and facilitating collaboration opportunities for my students to become participating global citizens.
  • I must boldly and transparently publish and share my knowledge products and clearly and deliberately develop my online identity, reputation and brand (Lindsay, 2016, p. 14). I must continue to blog. I must develop my identity and brand on Google+.

As teacher librarian, I have the opportunity to co-create knowledge artefacts, to collaborate, introduce online tools and spaces for creative knowledge production, to implement flexible technology-based learning environments (Wocke, 2017h).

I have started to take a more active leadership role in my school, presenting at professional development opportunities, as with this presentation/turned knowledge creating artefact , (which I documented here) (GWTeaches, 2017b, Wocke, 2017o). It was such a motivation when our principal tweeted and blogged as a result (Butterworth, 2017)!

Lambert (1998) writes that the core of leadership is about learning together and constructing meaning and knowledge collectively and collaboratively (p.5). This is the journey I am on – to be a connected educator, learning through and with – and contributing to – my PLN; bringing back to my school innovative ideas and sound practice, leading by example.

 

 

 


References

Boyd, D. (2005, October 8). Remix is active consumption not production [Blog post]. Retrieved from Apophenia website: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2005/10/08/remix_is_active.html

Bumgardner, S., & Knestis, K. (2011, May 1). Social networking as a tool for student and teacher learning. Retrieved September 30, 2017, from https://www.districtadministration.com/article/social-networking-tool-student-and-teacher-learning

Butterworth, R. (2017, August 13). @GrethaWocke inspired me in her presentation at http://www.icsz.ch to share my blog [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/Rebecca_Butters/status/896816876906573825

Cisnero, K. (n.d.). A beginner’s guide to content curation [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/beginners-guide-to-content-curation/

Cormier, D. (2010, December 8). What is a MOOC? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/eW3gMGqcZQc

De Saulles, M. (2012). New models of information production. In Information 2.0: New models of information production, distribution and consumption (pp. 13-35). Retrieved from https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/desaulles-m.pdf

Gillingham, A. (2017, July 28). Collaboration in action [Blog post]. Retrieved from Creating our future website: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/adrienne/2017/07/28/inf-532-using-twitter/

Groff, J. (2013, February). Technology-rich innovative learning environments. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/Technology-Rich%20Innovative%20Learning%20Environments%20by%20Jennifer%20Groff.pdf

GWTeaches. (2017, July 28). TweetstoBlog [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/9nk0NztZscc

GWTeaches. (2017, August 12). ICSZ personal learning networks [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/SBp8AbwTXr4

Jarche, H. (2010, March 30). Critical thinking in the organization [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://jarche.com/2010/03/critical-thinking-in-the-organization/

Jarche, H. (2011, July 12). Personal knowledge mastery [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://jarche.com/pkm/

Jarche, H. (2016, March 22). Sense-making with social media [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://jarche.com/2016/03/sense-making-with-social-media/

Kanter, B. (2012, October 4). Content curation primer [Blog post]. Retrieved from Beth’s Blog: http://www.bethkanter.org/content-curation-101/

Lambert, L. (1998). Building leadership capacity in schools. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Lifelong learning is a crucial educational mindset. (2015, January 5). Retrieved September 30, 2017, from Edudemic website: http://www.edudemic.com/lifelong-learning-educational-mindset/

Lindsay, J. (2016). The global educator: Leveraging technology for collaborative learning & teaching. International Society of Technology in Education.

Lucier, R. (2012, June 5). Seven degrees of connectedness [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thecleversheep.blogspot.ch/2012/06/seven-degrees-of-connectedness.html

Mayfield, R. (2006, April 27). Power law of participation [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://ross.typepad.com/blog/2006/04/power_law_of_pa.html

Meador, D. (2016, August 22). Building a Personal Learning Network Will Make You a Better Teacher. Retrieved September 30, 2017, from ThoughtCo. website: http://Building a Personal Learning Network Will Make You a Better Teacher

Mifsud, K. (2017, September 17). Knowledge networking artefact review [Blog post]. Retrieved from Head full of books website: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/kristie/2017/09/17/knowledge-networking-artefact-review/

Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Reeves, A. R. (2011). Where great teaching begins: Planning for student thinking and learning. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2xOit9g

Revington, S. (n.d.). Authentic learning. Retrieved from http://authenticlearning.weebly.com/

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). Personal learning networks: Using the power of connections to transform education. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing knowlegde. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/KnowingKnowledge_LowRes.pdf

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Retrieved from http://www.newcultureoflearning.com/newcultureoflearning.pdf

Tolisano, S. (2012, June 7). Seven degrees of connectedness (The infographic) [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://langwitches.org/blog/2012/06/07/seven-degrees-of-connectedness/

Tolisano, S. (2017, September 29). Blogging is NOT an activity, but a process! #blogging #learning #metagognition [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/langwitches/status/913540184666398721

Warlick, D. (2009, March/April). Grow your personal learning network. Learning & Leading With Technology, 12-16. Retrieved from http://www.learningandleading-digital.com/learning_leading/200904?pg=14#pg14

Wenger, E. (2011, December 28). What is a community of practice? Retrieved October 2, 2017, from http://wenger-trayner.com/resources/what-is-a-community-of-practice/

What is a connected learner? (2014, January 31). Retrieved September 30, 2017, from EdTechReview website: http://edtechreview.in/dictionary/1005-what-is-a-connected-learner

White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new topology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049

Wocke, G. (2017l, July 11). New models of information production – characteristics and challenges [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/07/11/new-models-of-information-production-characteristics-and-challenges/

Wocke, G. (2017m, July 19). Adapting to “a new culture of learning” [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/07/19/adapting-to-a-new-culture-of-learning/

Wocke, G. (2017f, July 23). Becoming a connected educator [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/07/23/becoming-a-connected-educator/

Wocke, G. (2017c, July 27). The need for network literacy [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/07/27/the-need-for-network-literacy/

Wocke, G. (2017n, July 27). Visitor or resident in the online world? [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/07/27/visitor-or-resident-in-the-online-world/

Wocke, G. (2017o, September 9). KN Artefact: Introduction to developing an online PLN [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/07/27/visitor-or-resident-in-the-online-world/

Wocke, G. (2017i, September 9). KNArtefact post [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/GrethaWocke/status/906453046347096066

Wocke, G. (2017b, September 11). Knowledge changed, and so must I [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/09/11/knowledge-changed-and-so-must-i/

Wocke, G. (2017g, September 16). Knowledge network effectiveness, a facebook group as example [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/09/16/knowledge-network-effectiveness/

Wocke, G. (2017h, September 17). Facilitating flexible learning environments [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/09/17/facilitating-flexible-learning-environments/

Wocke, G. (2017j, September 17). Introduced to Google+ [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/09/17/introduced-to-google/

Wocke, G. (2017k, September 19). Bloggin’ away [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/09/19/bloggin-away/

Wocke, G. (2017d, September 20). Exploring KN tools [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/tools-and-strategies-for-establishing-a-productive-pln/

Wocke, G. (2017a, September 23). Learning – knowing where [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/09/23/learning-knowing-where/

Wocke, G. (2017e, September 24). Module 2.2 discussion forum post [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2017/09/24/module-2-2-discussion-forum-post/

 

 

Learning – knowing where

https://visual.ly/community/infographic/education/connectivism

My understanding of knowledge is being stretched and remixed some more as I read George Siemens’s “Knowing Knowledge”. I blogged about how knowledge is contextual and is held together by a network of connections here. I then went on to blog (here) about know-whatknow-whyknow-how and know-who. It seems that I missed out on one important form of knowing: know-where (or is it nowhere? ). Siemens sees it like this:

Here is what I understood from his descriptions of knowledge and learning:

Learning is more than knowledge acquisition (p. 25). It is the process of creating networks (p. 29): External networks where we connect and form information and knowledge sources and internal networks where decision-making (about what to learn and to know) and pattern recognition and connection making occurs. It is adding new nodes, adjusting the importance of the existing connections. “The connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing” (p. 30).

So, learning relates to knowing-where (p.32).

Knowing where (which nodes: expert, library, internet site, etc.) to go to find the knowledge. Because knowledge exists in networks. “The learner aggregates relevant nodes… and relies on each individual node to provide needed knowledge.”

Knowledge and learning are processes that execute an intricate dance that occurs in networks:

“To learn is to come to know. To know is to have learned.”

(p.26)


Reference:

Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing knowledge. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/KnowingKnowledge_LowRes.pdf

USB Blended Learning. (2014, January 24). Overview of connectivism – Dr. George Siemens [Video      file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx5VHpaW8s

Skills needed in a changing workplace

It was interesting to compare the view of the Institute for the Future’s (University of Phoenix Research Institute) view on what will reshape the workplace of the future with that of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Both institutions identified the key drivers of change and then reflected on the skills that would be required in the workplace.

The WEF took a generalised approach, including more demographic and social factors with technological factors. The Forum took changes in emerging markets, geopolitical volatility and climate changes and natural resources into consideration. Both institutions identified changes in the demographics of the workforce of the future as a major challenge (Davies, Fidler, & Gorbis, 2011, pp. 3-5). They agree that the aging population in developed countries will impact the workforce through the fact that they will stay economically active longer, and will have different needs in terms of services. The WEF goes further and adds that in the emerging markets there is a different challenge, namely to educate the upcoming young people entering the workforce. The WEF also notes that the changing role of women, both as workers and consumers will be a stronger power in driving change. The WEF also regards rapid urbanization and unpredictable geo-political situations as factors to keep in mind (The World Economic Forum, 2016).

Global connectivity through mobile and cloud technology is seen by the Institute for Future and WEF as a major disruptive driver of change, both also mention “smart” machines, increased computational processing power and Big Data, the collective knowledge and collective intelligence is also seen as major contributors to change.

While the workplace can only react to the changes in demographics and social structures, it can actively plan for and deal with the technological drivers. Education and training is going to be vital. Both institutions address the changing skill set needed for workers of the future.

Ten future work skills are identified in Future Work Skills 2020. These skills emphasise the fact that machines will take over jobs that can be automated and that humans will have to concentrate on soft skills such as sense-making, social intelligence and adaptive thinking. Other important competences deals with open-mindedness: virtual collaboration, design mindset, transdisciplonarity and a cross-cultural mindset (Davies, Fidler, & Gorbis, 2011, pp. 8-12).

The WEF identifies basic and cross-functional skills and abilities along more traditional lines (social skills, resource management, technical skills, etc. ) but there is fundamental agreement that collaboration, active learning and listening and critical thinking as well as creativity and cognitive flexibility will be needed to learn and adapt in a fast changing work environment .

Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis, M. (2011). Future work skills 2020. Retrieved
from Institute for the Future, University of Phoenix Research Institute
website: http://www.iftf.org/uploads/media/
SR-1382A_UPRI_future_work_skills_sm.pdf

World Economic forum. (2016, January). The future of jobs. Retrieved from
https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs

The digital age and possibilities for re-imagining our educational system

The convergence of computing, information and communication technologies into one device, affordable and usable by most, has resulted in the development of a transformed information-rich world. With these mobile devices, we became nodes points in a global information ecosystem, socially connected in interactive knowledge environments that transcend the restrictions of our physical world.

Almost every aspect of our personal, professional and societal lives has been transformed by the tools and products of this digital age. Two important examples should be emphasised:

• New participatory media formats use web-based technologies to enable recipients of information messages to be active participants in knowledge creation. Interactive platforms allow experts and voxpop voices to join, in creating, discussing and distributing user-generated information products in many formats.

• Cloud computing makes improved productivity and knowledge building possible through immediate communication channels and tools for collaboration. These improved data storage facilities make digitisation of our collective societal knowledge and cultural heritage possible in online digital repositories.

The new digital age is having a significant impact on the learning environment: on when, where and how we learn. Multi-formatted online resources and participatory media enables self-directed, self-paced, individualised, personal and differentiated authentic learning. The role of teachers is changing from deliverers of content to creators of context (Thomas, 2012). The classroom, where learning was traditionally initiated by teachers, has expanded beyond walls, lectures and textbooks and can become truly learner-centred. Connected learning provides an existing model that makes use of the products of the digital age to re-imagine our traditional education system.

While some educators suggests that the students of today are intuitive and “native” users of new media formats and tools, we need to better understand the competencies and proficiencies that are required of learners to be literate in this digital age.

What now is the role of school libraries in this digital age? Libraries should support learning where and when it takes place. This means a dynamic, physical learning space and an equally well-designed virtual space, where librarians meet the information needs of teachers and students through curation of digital resources and tools and help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. How we will get there… THIS is the challenge that I hope to meet through my studies!


A VERY critical reflection on what I have learnt this far:

I am fascinated by the reading provided for Module 1. While the content was not new, I was challenged by so many of the authors to imagine how this digital world can transform our educational institutions and our thinking about learning. I am inspired, but that is the positive side…

It took far too long to read and grasp the required reading. I hope that as I become more familiar with the concepts and academic writing again, that I will be more efficient.

I have not participating in the online discussions yet, because the reading and setting up of the blog took too much time (I will do so this week). I believe as I find my voice I will be bolder, less worried about seeming ignorant and more comfortable with the tools we have been introduced to. I am very excited and in the right place, but still getting up to speed.

REFERENCES:

Thomas, D. (2012, September 12). A new culture of learning [Video file]. Retrieved from
‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM80GXlyX0U’