Don’t believe everything you hear…

The horrific events in Manchester that occurred yesterday has brought to mind the importance of critical literacy in an age where news is communicated as it happens via social media outlets such as Twitter. I was at home reading when I noticed that someone had re-tweeted a video, claiming that there had been an ‘incident’ at a concert in Manchester. It was literally only a few minutes after what we now know to be a suicide attack had happened. It was 10.30pm over there, about mid-morning here in Australia, and videos that people had taken on their phones as the...

Digital Footprints – mine, yours, ours

This week I have begun participating in a MOOC being run by the University of Edinburgh about our digital footprint. As I am deeply entrenched in PhD research regarding personal learning networks (PLN), the concept of a digital footprint is of course extremely interesting to me, because learning through a PLN leaves indelible traces all over the internet – wherever, in fact, you connect and learn with others. Gaining a well developed online presence is one of the many benefits of learning through a PLN – your connections, the learning and knowledge that you share, the things you discover and...

Understanding Affordances Part Two

The wonderful thing about sharing your learning openly on a blog is that people comment on your posts and contribute to your learning. Yesterday, shortly after I published the first post in this series, the post was commented on by Jenny Mackness, a scholar whose work I very much admire. She shared with me two links, full of fantastic information about affordances, and exploring this information has filled my day today. I love how blogging ‘affords’ these connections with others who are interested in similar topics, and the way that the commenting feature ‘affords’ the ability to share information (see what...

Understanding Affordances Part One

The concept of affordances is a slippery one. Although it seems simple enough on the surface, when you begin digging a little deeper, things become confusing. Hence this series of posts. In part one, I explore what the concept of affordance means, and identify my suggestions as to the affordances of a personal learning network. In part two, I will present some suggestions of what may be some of the affordances of a PLN, based upon the research in part one. I hope you find this interesting and useful! There is a great deal of ambiguity and confusion over the term affordance,...

The Australian education system : Is the sky falling?

Already February 8 2017 – doesn’t time fly! We are all so busy, juggling work, family and study, keeping the house presentable and dreaming of a long distant holiday when we can ‘get away from it all’. Change seems constant, we suffer from information overload and demands seem to come from every direction. Has life ever been as complex and challenging? We are constantly connected and receiving information – whereas once we read the morning newspaper, watched the evening television news bulletin and got in touch with family with a weekly phone call and an annual Christmas card, we now...

Designing learning in an open world

In one week I will be once again taking on the role of co-faciliator in the online open course Open Networked Learning. I’ve written before about my experiences with this course, and you can read my reflections on my first experience of the course, as a student, and my most recent experience as a first-time co-facilitator. As I met with the PBL Group facilitator I will be working with in this iteration, Alistair Creelman our discussions turned to the extensive ‘behind the scenes’ work which occurs before every iteration of ONL. Even though the course is designed to enable and encourage...

Networks, Networking and Network Literacy – Part One

As I continue my research into how teachers experience learning through Personal Learning Networks (PLNs), I am spending a lot of time learning about networks, networking and network literacy. Before the internet became almost ubiquitous in the developed world, to many people the idea of networking may have meant dressing in business clothes, and attending some type of function,  making small talk and exchanging business cards. Conferences and functions such as this still occur, and certain industries still depend on having the right background and knowing the ‘right’ people. However, networking is rapidly changing, and having network literacy now means more than the...