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,...

Theories of Connected Learning

The simplest way to define a theory is that it is a way of explaining how something works, or why something happens the way that it does. To understand connected learning, and to create effective connected learning environments, we need to understand how learning happens. Several wise people (their names are listed in the reference list at the end of the infographic) have developed explanations, or theories, as to how learning happens. These theories are very extensive, because learning is complex, and happens in different ways according to the context, the individual and the circumstances. What I present below is...

Connected Learning for the Curious: A podcast by Laura Gogia

Yesterday I tuned in to the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast episode which features Laura Gogia. Laura is an inspirational advocate and expert in connected learning, having recently graduated with her PhD investigating the “(potential) role of digital annotations* in edu-blogging and tweeting assessment.” I really enjoyed listening to her podcast, which reinforced many of my own understandings and beliefs about connected learning, but also provided insights into some different perspectives as well. I have summarised the podcast in the form of an infographic (multimodal literacy!) and include it here for you, however I do also encourage you to take time...

Creating Connections – understanding research terminology

If there is one thing that I have learnt in the twelve months of doctoral research I have undertaken, it is that in the Social Sciences, everyone has their own definition – for everything. Almost every word encountered, even ones you thought you understood, such as ‘paradigm’, ‘concept’, ‘model’, and ‘conceptual framework’ has many different interpretations. This does not make research easier. In fact, it makes what can be dense, heavy texts even more opaque, as terms are used in different ways, to mean different things, in different contexts. From one author/researcher to another, and even from one article to...

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...

Play, passion, purpose

Two weeks ago I was fortunate to have the opportunity to share two days leading the staff of Our Lady of the Way, Petrie, through a hands on, play focused workshop. Drawing upon a number of different sources, I designed and developed a series of discovery stations, and the teaching staff had almost two whole days to play, experiment, collaborate and investigate with as many stations as they wished. It was so much fun! In this post, I’d like to share the inspiration for these two days, a little about how the two days ran and what I learnt from the...

Naming and Taming your Network

Happy New Year! Time goes by so quickly, and it is difficult to believe that this new blog of mine is now a year old! I began this blog with the idea that I would use it to capture my reflections and learning while researching, as I commenced an Education Doctorate full time. A year on, I have articulated to a PhD, successfully passed the Confirmation stage of my study, and am now steadily working towards the part of the project that excites me the most – data collection. One of the tools I will be using for data collection is a...

Connected Learning and Open Networked Learning – a comparison

My research focuses on the personal learning networks of teachers, and how they experience professional learning through these networks. One of the defining aspects of the PLN is that it is driven strategically by the individual; the network creates an informal learning opportunity that is shaped around the thoughts, feelings and actions of the teacher, as they seek to create and remix knowledge through their connections with people and resources/information. Participating in the Open Networked Learning course (ONL162) is a slightly different, possibly more formal learning opportunity to the type of learning that occurs in a PLN. In this course, social...

Reflecting on a learning experience: Open Networked Learning 162

Earlier this year I had the privilege of completing the online open course, Open Networked Learning 2016, iteration 1 (ONL161). As I reflected on my learning way back in April, I thought that my connections with this particular learning experience had ended. However…I was contacted by the lovely Lotta Åbjörnsson, who works as an Educational developer at Lund University, and who is one of the course team of ONL, and she asked me if I wished to continue my journey with Open Networked Learning in the second iteration of 2016, this time as a co-facilitator of a PBL (problem based learning)...