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09 MARCH 2014

Gardner Campbell: A Personal Cyberinfrastructure

"So, how might colleges and universities shape curricula to support and inspire the imaginations that students need? Here's one idea. Suppose that when students matriculate, they are assigned their own web servers – not 1GB folders in the institution's web space but honest–to–goodness virtualized web servers of the kind available for $7.99 a month from a variety of hosting services, with built–in affordances ranging from database maintenance to web analytics. As part of the first–year orientation, each student would pick a domain name. Over the course of the first year, in a set of lab seminars facilitated by instructional technologists, librarians, and faculty advisors from across the curriculum, students would build out their digital presences in an environment made of the medium of the web itself. They would experiment with server management tools via graphical user interfaces such as cPanel or other commodity equivalents. They would install scripts with one–click installers such as SimpleScripts. They would play with wikis and blogs; they would tinker and begin to assemble a platform to support their publishing, their archiving, their importing and exporting, their internal and external information connections. They would become, in myriad small but important ways, system administrators for their own digital lives.[3] In short, students would build a personal cyberinfrastructure, one they would continue to modify and extend throughout their college career – and beyond.

In building that personal cyberinfrastructure, students not only would acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives but also would engage in work that provides richly teachable moments ranging from multimodal writing to information science, knowledge management, bibliographic instruction, and social networking. Fascinating and important innovations would emerge as students are able to shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium. Students would frame, curate, share, and direct their own "engagement streams" throughout the learning environment.[4] Like Doug Engelbart's bootstrappers in the Augmentation Research Center, these students would study the design and function of their digital environments, share their findings, and develop the tools for even richer and more effective metacognition, all within a medium that provides the most flexible and extensible environment for creativity and expression that human beings have ever built."

(Gardner Campbell, 4 September 2009)

Gardner Campbell, "A Personal Cyberinfrastructure," EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 44, no. 5 (September/October 2009), pp. 58–59.

[3] Jim Groom has outlined several key parts of this vision: "A Domain of One's Own," bavatuesdays, November 29, 2008, .

[4] W. Gardner Campbell and Robert F. German Jr., "The Map Is the Territory: Course 'Engagement Streams' as Catalysts for Deep Learning," EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting, January 21, 2009, podcast at "

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TAGS

2009A Domain of Ones Own (project) • a personal cyber infrastructure • agency of access and engagement • assemble a platform • Augmentation Research Center at SRI • bootstrapper • connectivism • cPanel • cyberinfrastructure • Dave Winerdigital environmentsdigital livesdigital medium • digital presence • Douglas Engelbarte-learning 2.0education innovationEducause Quarterlyengagement streams • external information connections • flexible and extensible environment • Gardner Campbell • information connections • information science • infrastructureinstitutional network • internal information connections • Jim Groomknowledge managementlearning technology • matriculate • metacognitionmultimodal scholarship • multimodal writing • personal cyber infrastructurepersonal expressionPersonal Learning Environment • richly teachable moments • Robert German • server management • shape your own cognition • share your findings • SimpleScripts • skillful practice • skills acquisition • social networkingtechnology affordancesthinking toolstinkertinkerer • Virginia Tech • web server • web server space • web space

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JANUARY 2013

Online Educational Delivery Models: A Descriptive View

"Although there has been a long history of distance education, the creation of online education occurred just over a decade and a half ago – a relatively short time in academic terms. Early course delivery via the web had started by 1994, soon followed by a more structured approach using the new category of course management systems.1 Since that time, online education has slowly but steadily grown in popularity, to the point that in the fall of 2010, almost one–third of U.S. postsecondary students were taking at least one course online. Fast forward to 2012: a new concept called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is generating widespread interest in higher education circles. Most significantly, it has opened up strategic discussions in higher education cabinets and boardrooms about online education. Stanford, MIT, Harvard, the University of California–Berkeley, and others have thrown their support – in terms of investment, resources, and presidential backing – behind the transformative power of MOOCs and online education. National media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Atlantic are touting what David Brooks has called "the campus tsunami" of online education.

Unfortunately, a natural side effect of this new interest in education and educational technology is an increase in hype and in shallow descriptions of the potential for new educational models to replace the established system. All too often, the public discussion has become stuck in a false dichotomy of traditional vs. online – a dichotomy that treats all online models as similar and that ignores blended or hybrid approaches. This false dichotomy is even more evident now that discussions are spilling into national media forums. But in fact, as my colleague Molly Langstaff has described, educational technology is interacting with innovative educational courses and programs to create not only new language but also multiple models for delivering education."

(Phil Hill, 1 November 2012, Educause Quarterly)

TAGS

1994Berkeley (University of California)blended learning • course delivery via the web • course management systems • David Brooks • distance educationeducation deliveringeducational technologyEducause QuarterlyHarvard Universityhigher education • hybrid learning • innovative educational courses • MIT • Molly Langstaff • MOOCs • new educational models • online coursesonline delivery • online models • Phil Hill • post-secondaryStanford Universitystructured approach • the campus tsunami • transformative process • University of California

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 NOVEMBER 2012

MOOCs from Australia Coming to North America

"The University of New England (UNE) in Australia, a leader in online learning and distance education, announced that it will begin researching and pursuing North American partnerships for the deployment of free courses and highly scalable MOOCs. To accelerate the effort, UNE will send representatives to Educause 2012 in Denver, Colorado next week to conduct discussions with interested organizations."

(Peter Rasmussen, 1 November 2012, Gilfus Education Group)

TAGS

2012AustraliaDenverdistance educationEducause • Educause 2012 • Educause Quarterly • free courses • Gilfus Education Group • low cost degrees • Massive Open Online CoursesMOOCsNorth Americaonline learningopen coursewarepartnerships • scalable solution • UNE • University of New England

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 DECEMBER 2010

dis-integrating the LMS: using best-of-breed tools

"Teachers and learners should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to find and use the most appropriate and effective best–of–breed tools outside the LMS. For example, they can post slide presentations on SlideShare, create group collaboration sites on Google, stream and archive lectures on UStream, and build shared resource collections with Delicious. Such tools can be aggregated via course blogs, wikis, or mashup sites like Netvibes.

Some institutions have made significant, pioneering efforts to bridge the gap between the institutional network and the web by integrating Web 2.0 tools with administrative systems. For example, three years ago the University of Mary Washington deployed an instance of WordPress MultiUser (WPMU) as an alternative teaching and learning platform (UMW Blogs). UMW's blog platform blends the LMS and PLN paradigms by integrating their WPMU instance with the university directory, enabling the creation of blogs that automatically enroll students in courses as 'members' of class blogs created by instructors."

(Jonathan Mott, 2010)

Mott, J. (2010). 'Envisioning the Post–LMS Era: The Open Learning Network.' Educause Quarterly 33(1).

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TAGS

administrative systems • aggregationarchive • best-of-breed • blog • blog platform • co-learnercollaborationComputer Supported Collaborative LearningconnectionsCSCLDeliciouse-learning 2.0e-learning applicationEducause QuarterlyexperimentationGoogle Incinformationinnovationinstitutional networkintegrationJonathan Mottlearnerlearninglearning and teachingLMSmash-upNetvibespioneeringPLN • resource collections • shareSlideShare • stream • teachertoolsUMWUMW Blogs • university directory • University of Mary Washington • UStream • Web 2.0wiki • WordPress MultiUser • WPMU

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 DECEMBER 2010

Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network

"Institutions, teachers, and learners are increasingly turning to the open architecture and customizability of the web. In doing so, they are leveraging the tools and resources of the larger PLE to create their own personal learning networks (PLNs) to manage information, create content, and connect with others. Whether termed PLEs or PLNs, these approaches 'represent a shift away from the model in which students consume information through independent channels such as the library, a textbook, or an LMS, moving instead to a model where students draw connections from a growing matrix of resources that they select and organize.' Scott Leslie's impressive collection of PLE diagrams reminds us that PLNs are infinitely configurable to meet individual needs and preferences. They are, after all, 'personal.'

The vision of individually constructed PLNs and their potential to transform learning extends beyond merely aggregating and using a smorgasbord of web–based tools and content. Gardner Campbell advocated the cultivation of 'personal cyberinfrastructures' that teachers and learners can leverage to become the 'system administrators of their own digital lives.' Instead of implementing tools that simply help instructors 'manage learning,' Campbell argued that we should embrace technologies that enable co–learners to frame, curate, share, and direct learning 'engagement streams.' John Seely Brown and Richard Adler argued that learning with Web 2.0 tools is so different that we ought to call it 'learning 2.0.' They asserted that, unlike old passive forms of learning, the new learner–centric paradigm (facilitated and reinforced by new tools) emphasizes participation over presentation, encourages focused conversation over traditional publication, and 'facilitates innovative explorations, experimentations, and purposeful tinkerings that often form the basis of a situated understanding emerging from action, not passivity.' The net result is an 'open participatory learning ecosystem.'"

(Jonathan Mott, 2010)

Mott, J. (2010). 'Envisioning the Post–LMS Era: The Open Learning Network.' Educause Quarterly 33(1).

Fig.1 Vahid Masrour 'synthetic view of what a PLN/E is, and what it enables'.
Fig.2 Scott Leslie 'collection of PLE diagrams'.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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