"If it is the case that mobile devices, with their specific social and technological structures and attendant cultural practices, have become an integral part of everyday life, then the educational field has to react. But how and who? Fact is that mobile devices have reached and become fully integrated in everyday life, worldwide and across social milieus. This development is 'ubiquitous' (e.g. Haythornthwaite, 2008, Beale 2007, Nyiri 2002) and is accompanied by an increase in individualisation enabled and necessitated by a variety of mobile devices characterised by media convergence. Education must ask questions about the impact of these irreversible trends on the personal development of young people and about its role in mediating them as well as about their impact on individual agency of young people in the context of emerging socio–cultural structures (see Stald 2007)."
(Ben Bachmair, Norbert Pachler and John Cook, 2009)
"There was a time when learning was what we did from birth to college graduation. After that? We just worked and eventually retired.
But the world is changing rapidly. And now, more than ever, learning is something that happens outside the classroom throughout our entire lives.
We now have to learn new skills every year just to stay relevant in our jobs (not to mention making a career change!). And it's not just our careers, we also want to learn and continually improve in the things we do outside of work. Whether it's yoga or golf or photography or anything we're passionate about, we want to be better. Every day we see our friends sharing their new achievements and posting their milestones on Facebook; how do we keep up and reach our potential?
We're busier than ever. And despite having access to a mountain of information via the internet, we still struggle to find structured, comprehensive, trusted sources who can excite us and teach us all the things we want to know. We need trusted experts, guides, to help us on our way – we need the ability to learn from the amazing instructors in the world."
"Constructivism is a recent perspective or philosophy on learning with ancient roots (von Glasersfeld, 1995) that has extensive implications for the use of collaborative learning tools. In employing constructivism, some teachers believe that better learning occurs when knowledge is the result of a situated construction of reality (Brooks, 1990). Unfortunately, although constructivist revolutionaries have ventured onto the battlefield of epistemological change, most have not provided practicing educators with the wherewithal to reconstitute and embed constructivist ideas within their personal philosophies and teaching practices. Teachers might, in fact, design useful constructivistic learning environments and strategies, but may not recognize that they operate from a constructivist paradigm (Harris & Pressley, 1991). Even when constructivism is recognized as valuable, few guidelines exist for implementing and assessing it. So, when CSCL tools enter the instructional arsenal of public schools and higher education settings, constructivism may not be the theory of choice. And, undoubtedly, many scholars and researchers fuel this problem with intense debates that most practitioners simply lack the time and energy to deal with (e.g., see Ernest, 1995; von Glasersfeld, 1995).
Further muddying the debate, there is no canonical form of constructivist theory. Cobb (1994) identified two variations – cognitive constructivist and social constructivist – and there are undoubtedly more. Cognitive constructivists tend to draw insight from Piaget and focus on individual constructions of knowledge discovered in interaction with the environment ... Social constructivists rely more on Vygotsky (1978) and view learning as connection with and appropriation from the sociocultural context within which we are all immersed."
(Curtis Jay Bonk, Donald J. Cunningham and Kira S. King, p.32)
Bonk, Curtis Jay; Cunningham, Donald J. Bonk, Curtis Jay (Ed); King, Kira S. (Ed), (1998). "Searching for Learner–Centered, Constructivist, and Sociocultural Components of Collaborative Educational Learning Tools" in Electronic collaborators: Learner–centered technologies for literacy, apprenticeship, and discourse., (pp. 25–50). Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
"EdX is a not–for–profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web. Based on a long history of collaboration and their shared educational missions, the founders are creating a new online–learning experience with online courses that reflect their disciplinary breadth. Along with offering online courses, the institutions will use edX to research how students learn and how technology can transform learning–both on–campus and worldwide. Anant Agarwal, former Director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, serves as the first president of edX. EdX's goals combine the desire to reach out to students of all ages, means, and nations, and to deliver these teachings from a faculty who reflect the diversity of its audience. EdX is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is governed by MIT and Harvard."
"Stephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canada's National Research Council and a leading proponent of the use of online media and services in education. As the author of the widely–read OLDaily online newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his leading–edge work in the field of online learning. He developed some of Canada's first online courses at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. He also built a learning management system from scratch and authored the now–classic 'The Future of Online Learning'.
At the University of Alberta he built a learning and research portal for the municipal sector in that province, Munimall, and another for the Engineering and Geology sector, PEGGAsus. He also pioneered the development of learning objects and was one of the first adopters and developers of RSS content syndication in education. Downes introduced the concept of e–learning 2.0 and with George Siemens developed and defined the concept of Connectivism, using the social network approach to deliver open online courses to three thousand participants over two years."