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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'.



Simon Perkins
12 DECEMBER 2010

E-learning 2.0: content is used rather than read and resembles language or conversation rather than a book or a manual

"What happens when online learning software ceases to be a type of content–consumption tool, where learning is 'delivered,' and becomes more like a content–authoring tool, where learning is created? The model of e–learning as being a type of content, produced by publishers, organized and structured into courses, and consumed by students, is turned on its head. Insofar as there is content, it is used rather than read– and is, in any case, more likely to be produced by students than courseware authors. And insofar as there is structure, it is more likely to resemble a language or a conversation rather than a book or a manual.

The e–learning application, therefore, begins to look very much like a blogging tool. It represents one node in a web of content, connected to other nodes and content creation services used by other students. It becomes, not an institutional or corporate application, but a personal learning center, where content is reused and remixed according to the student's own needs and interests. It becomes, indeed, not a single application, but a collection of interoperating applications–an environment rather than a system.

It also begins to look like a personal portfolio tool. The idea here is that students will have their own personal place to create and showcase their own work. Some e–portfolio applications, such as ELGG, have already been created. IMS Global as put together an e–portfolio specification. 'The portfolio can provide an opportunity to demonstrate one's ability to collect, organize, interpret and reflect on documents and sources of information. It is also a tool for continuing professional development, encouraging individuals to take responsibility for and demonstrate the results of their own learning'."

(Stephen Downes, 17 October 2005)

Fig.1 Andrey Nepomnyaschev, 'Six Seconds', LooksLikeGoodDesign.



Simon Perkins
03 NOVEMBER 2010

Clay Shirky: How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history

16 June 2009



2009cell phonecensorshipchange • changing the nature of politics • citizenshipClay Shirkycollaborationcommunicationcommunity • control of news • convergenceconversationdigital cultureempowermentFacebookgroupshistoryinnovationinteractionmedia landscapemessageNigeriaold mediaorganisationsparticipationprint revolution • repressive regimes • social changesocial constructionismsocial interactionTED Talkstransformation • transformed media landscape • Twittertxt


Simon Perkins
29 MARCH 2010

Masdar: Abu Dhabi's carbon-neutral city

"The world's first zero–carbon city is being built in Abu Dhabi and is designed to be not only free of cars and skyscrapers but also powered by the sun.

The oil–rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low–carbon living, but the emerging eco–city of Masdar could teach the world.

At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one.

The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.

The genius of Masdar – if it works – will be combining 21st Century engineering with traditional desert architecture to deliver zero–carbon comfort. And it is being built now.

Masdar will be home to about 50,000 people, at least 1,000 businesses and a university.

It is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners, but it is the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is paying for it. And it will cost between £10bn (USD$15bn) and £20bn (USD$30bn). "

(Tom Heap, BBC News)

[Profiled on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'Costing The Earth: Eco–City Limits' Monday 29 March at 2100 BST]



21st Century engineering • Abu Dhabi • architectureBBCcityconversationdesert • desert architecture • design responsibilityeco • eco-city • engineering • foil • Foster and Partners • idealisminnovationlandscape • low-carbon living • Lunar technology • Masdar City • Masdar Project • Middle Eastmodernism • Personal Rapid Transit • podcar • prototype • Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan • solar electricity • solutionsustainabilitytechno-utopiatechnologyterrainUKUnited Arab Emiratesurban planningurbanismusabilityutopiazero-carbon • zero-carbon city


Simon Perkins
08 JULY 2009

Internet predicted to transform museums' relationship with public

"Two titans of the British museum world, Sir Nicholas Serota and Neil MacGregor, last night sketched out their visions for the museum of the future.

Both said that the relationship between institutions and their audiences would be transformed by the internet. Museums, they said, would become more like multimedia organisations.

'The future has to be, without question, the museum as a publisher and broadcaster,' said MacGregor, director of the British Museum.

Serota, director of the Tate, said: 'The challenge is, to what extent do we remain authors, and in what sense do we become publishers providing a platform for international conversations?"
(Charlotte Higgins, Guardian, 8 July 2009)



Simon Perkins

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