Task 10

Description of the courses according to the activity theory:

  1. PLENK2010
  2. New interactive environments

Subject

  1. to clarify and substantiate the concepts of personal learning environments and networks.
  2. (re-)design of new interactive environments for collaborative work and study. Particular attention is paid to the analysis, representation, and (re-)instrumentalisation of human activities and activity systems with networked tools and services.

Object

  1. the learning in the course results from the activities students undertake, and will be different for each person.
  2. Participants acquire conceptual knowledge and procedural skills on how to analyse, represent, and (re-)instrumentalise human activities and activity systems with networked tools and services.

Mediating artefacts

  1. Tools available in PLE used for complementing the tasks but also for intercourse communication: wiki, blogs, twitter, skype discussions, facebook page, daily newsletters, Sunday readings and resources, forum, Elluminate sessions twice a week. It has to mentioned that the activities are freely chosen and course members may remain their anonymity. I suppose the facilitators follow the following rule that was quoted in the course forum:

“I did not give birth to any of these students and I am, therefore, not responsible for their ability or inability to learn anything.”

Also I would agree with one course participant’s (George Siemens) opinion that  It’s not about tools. It’s about change.

It’s the change underlying these tools that I’m trying to emphasize. Forget blogs…think open dialogue. Forget wikis…think collaboration. Forget podcasts…think democracy of voice. Forget RSS/aggregation…think personal networks. Forget any of the tools…and think instead of the fundamental restructuring of how knowledge is created, disseminated, shared, and validated.

2. Tools: blogs, video-conferences, wikiversity, readings, time scheduling, twitter.

Rules

  1. The four basic rules for the course participants:
  • Aggregate – choose the information that is interesting for them
  • Remix – keep the information in your online place
  • Repurpose – interpret the information and create something by yourself using the tools that have been presented to you
  • Feed forward – share your work and be interested in the work of your colleagues

2. Rules are more strict as the students are being evaluated and have to follow the deadlines. Nevertheless, the same rules as before might be applied to the course activities.

    Community

    1. This course is a joint venture between the National Research Council of Canada (Institute for Information Technology, Learning and collaborative Technologies Group, PLE Project), The Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University and the University of Prince Edward Island. Facilitators: George Siemens, TEKRI, Stephen Downes, NRC, Dave Cormier, UPEI, Rita Kop, NRC. You’ll find their bios here: Facilitator Bios  + students (The course has 900 participants but far away not all of them are active)
    2. Facilitators: Terje Väljataga (Tallinn University) & Sebastian H.D. Fiedler (Centre for Social Innovation) + 27 registered students

    Division of labour

    1. Course facilitators and participants will analyze the research literature and evaluate it against their own experience with the intent of developing a comprehensive understanding of personal learning environments and networks.
    2. tools and information investigation, task accomplishment, feedback from the facilitators or colleague students

    Also, I would like to mention some disadvantages of the PLENK2010 course seen by its participants:

    • lack of depth
    • lack of data structure
    • too much of information and not being able to keep up, lack of time

    About New interactive environments I would complain the same – lack of time as there are too many tasks coming from other subjects.

    In general both courses have same objectives and similar methods. I suppose it’s caused by the new learning style that is really needed in our societies as the old one falls short of expectations. We do not need a knowledge but the skills and these types of the online courses can really teach how to gain them.

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