Week 25 – A1: Sage on the Stage or Guide on the side?

some points…

reading: Haythornthwaite (2008) ‘Ubiquitous Transformations’: Proceedings of the Networked Learning Conference, Halkidiki, 2008.

1.    What evidence is there of this shift towards taking responsibility for learning by the learners themselves?

– New practices emerging around Internet use.

– These new media lay the foundation for radical transformations in who learns from whom, where, under what circumstances, and for what and whose purpose. In short, they indicate a transformation to ubiquitous learning – a continuous anytime, anywhere, anyone contribution and retrieval of learning materials on and through the Internet and its technologies, communities, niches and social spaces.

– availability of online content

– no need of expert, learners learning from each other ?

– user generated learning communities
2.    Is Haythornthwaite’s account an idealised version of learner behaviour in your view? Do you think ANY account of learner behaviour is likely to be idealised or exaggerated?

3.    In the light of your own responses and experience, does this ‘new paradigm’ indicate the redundancy of the practitioner? Or, on the contrary, does it indicate the need for a practitioner with in-depth knowledge of how new technologies can be harnessed and with the time to provide facilitation and support to students as they take on these new responsibilities? Should one sort of practitioner hold such knowledge (if you think that practitioners aren’t redundant in this context) or are we looking at a totally new sort of practitioner? Or something else?

Difficult for practitioner to be a ‘jack of all trades’ expert. Still there is still a scope for having practitioners in learning, as although we need less the expert for our learning, guidance/support is needed by the learner in acquiring new skills, motivation, giving cues etc.

Moreover , probably this depends on the context, mainly on the educational level (ie Primary, Secondary, Higher, Further education) and also on the subject being learned.

– just a ‘nation of ankle-biters’ ? pg 601

Does learner know how to learn? Has appropriate skills? How are skills learned ? Thus need for the guide. The guide can be an experienced peer, tutor, or rich content created by an expert.

‘Murphy & Collins (1997) have noted the need to manage online discussion in classes so students engaged appropriately. However, this early attention focused on inhibiting inappropriate and offtopic behaviour. Now, the focus is on how to increase participation in online classes, trying to compensate for the reduced cues of the online environment on the way to creating online learning communities (Barab, Kling & Gray, 2004; Jorbring & Saljo, in press; Renninger & Shumar, 2002; Swan, 2006).’ pg 601

‘Unbridled participation without attention to group and space norms will have fallout. We can expect to see more gated learning communities and moderated lists arising as the tragedy of the commons strikes repeatedly in cyberspace.’

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