Monday, March 25, 2013

Steve Wheeler: #lilac13 Learning 2.0: Digital pedagogy

Here at the LILAC conference in Manchester, the first keynote was Steve Wheeler, on Learning 2.0: Digital pedagogy. Steve's blog is Learning with 'e's (I think there may be a pun going on there) and his Slideshare is here. I will summarise some of the points that caught my attention, with some of my own thoughts mixed in. He identified that today's learners need to know the "why" of things, the critical and transformative element of learning. In discussing the role of libraries in this, he quoted Ian Clark "Libraries are a bridge between the information-rich and information-poor", feeling that they still had arole as regards content, services, spaces and skills. He identified the huge amount of stuff being published online every minute and noted some digital trends (like gaming; but I know that some libraries are very much up with this trend!)

He showed a diagram of "Learning 2.0" which included User generated content, networking, voting, tools, sharing, tagging and collaborating. He also showed a picture of students taking pictures of a slide which he captioned "Taking notes" (which does resonate, but personally I think that although this can be useful, it means even less than with conventional note-taking that the learner will have engaged their brain with that "content". I am thinking here of the times I've taken pictures of slides at a conference ;-)
Steve talked about user generated content, both in terms of your own content (like blogs and slideshare) and using it as part of students learning. Obviously if you are using this approach is enfolds several different areas of knowledge and skill (e.g. copyright, dealing with the technology, writing in different styles).

He also mentioned the "Flipped classroom" idea, which he expressed in terms of "flipped roles", e.g. getting the students to research the subject and present their discoveries in class (something I do as well). One thing he emphasised which I don't always allow enough time for is the "bearpit pedagogy" aspect i.e. challenging the students and getting them to defend their views and evidence.

Steve went on to talk about very young people and the importance of mobile technology and he showed this video: He also, though, cited the research which differentiates between people who use the digital applications and those who don't use it very much (rather than talking about natives and immigrants):
Kennedy et al. (2010) "Beyond natives and immigrants: exploring types of net generation students" Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26 (5), 332–343.

Steve emphasised that learners need "digital wisdom" - a critical and questioning approach, and also identified various literacies that are important - within which he particularly highlighted transliteracy. He finished by talking about crowdsourcing, particulary in relation to Wikipedia, MOOCs and connectivism, and Twitter. Steve mentioned about how using these tools can expand the boundaries of the classroom, as you can involve people outside the "classroom" in real time.

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