Sunday, 21 June 2015

Opening up learning: Forms and formats

Opening up learning: Forms and formats

Following on from my previous post, I was asked what was the difference between new forms of learning and new formats of learning. With so many technology tools, channels and services available to us, it's an easy question to answer. To address the question however, we initially need to put the question of dialogue with teachers and peers to one side and focus solely on content.

Where once all that was available as a portable medium was the text book, students would need to spend time reading in a more or less linear fashion to follow the thinking of the author. With the advent of educational television in the middle of the last century, students were offered the affordances of audio commentary and visual cueing. This brought together two of the most potent human senses of sight and sound, and later, as programmed texts became available to accompany television, we exploited what psychologist Allan Paivio described as the dual cognitive facilities of imagen (visual) and logogen (speech and writing) processing. The introduction of video tape enabled the further facility of pausing, rewinding and fast forwarding content, as well as the capability to store it for use at any convenient time. This was one of the first occasions when technology began to open up non-linear forms of content consumption. But it was still consumption of content, and had advanced learning very little from the time where only text books were available. 

The arrival of multi-media introduced the affordance of non-linear content presentation, where students could study the knowledge contained within the media in any sequence, or iteration. Multi-media also brought with it the earliest forms of interaction with content beyond the multiple choice questions and remedial loops of computer assisted learning. Students could interrogate the content and could also influence the direction, pace and focus of content through early games based systems.

The arrival of the Internet, and subsequently the Web brought interactive content to the desk top, and the introduction and rapid adoption of mobile technologies allowed students to access content any time, and just about any place. All of the above developments represent formats of knowledge - the manner and context in which content is presented to the learner, and what they are able to do with that knowledge. The forms of knowledge are made possible by the formats, but are essentially driven by the learner.

The forms of knowledge now available are numerous and are made possible by the many different technologies and technological affordances. Knowledge can be negotiated using open repository systems such as wikis, blogs and discussion forums. Knowledge can be represented in many forms on the web including through still or moving image sequences, text and spoken words, music, and of course through hypertext. Indeed it is the latter that has generated the most diverse and serendipitous forms of learning on the web, and aligns neatly to rhizomatic learning theory. It can be unpredictable, chaotic, but essentially purposeful, as learners navigate their way across the digital terrain, discovering for themselves. These are embryonic thoughts and are open to discussion, and comments as ever are very welcome.

Opening up #learning: new forms of knowledge by Steve Wheeler was written in Amsterdam, Holland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Hana Tichá
Another very interesting post which got me thinking. From an English teacher’s viewpoint, technology has definitely pushed learning into a totally different direction. We used to have books and tapes with standard British English. Now, at any point of time, students can listen to various accents and English(es). Technology has made English a global language accessible to anyone. From the non-native speaker’s perspective, nowadays I can become proficient in English (or any foreign language, for that matter) without even entering the classroom (although I believe teachers play a very important role in students’ lives). Various free learning web-based tools, such as corpora, on-line dictionaries and other learning platforms, have made learning easier, more interesting and authentic. But most importantly, learners can finally become fully autonomous as they can use the language outside of the classroom. Thus, in consequence, they enrich the classroom since every learner brings a piece of new knowledge back to it. For me personally, the fact that I can interact with English speakers all around the world has made the language (and teaching the language) more purposeful. It’s not just a sum of knowledge I possess anymore – it becomes alive every time I reply to a blog post, for example :-)

John Laskaris
Great post Steve. This is absolutely true that the web-based tools made the process of learning much easier. I think they will continue doing their job in the future up to the moment they’ll replace teachers and traditional learning eventually.

Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?
Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:         gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life               which takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others.         just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your opinions, experience and questions are welcome. M'reen