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Fostering Learning in the Networked World Roy Pea Becta, UK 6 November 2008

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  1. Fostering Learning in the Networked WorldRoy PeaBecta, UK6 November 2008 Including highlights from the Report of the NSF Task Force on Cyberlearning: A 21st Century Agenda for the National Science Foundation (July 2008)

  2. Next decade of technology-enhanced learning opportunities combines… • “Always on” smart mobiles • Location-aware services • Ubiquitous sensing of context • Open platform technologies • Elastic cloud computing resources • Immersive worlds and games • Increasingly open educational resources • Participatory media culture

  3. Participatory culture: 21st Century Media Education • How do we ensure that every child has access to the skills and experiences needed to become a full participant in the social, cultural, economic, and political future of our society? • How do we ensure that every child has the ability to articulate his or her understanding of the way that media shapes perceptions of the world? • How do we ensure that every child has been socialized into the emerging ethical standards that will shape their practices as media makers and as participants within online communities? “We have also identified a set of core social skills and cultural competencies that young people should acquire if they are to be full, active, creative, and ethical participants in this emerging participatory culture: • Play — the capacity to experiment with your surroundings as a form of problem-solving • Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery • Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real world processes • Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content • Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details. • Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities • Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal • Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources • Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities • Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information • Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.”

  4. Today’s youth are (mostly) wired and ready for tomorrow • 93% of 12-17 yr old teens use the Internet • 64% of online teens are generating new media content • 39% of online teens share online their own artistic creations, photos, stories, or videos • 28% have created their own online journal or blog (35% girls; 20% boys) • 27% maintain their personal webpage • 33% create or work on webpages or blogs for others • 26% remix content they find online into their own creations Pew Internet & American Life Project (December 19, 2007)

  5. In principle, exceptional resources for human learning and activities… … will become continuously accessible through networks of information, people and services. BUT Do we know enough about learning across formal and informal environments to guide design of learning supports in the ubiquitous mobile computing future?

  6. Goals today • Share our collective thinking about research opportunities and priorities from 6-month study for NSF Cyberlearning Task Force Report. • Share how our LIFE Center research is contributing to conceptualizing learning in ways potentially useful to these issues.

  7. Mobile technology access to school materials and assignments Virtual Laboratory Simulations Learners Virtual interaction with classmates Supplemental content Visualizations of real-time data from remote sensors Parents Teachers Lifelong “Digital Portfolio” The Future of Cyberlearning: A vision of the year 2015… Home School

  8. What Is Cyberlearning? • “Learning that is mediated by networked computing and communications technologies” • Evokes cyberinfrastructure • “Cyber” also evokes Wiener’s (1948) “cybernetics” — built etymologically on the Greek term for “steering” as a way to signal the intertwined tapestry of concepts relating the goal-directed actions, predictions, feedback, and responses in the systems (physical, social, engineering) for which cybernetics was to be an explanatory framework. • Cyberlearning is thus learning in a networked world, where the forms of “steering” of learning can arise in a hybrid manner from a variety of personal, educational, or collective sources and designs.

  9. Why Cyberlearning Now? NSF funding for interdisciplinary programs in cyberlearning Powerful new technologies Understanding of how people learn New, more responsive methods of development and testing Demand for solutions to educational problems Credit: John Sondek, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Using data to teach geoscience thinking Credit: Tracy Gregg State University of New York Buffalo Cyberlearning

  10. SBE STEM SocialScience BehavioralScience Engineering Mathematics Economics Science Technology Task Force Charge • Advisory Committees • Directorate for Education and Human Resources • Office of Cyberinfrastructure • Task Force • Opportunities • Research questions • Partners • Strategies • Existing resources NSF’s US-based Charter Arts Humanities

  11. Cyberlearning Task Force Members • Christine L. Borgman (Chair): Professor of Information Studies, UCLA • Hal Abelson:Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, MIT • Lee Dirks:Director of Scholarly Communication, Microsoft • Roberta Johnson:Director of Education and Outreach, UCAR • Kenneth R. Koedinger:Professor of Human Computer Interaction / Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University • Marcia C. Linn:Professor of Development and Cognition, UC Berkeley • Clifford A. Lynch:Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information • Diana G. Oblinger:President, EDUCAUSE • Roy D. Pea:Professor of Education and the Learning Sciences, Stanford University • Katie Salen:Executive Director, Institute of Play • Marshall S. Smith:Director of Education, Hewlett Foundation • Alex Szalay:Professor of Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University

  12. Centrality of Mediation in Cyberlearning • “The central fact about our psychology is the fact of mediation” (Vygotsky, 1982, p. 166). • Subject and object are connected directly, but also indirectly, through the mediation of cultural artifacts, as with written language and math. • But also: programming, diagramming, maps, art, and including today’s virtual worlds and massively multiplayer games. • As a result of mediation, human experiences — and how people learn —have evolved substantially in the past several millenia without evolution of our biological substrate.

  13. A Brief History of Technological Advances Making Cyberlearning Possible

  14. Why Is Cyberlearning Important? • Leverages learning through • Communication technologies • Students’ technology fluencies • Extends capacity of educational institutions into life-long learning opportunities • Increases public understanding of science • Prepares citizens for complex, evolving, global challenges War Recession Global Warming Epidemics Poverty

  15. LIFE Center perspective How can we productively blend Formal and Informal learning? Greater potential than realized for harvesting “funds of knowledge” from people’s learning experiences outside of classrooms - and supporting bridging across informal and formal learning. For design - treat the activities and life experiences of the learner throughout the day as our units of learning design, description and explanation.

  16. Complex relations of “informal” and “formal” learning Formal settings Informal settings Formal Learning Processes Informal Learning Processes Roy Pea, Stanford University

  17. Contexts of Development Learning Ecology Framework (Brigid Barron) Accessed set of contexts, comprised of configurations of activities, material resources, and relationships that are found in co-located physical or virtual spaces that provide opportunities for learning. (Source: B. Barron, Human Development, 2006) • Unit of analysis is person and multiple life spaces • A learning ecology is dynamic • Subject to interventions • Activities, ideas are more or less boundary crossing • Influences: Lewin, Bronfenbrenner, Cole, Engeström, Lave, Rogoff, Saxe, Vygotsky Framework has descriptive and prescriptive uses

  18. Home as central access point for learning: Technology fluencies (Barron) • FIGURE: Percentage of each profile group who regularly use computers in each setting. • N = 147 from two diverse Silicon Valley high schools (high-income; low to middle income) • Profiles from high school student survey of computer tools at home, access network points, learning resources and breadth/depth scores • Generalist: Hi Breadth & Depth • Explorer: Hi Breadth & Low Depth • Specialist: Low Breadth & Hi Depth • Beginner: Low Breadth & Depth

  19. An experiential focus for learning research • Need to get inside the experiences of the learner - their interests, values, developing identities, perceived resources, commitments, emotions, engagement, challenges, appraisals, persistence… • The power of the social: • How do learners leverage social networks and affiliative ties? What positionings and accountabilities do they enable that matter for learning? • The power of the setting: • How do learners exploit the properties of settings to support learning, and how do they navigate the boundaries? • The power of imagination: • What possible courses of action do learners consider, as they project possible selves, possible achievements, and reflect on the learning they need to get there?

  20. Key Strategies and Opportunities for NSF • Strategies: To promote the growth of a cyberlearning infrastructure • Opportunities for Action: Greatest short-term payoff and long-term promise • Themes • Develop talent and advance technologies • Enable students to use scientific data • Harness learning data • Support broader audiences: Dual use for research and education; large scaling by platform design • Sustain cyberlearning materials beyond NSF funding

  21. Develop Field and Advance Technologies • Strategy: Promoting new talent (programs, centers, training) and new technology • Opportunity: Using technologies to: • Coordinate learning across formal and informal contexts • Connect students with remote and virtual laboratories • Access interactive virtual or“mixed reality” environments Ann Myers Medical Clinic in Second LifeImage credit: Scienceroll blog World of Warcraft http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/imageviewer.html?/burningcrusade/,images/screenshots/,116,241,http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/screenshots.html?14@27

  22. Enable Students to Use Scientific Data • Strategy: Transforming STEM disciplines and K–12 education • New ways of looking at and understanding content • Preparing students for “computational thinking” • Opportunity: Teaching students and teachers how to harness large amounts of data • Scientific research • Responsible use of data

  23. Harness Learning Data • Strategy: Leveraging the data produced by cyberlearning systems • Teachers interacting with students and their school assignments • Students’ educational histories • Opportunity: Encouraging shared systems that allow large-scale deployment, feedback, and improvement Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center’s DataShop: learnlab.web.cmu.edu/datashop

  24. Support Broader Audiences • Strategy: Addressing problems and opportunities with • Reapplication of tools and resources used in science and other sectors (dual use) • Scaling of technology for larger communities • Opportunity: Funding development of resources usable for both research and education Students learning about photosynthesis in classroom & online activities Images courtesy of Bill Sandoval, CENSEI

  25. Sustain Cyberlearning Materials • Strategy: Sustaining cyberlearning innovations beyond their initial funding • Opportunity: Guaranteeing future availability of Open Education Resources SimCalc Project http://www.kaputcenter.umassd.edu/downloads/products/technical_reports/tr1_1.pdf iLab Inverted Pendulum: Mark Schulz, iLab

  26. 2. Instill a “platform perspective”: shared, interoperable designs of hardware, software, and services 3. Emphasize the transformative power of technology 4. Adopt programs and policies to promote open educational resources Task Force Recommendations 1. Build a vibrant cross-disciplinary cyberlearning field 5. Sustain NSF-sponsored projects beyond grant funding with new partnerships Relationships Among Scientific Paradigms (Credit: Research & Node Layout: Kevin Boyack and Dick Klavans (mapofscience.com); Data: Thompson ISI; Graphics & Typography: W. Bradford Paley (didi.com/brad); Commissioned Katy Börner (scimaps.org))

  27. 1. Build a vibrant cyberlearning field • Promote cross-disciplinary communities of cyberlearning researchers and practitioners including • Technologists • Educators • Domain scientists • Social scientists • Publish best practices • Recruit diverse talents Relationships Among Scientific Paradigms (Credit: Research & Node Layout: Kevin Boyack and Dick Klavans (mapofscience.com); Data: Thompson ISI; Graphics & Typography: W. Bradford Paley (didi.com/brad); Commissioned Katy Börner (scimaps.org))

  28. 2. Instill a “platform perspective” • Platform = shared, interoperable, extensible designs of hardware, software, and services • Think large-scale (elastic web services) from the start, not scale-up from one to more classrooms • Incorporate and support • New technological innovations • Fully tested modules for classroom use • Widely usable now and in the future • Guidance from expert panel

  29. 3. Emphasize the transformative power of technology at all levels • Information and communication technologies that: • Allow interaction with data, visualizations, remote and virtual laboratories, and experts • Bridge multiple learning environments and technologies • Support teachers’ professional development through • Training programs • Professional societies • Collaborating to createnew open access teaching materials • Lifelong potential for learning, from “K to grey” Intel Classmate PCPhoto credit: Getty Images

  30. 4. Promote open educational resources • Make materials available on the web with permission for unrestricted reuse and recombination • New proposals should plan to make their materials available and sustainable

  31. NSF Educational Initiatives SBE STEM SocialScience BehavioralScience Engineering Mathematics Economics Science Technology ProfessionalOrganizations OtherInstitutions Industry 5. Sustain NSF-sponsored projects • Maintain cyberlearning innovations beyond the funding of a grant • Extend initiatives across NSF divisions and create external partnerships

  32. Reflections • Advances in cyberlearning technologies and the sciences of learning promise exceptional opportunities for transformative advances in learning for all. • Becoming able to imagine and enact expansions of learning horizons is a major achievement that crosscuts environments for informal and formal learning, and will incorporate the mediating cyberinfrastructure tools now sweeping global societies. • I encourage you to study and support cyberlearning outside school — and to find ways to re-voice the learner’s experiences in ways that will shape better designs for responsive learning environments.