Monday, February 23, 2009

killing connections

We've had a few experiments with inter-professional learning recently that tried to use the VLE. Unfortunately, as a tutor comes to it 'straight out of the box', the VLE is more interested in limiting connections with anyone except the select few who teach or learn on the module. This is backed, of course, from several angles by policy: marketing and targeting a module, financing it, populating it, protecting copyright of it; these are all made possible by fixing cost-centres at the module/programme level. With a will, we have found ways to circumvent the boundaries, thanks to support from the centre. But the dreamt-of viral learning, 'learning as infection', mediated through a 20th Century VLE, with its faux social network, demands the demolishing of unhelpful constraints. Yet, ironically, these constraints are they which direct my salery safely to my bank account and certificates to help students get a salery... is this vicious/virtuous circle going to be disrupted any-time soon?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

couple of points

This is worth a look.
I liked the warmth with which Mike spoke about his students and the enthusiasm for the potential represented by an audience of 400 students. How to unleash that though - keeping them all engaged in the project would be fun in our current context.
I agree that students, as savvy as they may be with facebook/flickr/whatever, are essentially not particularly good at using them for 'these kinds of things' (i.e. learning). Interesting he wants to reduce the ratio of marks given to 'tests' - assessment is everything. If the 'devices' he's talking of could actually track the collaborative activity of students then perhaps that could be assessed.
But the stuff about learning to question is not new (or shouldnt be!). And 'we-learning'? please?!!?