Learning Networks - About neurons, learning through teaching, and mobile enhanced LNs[Bearbeiten]
- Mostafa Akbari, Research Group Computer-Supported Learning, RWTH Aachen University (Mo's Weblog)
- Dr. Christian Spannagel, Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Education Ludwigsburg (Christian's Weblog)
Do you have any ideas? Do you want to comment? Please join the discussion! (The reviewers may add their comments there, too - let's be open!)
We (Mo and Christian) are interested in learning networks. In our opinion, offline and online networks share the same principles. For example, people should realize that they are carriers of resources and that they should share their ideas with others in their group like "neurons in brain". This is a main aspect of the method "learning through teaching" where the class is seen as brain with students firing like neurons in group discussions. Furthermore, we do not think offline and online networks as separated but as intertwined. For example, the microblogging system twitter helps to stay in touch with members of offline learning networks such as classes and courses throughout the week. In addition, mobile devices help to communicate with other members of offline and online learning networks everywhere and anytime.
The class as brain / "neuron metaphor"[Bearbeiten]
Learning networks are a crucial part of the "learning through teaching" method according to Martin . "Learning through teaching" is a method which is very similar to what Hiltz means by using the term "online seminar" - with the difference that "learning through teaching" may be applied completely offline: "An example of collaborative learning is the online seminar where the students become the teachers. Individuals or small groups of students are responsible for selecting topics; reading material not assigned to rest of the class; preparing written summaries of the most important ideas in the material, including links to resources on the web; and leading a discussion on the topic." (Hiltz, 2002)
Learning networks offline and online[Bearbeiten]
We are interested in how learning networks work online and offline. We even think that both types of networks share the same principles - and that it is not easy to foster communication and collaboration in networks among students. We see motivation and self-determination as important factors to be considered by the teacher when he designs the learning scenario. For example, Christian has designed a Weblog scenario (Spannagel, 2007) in accordance with the self-determination theory by Deci and Ryan (2002). Therefore, we don't agree with your statement in the call for this conference that learning networks call the autonomy and self-determination of learners into question. The opposite is true: Learners must be autonomous and self-determined to be motivated to participate in communities.
About Christian and Mo[Bearbeiten]
Both authors are working on different aspects regarding learning networks. Christian takes the pedagogical point of view, whereas Mo looks from a technical perspective. However, both are highly interconnected in several communities and share many learning networks.
At the IATEL conference we will present our theoretical framework and our practical results and we want to share our experiences and ideas with other experts. We hope to get many new ideas for our research and teaching at the conference, and we are looking forward to extend our learning networks with the participants of the session.
Christian Spannagel has studied computer science at the Technical University Darmstadt. He received his PhD in Education from the University of Education Ludwigsburg. Now he is Juniorprofessor in Ludwigsburg in the fields of computer science education and mathematics education. His main research interest is process-oriented education: How can students be taught thinking? The Web 2.0 offers a lot of tools which support learning scenarios where students can learn to think - together with others. For example, he fosters the use of weblogs and wikis as thinking tools and as environment for reflection and collaboration. The main method in his courses is "learning through teaching" where the class is seen as "brain" with the students interacting as "neurons". He got the teaching price of the State Baden-Württemberg in 2008 and the teaching price of the University of Education Ludwigsburg in 2008 for his concept of Web 2.0 courses. In addition, being an "open scientists" he makes his research transparent in the world wide web.
Mostafa Akbari has studied computer science at the RWTH Aachen University. Now he has a doctoral fellowship for investigating how mobile Web 2.0 access via small-screen devices can be designed in a way that it enables all students to integrate continuous learning in their lives, regardless of their gender and diversity. The goal is to develop and evaluate a novel, web-based social network in an educational context. As a prerequisite a learning network specifically for interaction on mobile devices will be designed, developed and built with user-centered methods. This happens at the RWTH Aachen integrating its students, teachers and future students with their differently shaped social and cultural roles. The impact of technology use on the planning of learning and on the target group's motivation will be analyzed and evaluated, as well as the collaborative development of knowledge. Since in the context of web-based social learning different scientific disciplines like pedagogy, psychology, sociology, and computer science play a role, the existing evaluation methods and results in this interdisciplinary context are examined and in terms of WebScience expanded.
Epilogue: Why we want to participate together[Bearbeiten]
We are highly interconnected online and offline, and we share many networks (e.g. our microblogging network, social networks, the Maschendraht community and the Neuron! community). We have the same theories, but we apply them in different areas: Christian mostly designs educational settings from the pedagogical point of view, whereas Mo as computer scientist designs systems which support collaborative learning. We always share our ideas and are therefore an "interdisciplinary dyad". We can present our background and the examples better if we both participate, because we complement each other from different perspectives. Therefore, we would like both to come and participate in the conference.
- Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2002). An overview of self-determination theory: an organismic-dialectical perspective. In: E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (eds.), Handbook of self-determination research (pp. 3–33). Rochester, NY: The University of Rochester Press.
- Hiltz, Starr Roxanne; Turoff, Murray (2002): What makes learning networks effective? In: Commun. ACM, Jg. 45, H. 4, S. 56‐59.
- Spannagel, C. (2007). Eine Weblog-Umgebung zur Förderung selbstbestimmt motivierten Lernens. In C. Rensing & G. Rößling (Hrsg.), Proceedings der Pre-Conference Workshops der 5. e-Learning Fachtagung Informatik DeLFI 2007, Siegen, September 2007 (S. 11-18). Berlin: Logos.