I was part of an ad hoc Flashmeeting recently with David Wiley‘s team, plus some of the edugluers (Jim, Brian, D’Arcy and Scott), along with the OU social:learners (Tony, Simon, Patrick and Stuart). We batted some ideas around about the idea of eduglu, loosely coupled apps, open courses, etc. There was lots of common ground, but we don’t want to tie it up in consortium or anything – so we’re going to work in the open, in a loosely coupled manner. And of course, anyone else is free to join.
We agreed to come up with some stories, or scenarios, as to what it might be like for a learner in eduglu land. This is my attempt at doing one:
Character: Ellen is a professional vet, living in Wales. She is married, with a four year old son, and is a fan of 60s sci-fi movies and is a keen skier.
Scenario: Ellen is called out to look at a sick Pot Bellied Pig. She is unsure of the symptoms, but thinks she has a diagnosis. She uses her mobile device to put out a call for help on her learner network. This is built on top of Twitter and allows her to filter tweets to groups, e.g. ‘vets’, ‘parents’, ‘friends’, etc. Dan, from Sussex is an expert in Pot Bellied pigs and confirms her diagnosis, sending her a link to a resource. She saves this to her study list in her learner profile, with the tags ‘vet’, ‘pigs’, and studying it is automatically added to her To Do list in Remember the Milk, so she will study it later.
Back home she gets a prompt to watch a programme on skiing on BBC 4, which is generated by an automatic tweetscan and schedule scan she has set up with filters. She won’t watch it live, but a link to the replay in iPlayer is automatically added to her To Study list, with the tag ski.
This is part of a content aggregator that finds content related to the learning goals Ellen has set up. Her current goals/interests are "To learn snowboarding", "60s Sci-Fi movies", "Blue Tongue virus", "Teaching children French" and "Harry Potter novels". Content related to each of these is found using data-mining, and social recommendations, building on 43Things. Recommended resources are then attached to each goal, with a score, and a category, e.g. ‘video’, ‘book’, ‘person’, ‘course’, etc. Ellen sees that there is a weekend snowboarding course running at the dome in Milton Keynes. She sees that one of her skiing contacts has taken the course and sends her a message asking about it.
She is doing an ‘informal course’ on 50s/60s Sci-Fi movies, created by an enthusiast in Oregon. The course is delivered through his blog, and is free to study. Today, having watched ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ yesterday, she reads the blog entry on it. She sees that John from Queensland is online at the same time, and they use Gabbly to chat around the topic, which is embedded in the blog. This is the last entry in this course, so she decides to have a go at the end of course quiz, which is delivered via a free MCQ engine. The score is automatically passed back to her profile, as authentication is handled in both by openID.
A suggested task for the course is to create a mash-up, which she has been working on. She has taken clips from Invasion of the BodySnatchers, Them! and The Blob all of which show women screaming, helplessly, and mixed this with a 1950s magazine article about how women should be protected from rock music. This is overdubbed with a PJ Harvey track, which she hopes makes the ironic point clear. She posts this on her blog, with the tag ‘DonsSciFi’, which means it will be pulled in to the resource pool for the course for future students. This also pulls it into her profile as one of her public outputs, and this action notifies her sci-fi friends via a tweet.
Purpose: I wanted to take some existing tools, and some imagined ones, and show how these could be easily combined for a learner. I also wanted to combine formal and informal learning, professional and private life.
Next: I’m going to try this as a mini-meme. Not because I want to be annoying, but because I think this is a genuine way of building up a set of scenarios that might inform what we want to do. I am keen to explore this open, distributed model of collaboration. So, if you want to be involved, simply write a scenario and link here (I’ll do a wiki later). The ‘rules’ are:
- It can be about teaching or learning (or both)
- It can be as long or short as you like
- Try and link to existing technologies
- It’s purpose is to show how loosely linked applications could make learning/teaching easy, pedagogically sound and fun.
I’m going to tag Scott next, as I think he has some ideas from the teaching angle. Take it away Scott.