Archive for category Books

MOOCs and Open Education around the World

The book MOOCS and Open Education Around the World, to which I contributed a chapter, has been very successful. Most recently, it won a DDL Distance Education Book Award. This award is presented in recognition of a print or digital book published within the last three years that describes important theoretical or practical aspects of distance education that can help others involved in distance education or those researching an important aspect of distance education. The primary focus of the book must be directly related to distance education.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-16-18-09

AECT Division of Distance Learning (DDL) Distance Education Book Award. 2016 – First Place. MOOCs and Open Education around the World, Editors: Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi M. Lee, Thomas C. Reeves and Thomas H. Reynolds. NY: Routledge. Presented at the 2016 Conference of the Association for Educational Technology and Communications, Las Vegas.

Advertisements

, ,

Leave a comment

You teach me, and I’ll teach you – Pokémon

Picture of the OU News story‘You teach me, and I’ll teach you’ goes the Pokémon theme tune, and you can see the tv series as the learning journey that the central character, Ash, makes from complete novice to Pokémon master.

As ed-tech social media fills up with rapid-response pieces on what Pokémon Go could mean for education, I thought it was time to refer back to work with a more solid basis. And what could be a better starting point than our 2014 book on Augmented Education?

Augmented Education explores the implications and challenges of augmented learning – learning at the frontiers of reality – and the ways in which we can understand it, structure it, develop it and employ it. It investigates what we can do now that we could not do before, and asks whether these new possibilities could fundamentally affect how people approach and benefit from learning. For example, can augmented learning create the social, affective and cognitive conditions that will allow individuals and groups of people not only to approach learning in a meaningful way, but also to engage with it more deeply?

To encourage people to read the book, I wrote a piece for the OU News and OpenLearn on Pokémon Go, and how the game aligns with the four approaches to augmented education that we identify in the book.

The book provides a detailed overview of the newest possibilities in education and shows how technological developments can be harnessed to support inclusive and collaborative knowledge building through formal and informal learning.

In order to do this, we employ a broad definition of augmented learning.
“Augmented learning uses electronic devices to extend learners’ interactions with and perception of their current environment to include and bring to life different times, spaces, characters and possibilities. It offers possibilities for the transformation of learners and their learning contexts.”
Using this definition, the book extends beyond the augmentation of teaching, learning and schools to include informal subject-based learning, learning using social media, collaborative informal learning and educating the transhuman.

View a draft of Chapter 1, which introduces augmented learning and considers what augmentation can offer to education. This ScoopIt on Augmented Education pulls together a series of related links.

 

,

Leave a comment

Augmented Education

Augmented Education: book coverI’m really excited that our new book, Augmented Education is out now from Palgrave. Not only because it is great to see our work in print, but also because it is an interesting book on a fascinating subject.

‘Augmented Education’ explores the implications and challenges of augmented learning – learning at the frontiers of reality – and the ways in which we can understand it, structure it, develop it and employ it. It investigates what we can do now that we could not do before, and asks whether these new possibilities could fundamentally affect how people approach and benefit from learning. For example, can augmented learning create the social, affective and cognitive conditions that will allow individuals and groups of people not only to approach learning in a meaningful way, but also to engage with it more deeply?

The book provides a detailed overview of the newest possibilities in education and shows how technological developments can be harnessed to support inclusive and collaborative knowledge building through formal and informal learning.

In order to do this, we employ a broad definition of augmented learning.
“Augmented learning uses electronic devices to extend learners’ interactions with and perception of their current environment to include and bring to life different times, spaces, characters and possibilities. It offers possibilities for the transformation of learners and their learning contexts.”
Using this definition, the book extends beyond the augmentation of teaching, learning and schools to include informal subject-based learning, learning using social media, collaborative informal learning and educating the transhuman.

View a draft of Chapter 1, which introduces augmented learning and considers what augmentation can offer to education. This ScoopIt on Augmented Education pulls together a series of related links.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Breaking down the barriers

Ferguson, Rebecca and Sheehy, Kieron (2010). Breaking down the barriers. In: Sheehy, Kieron; Ferguson, Rebecca and Clough, Gill eds. Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education. Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World. Hauppauge, N.Y: Nova Science Publishers.

This chapter focuses on the views of teenaged learners – a perspective that should not be controversial at all, and yet it is. Millions of young people engage in social and play activities within virtual worlds every day. We have, for the first time in history, a large population of learners who are well versed in immersive technologies and who choose to use them. As educators seek to take advantage of the affordances and popularity of virtual spaces, it is interesting to note the relative absence of voices of the learners reflecting on how these environments could be used and how they would like to see these educational spaces developed. This research focuses on the views expressed in the postings and comments of young people involved in a virtual world education project.  It considers the insights that these voices offer educationalists and, in particular, the implications that arise for creating future educational environments.

 

 

Leave a comment

Virtual worlds are authentic sites for learning

Clough, Gill and Ferguson, Rebecca (2010). Virtual worlds are authentic sites for learning. In: Sheehy, Kieron; Ferguson, Rebecca and Clough, Gill eds. Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education. Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers.

This chapter considers how ‘meaningful learning’ can be understood in the context of knowledge-age skills. Through a study conducted in Second Life™, it investigates whether terms such as ‘authentic’, ‘active’ and ‘collaborative’ can be applied to activities undertaken in virtual worlds. It examines the knowledge-age skills employed in virtual worlds, relating these skills to the characteristics of the learning environment. Finally, it asks whether the distinction between meaningful and non-meaningful learning environments is more important for the development of knowledge-age skills than the distinction between formal and informal situations or between staff-run and student-run situations.

 

Leave a comment

Challenging Education In Virtual Worlds

Ferguson, Rebecca; Sheehy, Kieron and Clough, Gill (2010). Introduction: challenging education in virtual worlds. In: Sheehy, Kieron; Ferguson, Rebecca and Clough, Gill eds. Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education. Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World. Hauppauge, N.Y: Nova Science Publishers.

This chapter sets a context for the book and consequently for the subsequent chapters. It highlights the rapid rise of interest in virtual worlds from educationalists and researchers and the immense scale of these new frontiers of social interaction. The chapter presents a definition of a virtual world and proposes four categories that may be used when analysing the impact of this development on education: Reproduction of the physical form, Reproduction of the values, Versioning and Counterpoint. Each of these categories is discussed in turn and the argument is developed that education within virtual worlds has the potential to change our understanding of education. This controversial position creates a backdrop for an overview of the themes of each chapter within the book. The chapter concludes that the traditional roles and identities of learners and teachers are being redefined through opportunities and experiences provided by virtual spaces. New practices are being developed, which offer insights into a pedagogy that is authentic, inclusive and enjoyable.

Leave a comment

Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education

Book coverIn 2010 our edited book was published by Nova Science.

Sheehy, Kieron; Ferguson, Rebecca and Clough, Gill eds. (2010). Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontiers of Education.Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers.

The book deals with the challenges that arise when virtual worlds are used for learning and teaching. The ideas and practices emerging from this field are relevant to all educators, and offers insights into the development of a pedagogy that is authentic, inclusive and enjoyable. Each chapter addresses a particular issue and is illustrated with examples drawn from both research and practice. These examples cover a wide range of learning scenarios, both formal and informal, involving teenagers, school pupils, undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as a variety of lifelong learners. The issues include the importance of virtual worlds, the influence of online games and physical-world economics and politics, the relationship between avatars and learner identity, the challenges of ensuring child safety and protection, interaction between real-world and in-world environments and activities, accessibility and the development of new pedagogies.The authors’ are all teachers and learners in virtual worlds; many have been responsible for designing, programming and maintaining virtual environments.

Leave a comment