Since March I have engaged in a series of conversations with Dr. Emanuele Bardone. Apart from some obvious similarities in our current set up (we both hold postdoctoral Research Fellowships at Tallinn University, have Estonian partners, occasionally struggle with the odd inter-culture challenge, and so forth), we quickly detected a certain compatibility in interests and orientations. Emanuele’s background in philosophy (of cognition) and his focus on “chance-seeking” in digital learning environments make an interesting fit with my longterm interest in autodidaxy, self-education, and the emancipation of individual and collective learning activity in the context of the unfolding, digital transformation of society.
Well, we will see where things are going… but at the moment we are tinkering with some rather practical ideas on how to give a research collaboration a more concrete shape. Stay tuned.
I have just learned that Hariduse Infotehnoloogia Sihtasutuse (HITSA) will financially support my course design project “Field research methods in HCI” under their Tiger University Programme. The proposed course will eventually become part of the newly formed Master Degree Programme “Human Computer Interaction” (in English) at the Institute of Informatics, Tallinn University, Estonia.
“There is no one on earth who hasn’t learned something by himself and without a master explicator. Let’s call this way of learning “universal teaching” and say of it: “In reality, universal reaching has existed since the beginning of the world, alongside all the explicative methods. This teaching, by oneself, has, in reality, been what has formed all great men.” But this is the strange part: “Everyone has done this experiment a thousand times in his life, and yet it has never occurred to someone to say to someone else: I’ve learned many things without explanations, I think that you can too. … Neither I nor anyone in the world has ventured to draw on this fact to teach others. To the intelligence sleeping in each of us, it would suffice to say: age quod agis, continue to do what you are doing, “learn the fact, imitate it, know yourself. this is how nature works.” Methodically repeat the method of chance that gave you the measure of your power. The same intelligence is at work in all the acts of the human mind.
But this is the most difficult leap. This method is practiced of necessity by everyone, but no one wants to recognize it, no one wants to cope with the intellectual revolution it signifies. The social circle, the order of things, prevents it from being recognized for what it is: the true method by which everyone learns and by which everyone can take the measure of his capacity. One must dare to recognize it and pursue the open verification of its power–otherwise, the method of powerlessness, the Old Master, will last as long as the order of things…”
Jacques Ranciere (1991) in The ignorant schoolmaster.
“The term creative economy can be critiqued as a shibboleth, but as a high level metaphor, it nevertheless has value in directing us away from certain sorts of economic activity and toward other kinds. Much economic activity is in no way creative. If I have a monopoly on some valued resource, I do not need to be creative. Other forms of economic activity are intensely creative. If I have no valued resources, I must create something that is valued. At its simplest and yet most profound, the idea of a creative economy suggests a capacity to compete based on engaging in a gainful activity that is different from everyone else’s, rather than pursuing the same endeavor more competitively than everyone else. The ability to differentiate on novelty is key to the concept of creative economy and key to our analysis of education for this economy…”
Greg Hearn and Ruth Bridgstock (2010) in Education for the creative economy: Innovation, transdisciplinarity and networks
“For much of the twentieth century, learning focused on the acquisition of skills or transmission of information or what we define as “learning about.” Near the end of the twentieth century, learning theorists started to recognize the value of “learning to be,” of putting learning into a situated context that deals with systems and identity as well as the the transmission of knowledge… Although learning about and learning to be worked well in a relative stable world, in a world of constant flux, we need to embrace a theory of learning to become. Where most theories of learning see becoming as a transitional state toward becoming something, the twenty-first century requires us to think of learning as a practice of becoming over and over again. In order to understand both what that means and how it might be achieved, we need to examine some of the new modes of learning that have emerged in the twenty-first century. In particular, we need to consider the social, distributed, and networked dimensions of learning. More than this, we need to consider the broader economic and technological landscape in which these new modes of learning are forming.”
J. Seely Brown (2010) in Education in the creative economy
The IADIS CELDA 2013 conference aims to address the main issues concerned with evolving learning processes and supporting pedagogies and applications in the digital age. There have been advances in both cognitive psychology and computing that have affected the educational arena. The convergence of these two disciplines is increasing at a fast pace and affecting academia and professional practice in many ways.
Paradigms such as just-in-time learning, constructivism, student-centered learning and collaborative approaches have emerged and are being supported by technological advancements such as simulations, virtual reality and multi-agents systems. These developments have created both opportunities and areas of serious concerns.
This conference aims to cover both technological as well as pedagogical issues related to these developments. Main tracks have been identified (see below). However innovative contributions that do not easily fit into these areas will also be considered as long as they are directly related to the overall theme of the conference – cognition and exploratory learning in the digital age.
The submission deadline (2nd call extension) for full, short and reflection papers is June 7, 2013.
Looks like I will be participating in the 2nd Multidisciplinary Summer School on Design and Inquiry in Helsinki in June. The summer school is organized by the ERASMUS-LLP-Project “Creating Knowledge through Design & Conceptual innovation” and is hosted at the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The organisers describe the focus of the event in the following words:
This year’s Summer School is devoted to the design challenge of “How to design spaces that encourage active engagement?” Whether we want to learn, discuss, care for each other & our surroundings, or simply have fun, the respective social encounters are enabled but also shaped by the spaces available to us. Space is not limited to physical space, but includes mental, social, cultural… as well as virtual space. We see ourselves as creators of space as well as influenced by the culturally evolved space and its underlying practices.
In the Summer School we would like to approach the design challenge from different perspectives, bringing together ideas from practitioners, teachers, students and researchers. This allows us to collaboratively work through all phases of Design as Inquiry in order to experience and reflect the approach…
Dr. Emanuele Bardone with whom I am in the process of developing a research collaboration at Tallinn University is going to be one of the key-note speakers in Helsinki. Nice. I guess this means I won’t have to ride that Helsinki ferry alone…
Our paper “Personal learning environments: A conceptual landscape revisited” has been accepted for the PLE Conference 2013 in Berlin, Germany and Melbourne, Australia. Co-authored by Dr. Terje Väljataga the paper will try to provide an overview of the conceptual developments and different strands of research around Personal Learning Environments. We basically focus on what has happened since we presented our paper “Personal learning environments: concept or technology?” at PLE Conference 2010 in Barcelona. That paper was finally published as “Fiedler, S., & Väljataga, T. (2011). Personal learning environments: concept or technology? International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 2(4), 1-11″. Apparently its PLE Conference 2010 version is still accessible, too.
Our paper “Networked narrative accounts of personal learning projects: An instrument for systemic intervention research in higher education” has been accepted for 10th World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE 2013) in Torun, Poland. This paper is co-authored with Dr. Terje Väljataga from the HTK Centre for Educational Technology at Tallinn University.
The Estonian Research Council (Eesti Teadusagentuur) has granted me a PostDoc Research Fellowship under their Mobilitas/ESF programme.
The Fellowship will be hosted by the HTK Centre of Educational Technology at the Institute of Informatics, Tallinn University.
I will soon write more about the actual project that I proposed to carry out.
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