technology enabled learning communities

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A start...imperfect but the beginning of a conversation.


  • 1. Technology enabled learning communities
    Paul Treadwell
    October 7, 2011
  • 2. Defining our terms
    Technology enabled
    Employs technology to facilitate social learning
    Is a group/collaborative tool
    Potentially exclusionary
    Learning community
    Social space created with shared intent to learn
    Self forming
  • 3. Boundaries of learning
    acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. may involve synthesizing different types of information
    Social learning
    social learning may be defined as a change in understanding that goes beyond the individual to become situated within wider social units or communities of practice through social interactions between actors within social networks. (Reed, et al. 2010)
  • 4. Varieties of community
    Social media
    Structured distance learning
    Combines elements of physical and virtual to amplify inputs and impacts.
    The global/local connection
  • 5. Aspects of community
    Defines the commonality
    Distinguishes from others
    May exclude
    Norms and habits
    Tolerance (?)
    Network / social system
  • 6. Learning
    Schools, universities
    Trade unions, associations
    More vertical
    Self forming
    Interest groups
    More horizontal
  • 7. Information or learning
    Anyone (with access) can just google it
    Technology cannot magically transmute information into learning
    Interaction transmutes info to learning
  • 8. Examples/case studies
    Forest Connect
    TecNica Learning exchange
  • 9. Supporting and growing existing learning communities
    Technology can capture, archive and re-use learning moments
    Ability to connect , or enter into, dialog, that has history and trajectory
    Increase in type and number of platform options distributes accessibility more broadly.
  • 10. ForestConnect
    Uses Adobe Connect
    Expand on previous communication and education systems
    provide real time interaction and learning with participants and instructors
  • 11. OLPC - Uruguay
    One laptop per child
    Used in schools and at home
    Laptops have integrated social aspects that allow peer connections.
  • 12. Facilitating new learning communities
    Bridging distance, crossing borders
    Opening new pathways for connection and content
    Connecting the real and the virtual
  • 13. HWWFF
    The How, When and why of Forest Farming
    Tied to physical locations
    Emerging field of knowledge
  • 14. TecNica Learning Exchange
    Cross cultural learning
    Engages technology as tool and medium
    Sustains connections
  • 15. Ithaca-Afghanistan
    Videoconferencing connecting extension faculty to nomadic farmers.
    Impossible to imagine 15 years ago
  • 16. Its not all wine and roses
    Its not so simple
    Educational intent and tools selection can have negative impacts
    New skills are needed to engage technology with fidelity
  • 17. Exclusion
    Universal access is not a reality
    Intent and attention have to be paid to who is excluded when we chose to use technology
    Creativity is essential to developing inclusive, technology enabled, learning communities.
  • 18. The faade of participation
    Calling something participation does not make it so.
    The tools and technologies of participatory learning , with technology can replicate and reinforce existing power dynamics
  • 19. New literacies for participation
  • 20. Democratic communities, democratic technologies
    Learning communities should be dialogic spaces,
    The tools and technologies we choose to use should reflect our values
    Participatory, democratizing, education needs to be supported by equivalent technologies
  • 21. Expanding learning
  • 22. References
    Reed, M. S., A. C. Evely, G. Cundill, I. Fazey, J. Glass, A. Laing, J. Newig, B. Parrish, C. Prell, C. Raymond, and L. C. Stringer. 2010. What is social learning? Ecology and Society15(4): r1. [online] URL:
    Paul Treadwell


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