Web 2.0 Model and Real Learning

Last week I gave a talk about how the Raspberry Pi computer models the psychological concepts of the MUSIC model (Jones, 2009), and also semantic encoding and social networking.

While I was speaking, something occurred to me. There are two factions of opinion to the use of technology in education. There is the movement to put the capitalistic, closed source and blatantly expensive iPad into our classrooms, and there are also products such as the Raspberry Pi, which are cheap, open sourced and have undergone a huge level of development from hobbyist programmers.

Both of them have landed up with a top product but for different reasons. There’s a culture in the Apple organisation for making things such that they can persuade people to want them. From that perspective, they can’t go wrong. But they have made a product and a framework that is simple to use, and allows for plenty of sharing. While you are often roped into subscribing to a lot more of the apple ecosystem than you might like to (think proprietary peripherals), it works, and it is an enjoyable experience to use.

Now the Pi on the other hand has a crowd sourced developing model. The genius to this is that average Joe is empowered to do his own coding. Thus the scope for innovation is practically unlimited. Through this we’ve seen numerous teaching models and novel ideas that make the Pi a true sandbox for creativity.

I read an interesting article this last week also about web 2.0 culture. Web 2.0 has done a lot more than merely make the internet interactive. What is has done is streamline discussion and empowered the individual to speak out. Retweets and reblogs amplify topics and the freedom of speech that web 2.0 affords, along with its audience and network of critics means that crowd sourced innovation and power is easily found. It is not hard then to see how the pedagogical support for the Raspberry Pi and other open source tools have only gotten better.

Jon Husband (2007) talks about how such learning can be likened to a fishnet. As you will see from the image below a fishnet can be lifted up and let down from varies nodes, creating short term and flexible hierarchies. The internet is “all periphery and no centre” (Hamel, but see Husband, 2007), yet there is times when a centre of control and direction is needed. But as the fishnets movements are governed by the waves of the sea, so too must the educational and commercial institutions adapt with such flexibility to make the best possible use of people and learning opportunities.

Picture Credit: Hamel (see Husband, 2007)

Picture Credit: Hamel (see Husband, 2007)

I am sure apple must have a similar such culture within their organisation, which has produced a fantastic product. I must say however that while the iPad is a tool; a means to an end to create something else. On the other hand, the Raspberry Pi’s open nature has empowered people to a level of unprecedented opportunity to dissect, understand, create and share.

 

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#Lecture2013

Die Powerpoint!

Die Powerpoint!

I just did a quick literature search on Google scholar for the word ‘twitter’. It seem that this medium is a relatively unexplored area in the realms of psychology. Tap in ‘twitter education’ and you get plenty about education, but nothing about twitter. One researcher has worked out that twitter gives foreign people an opportunity to practise genuine English conversation, but that was about as interesting as it got.

My project supervisor has mentioned once or twice the idea that an entire lecture slide could be fit into one tweet. The field of cognitive psychology teaches us that the semantic (meaning based) level of learning is by far the best way to learn something, if you actually want to remember it, and so the process of analysis and condensing that information down into such a small string will surely help somebody.

But we don’t merely learn from the type of rehearsal that is merely the robotic re-reading or repetition of someone else’s notes. In short, the person who should be tweeting, is YOU!

Picture a lecture where parallel to the slides (or better still, instead of the slides) is a tweet board. Student’s are invited to bring their iPads, Androids or Windowses and tweet back their semantic interpretation of what is being taught. Picture a lecture who examines the tweets during the break, and uses them to stimulate a discussion during the second half of the lecture.

Picture a class being given a hash tag on the morning of the exam, where they can tweet to each other their revision, so they are effectively teaching one another the content, and comparing their understanding with one another. Picture them asking their questions, and answering each others questions, literally quizzing each other.

The equipment is set up now, the costs for such a thing are nothing. I’m not a teacher yet, but I would be very excited to see this in motion one day.

Have a read of the link below too, I read this a few years back and thought nothing of it. But it is an example of it already having been done during a Latter-day Saint general conference a few years back.

http://tech.lds.org/blog/15-twitter-and-lds-general-conference

Was It Freud Wiki article detailing some of the evidence for these ideas