EDULEARN16 and Jisc Connect Wales

This week I was fortunate enough to have been asked to present at two conferences: EDULEARN16 in Barcelona and Jisc’s Connect Wales.

In Barcelona I talked about the informal learning and teaching models that I had observed as a MOOC student almost two years ago. My presentation was called ‘From Tiny corns Large Oaks Grow’ and compared the brief multimedia nuggets of information introduced at the start of each week’s lesson to acorns dropped by course tutors and then watered by MOOC participants by way of collaboration, discussion and signposting by peers. If 10% of my learning came by way of each ‘acorn’, then the remaining 90% came from peers. This then, was a clear example of how an informal learning network can use paragogy and heutagogy to enhance learning.

My final message was to suggest that we stop saying the MOOC model isn’t working purely because we’re looking at high rates of attrition. Let’s look instead at the models and frameworks of teaching and learning that are developing (perhaps by chance) and see how they can be applied to formal learning as well.

Here’s my presentation:

My Jisc presentation was also my first invitation to deliver a keynote plenary, and I was asked to deliver a presentation that looked at social media in education. My presentation looked at how students’ digital literacy skills can be honed through use of social media sites. Dangerous territory perhaps, as there is still a ‘NO FACEBOOK AND PUT YOUR PHONES IN YOUR BAGS’ mentality in a lot of institutions. My argument was that by using social media sites appropriately, course-based learning can be enhanced while digital literacy skills are honed. I’m not suggesting that we turn Facebook into a VLE, but certain sites can prove useful for collaboration and content curation.

Again, here’s my presentation:

I’ll be writing a second post (because my blog posts are like buses) looking at something that I talked about at the Jisc event: that instead of using one site specifically for (say) sharing photos of kittens and another to share our CV, we use them all for elements of all, but know who our potential audience is and understand that there are limits and boundaries to what we post as a result.

So this has been a busy, tiring but brilliant week. I do enjoy conference season!