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					Fostering Learning in the
   Networked World

            Roy Pea
           Becta, UK
        6 November 2008

 Including highlights from the Report of the NSF Task
 Force on Cyberlearning: A 21st Century Agenda for the
 National Science Foundation (July 2008)
Next decade of technology-enhanced
learning opportunities combines…

 •   ―Always on‖ smart mobiles
 •   Location-aware services
 •   Ubiquitous sensing of context
 •   Open platform technologies
 •   Elastic cloud computing resources
 •   Immersive worlds and games
 •   Increasingly open educational resources
 •   Participatory media culture
Participatory culture: 21st Century Media Education
 • How do we ensure that every child has access to the
 skills and experiences needed to become a full                 ―We have also identified a set of core social skills and cultural
 participant in the social, cultural, economic, and             competencies that young people should acquire if they are to be
 political future of our society?                               full, active, creative, and ethical participants in this emerging
                                                                participatory culture:
 • How do we ensure that every child has the ability to
 articulate his or her understanding of the way that        •   Play — the capacity to experiment with your surroundings as a
 media shapes perceptions of the world?                         form of problem-solving
                                                            •   Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the
 • How do we ensure that every child has been                   purpose of improvisation and discovery
 socialized into the emerging ethical standards that will   •   Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic
 shape their practices as media makers and as                   models of real world processes
 participants within online communities?
                                                            •   Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix
                                                                media content
                                                            •   Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift
                                                                focus as needed to salient details.
                                                            •   Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully
                                                                with tools that expand mental capacities
                                                            •   Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and
                                                                compare notes with others toward a common goal
                                                            •   Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility
                                                                of different information sources
                                                            •   Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of
                                                                stories and information across multiple modalities
                                                            •   Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and
                                                                disseminate information
                                                            •   Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities,
                                                                discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping
                                                                and following alternative norms.‖
Today’s youth are (mostly) wired and ready for tomorrow

                   • 93% of 12-17 yr old teens
                   use the Internet
                   • 64% of online teens are
                   generating new media content

                   • 39% of online teens share
                   online their own artistic
                   creations, photos, stories, or

                   • 28% have created their own
                   online journal or blog (35% girls;
                   20% boys)
                   • 27% maintain their personal
                   • 33% create or work on
                   webpages or blogs for others
                   • 26% remix content they find
                   online into their own creations

                 Pew Internet & American Life Project
                 (December 19, 2007)
In principle, exceptional resources for
human learning and activities…

… will become continuously accessible through
 networks of information, people and services.


  Do we know enough about learning across formal
  and informal environments to guide design of
  learning supports in the ubiquitous mobile computing
    Goals today

• Share our collective thinking about
  research opportunities and priorities             QuickTime™ and a
                                             are needed to see this picture.

  from 6-month study for NSF
  Cyberlearning Task Force Report.
• Share how our LIFE Center research is
  contributing to conceptualizing learning
  in ways potentially useful to these
      The Future of Cyberlearning:
               A vision of the year 2015…
                                    School          Home
                                                                        Mobile technology
                                                                        access to school
                                                                        materials and
           Virtual Laboratory                                           assignments

                                                           Virtual interaction
                                                            with classmates

                          Visualizations of                        Supplemental
Teachers                                                                              Parents
                         real-time data from                       content
                           remote sensors

                                Lifelong ―Digital Portfolio‖
What Is Cyberlearning?

• ―Learning that is mediated by networked computing
  and communications technologies‖
   – Evokes cyberinfrastructure
   – ―Cyber‖ also evokes Wiener’s (1948) “cybernetics” — built
     etymologically on the Greek term for ―steering‖ as a way to
     signal the intertwined tapestry of concepts relating the goal-
     directed actions, predictions, feedback, and responses in the
     systems (physical, social, engineering) for which cybernetics
     was to be an explanatory framework.
• Cyberlearning is thus learning in a networked world,
  where the forms of ―steering‖ of learning can arise in
  a hybrid manner from a variety of personal,
  educational, or collective sources and designs.
     Why Cyberlearning Now?

                                     NSF funding for
                                interdisciplinary programs
                                     in cyberlearning
  Powerful new                                                 Understanding of
  technologies                                                 how people learn
                                  New, more responsive
                                       methods of
                                 development and testing

                                 Demand for solutions to
                                  educational problems

Credit: John Sondek,                                         Using data to teach geoscience thinking

University of North Carolina,                                                    Credit: Tracy Gregg
Chapel Hill                                                             State University of New York
   Task Force Charge

Advisory Committees                                                  Task Force
• Directorate for Education and                                      •   Opportunities
  Human Resources                                                    •   Research questions
• Office of Cyberinfrastructure                                      •   Partners
                                                                     •   Strategies
                                                                     •   Existing resources
                                 STEM                                               SBE





         Cyberlearning Task Force Members

•   Christine L. Borgman (Chair): Professor of Information Studies, UCLA
•   Hal Abelson: Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, MIT
•   Lee Dirks: Director of Scholarly Communication, Microsoft
•   Roberta Johnson: Director of Education and Outreach, UCAR
•   Kenneth R. Koedinger: Professor of Human Computer Interaction / Psychology,
    Carnegie Mellon University
•   Marcia C. Linn: Professor of Development and Cognition, UC Berkeley
•   Clifford A. Lynch: Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information
•   Diana G. Oblinger: President, EDUCAUSE
•   Roy D. Pea: Professor of Education and the Learning Sciences, Stanford University
•   Katie Salen: Executive Director,
    Institute of Play
•   Marshall S. Smith: Director of Education,
    Hewlett Foundation
•   Alex Szalay: Professor of Astronomy,
    Johns Hopkins University
Centrality of Mediation in Cyberlearning

• ―The central fact about our psychology is the fact of
  mediation‖ (Vygotsky, 1982, p. 166).
• Subject and object are connected directly, but also
  indirectly, through the mediation of cultural artifacts,
  as with written language and math.
   – But also: programming, diagramming, maps, art, and
     including today’s virtual worlds and massively multiplayer
• As a result of mediation, human experiences — and
  how people learn —have evolved substantially in the
  past several millenia without evolution of our
  biological substrate.
A Brief History of Technological Advances
Making Cyberlearning Possible
Why Is Cyberlearning Important?

• Leverages learning through
  – Communication technologies
  – Students’ technology fluencies
• Extends capacity of educational institutions
  into life-long learning opportunities
  – Increases public understanding of science       War
  – Prepares citizens for complex, evolving, global
                 Recession           Global Warming
              LIFE Center perspective

How can we productively blend Formal and Informal learning?
         Greater potential than realized for harvesting “funds of
         knowledge” from people’s learning experiences outside of
         classrooms - and supporting bridging across informal and
         formal learning.

         For design - treat the activities and life experiences of the
         learner throughout the day as our units of learning design,
         description and explanation.
 Complex relations of “informal” and “formal” learning

              Formal settings                        Informal settings

            Designed learning                     Explicitly structured
Formal      opportunities with                    and guided with
Learning    curricula in school                   designed artifacts,
Processes (e.g. math lessons and                  environment features
          assignments).                           (after-school club, sport)

            Outside curriculum:                   Spontaneous and
            Learning of social or                 improvised, self-
Informal    cognitive content                     organizing
Learning    (e.g. leadership, gender              (e.g. adolescent gaming
Processes   roles, friendship)                    friends)

                   Roy Pea, Stanford University
               Learning Ecology Framework
                (Brigid Barron)

    Accessed set of contexts,
    comprised of configurations of                  Contexts of
    activities, material resources,
    and relationships that are found               Development
    in co-located physical or virtual
    spaces that provide
    opportunities for learning.
    (Source: B. Barron, Human
    Development, 2006)

• Unit of analysis is person and
  multiple life spaces
• A learning ecology is dynamic
• Subject to interventions
• Activities, ideas are more or less
  boundary crossing
• Influences: Lewin,
  Bronfenbrenner, Cole,
  Engeström, Lave, Rogoff, Saxe,

                               Framework has descriptive and prescriptive uses
     Home as central access point for
     learning: Technology fluencies (Barron)

                                                              Profiles from high school student survey
                                                              of computer tools at home, access
                                                              network points, learning resources and
                                                              breadth/depth scores
                                                        •     Generalist: Hi Breadth & Depth
                                                        •     Explorer: Hi Breadth & Low Depth
                                                        •     Specialist: Low Breadth & Hi
                                                        •     Beginner: Low Breadth & Depth
                                                        Table 4. M ean breadth and depth scores, by profile group
                                                                         Breadth                 Depth
                                                                         Mean      SD            Mean SD            N
                                                         Beginner        4.18      1.79          0.43      .50      61
                                                         Specialist      6.22      1.22          2.94      1.39     18
                                                         Explo rer       10.00     1.82          0.61      .50      18
                                                         Generalist      11.14     2.02          4.88      2.49     50

•   FIGURE: Percentage of each profile group who regularly use computers in each setting.
•   N = 147 from two diverse Silicon Valley high schools (high-income; low to middle income)
    An experiential focus for learning research

• Need to get inside the experiences of the learner - their interests, values,
  developing identities, perceived resources, commitments, emotions,
  engagement, challenges, appraisals, persistence…
• The power of the social:
    – How do learners leverage social networks and affiliative ties? What
      positionings and accountabilities do they enable that matter for learning?
• The power of the setting:
    – How do learners exploit the properties of settings to support learning, and how
      do they navigate the boundaries?
• The power of imagination:
    – What possible courses of action do learners consider, as they project possible
      selves, possible achievements, and reflect on the learning they need to get
       QuickTime™ and a
are needed to see this picture.

                                      Key Strategies and Opportunities for NSF

• Strategies: To promote the growth of a
  cyberlearning infrastructure
• Opportunities for Action: Greatest short-term
  payoff and long-term promise
• Themes
                                  – Develop talent and advance technologies
                                  – Enable students to use scientific data
                                  – Harness learning data
                                  – Support broader audiences: Dual use for research and
                                    education; large scaling by platform design
                                  – Sustain cyberlearning materials beyond NSF funding
          Develop Field and Advance Technologies

            • Strategy: Promoting new talent (programs,
              centers, training) and new technology
            • Opportunity: Using technologies to:
                      – Coordinate learning across formal and informal
                      – Connect students with remote and virtual
                      – Access interactive virtual or
                        ―mixed reality‖ environments

                                                            Ann Myers Medical Clinic in Second Life
                                                                       Image credit: Scienceroll blog
World of Warcraft,images/screenshots/,116,241,
Enable Students to Use Scientific Data

 • Strategy: Transforming STEM disciplines
   and K–12 education
   – New ways of looking at and understanding content
   – Preparing students for ―computational thinking‖
 • Opportunity: Teaching students and
   teachers how to harness
   large amounts of data
   – Scientific research
   – Responsible use of data
Harness Learning Data

• Strategy: Leveraging the data produced by
  cyberlearning systems
     – Teachers interacting with students and their
       school assignments
     – Students’ educational histories
• Opportunity: Encouraging shared systems
  that allow large-scale deployment, feedback,
  and improvement

Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center’s DataShop:
Support Broader Audiences

• Strategy: Addressing problems and
  opportunities with
   – Reapplication of tools and resources used
     in science and other sectors (dual use)
   – Scaling of technology for larger
• Opportunity: Funding
  development of resources
  usable for both research
  and education
 Students learning about photosynthesis in classroom & online activities
                                Images courtesy of Bill Sandoval, CENSEI
Sustain Cyberlearning Materials

   • Strategy: Sustaining cyberlearning
     innovations beyond their initial funding
   • Opportunity: Guaranteeing future availability
     of Open Education Resources

SimCalc Project                                                                    iLab Inverted Pendulum:          Mark Schulz, iLab
 Task Force Recommendations

1.   Build a vibrant cross-disciplinary
     cyberlearning field

2.   Instill a ―platform perspective‖: shared,
     interoperable designs of hardware,
     software, and services
3.   Emphasize the transformative power
     of technology
4.   Adopt programs and policies to
     promote open educational resources

5.   Sustain NSF-sponsored projects
     beyond grant funding with new
     partnerships                  Relationships Among Scientific Paradigms
                                            (Credit: Research & Node Layout: Kevin Boyack and Dick Klavans (;
          Data: Thompson ISI; Graphics & Typography: W. Bradford Paley (; Commissioned Katy Börner (
1. Build a vibrant cyberlearning field

• Promote cross-disciplinary communities of
  cyberlearning researchers and
  practitioners including
  –   Technologists
  –   Educators
  –   Domain scientists
  –   Social scientists
• Publish best practices
• Recruit diverse talents
                                                                Relationships Among Scientific Paradigms
                                          (Credit: Research & Node Layout: Kevin Boyack and Dick Klavans (;
        Data: Thompson ISI; Graphics & Typography: W. Bradford Paley (; Commissioned Katy Börner (
    2. Instill a ―platform perspective‖

• Platform = shared, interoperable,
  extensible designs of hardware,
  software, and services
• Think large-scale (elastic web
  services) from the start, not scale-
  up from one to more classrooms
• Incorporate and support
   – New technological innovations
   – Fully tested modules for classroom
• Widely usable now and in the
• Guidance from expert panel
            3. Emphasize the transformative
               power of technology at all levels

    • Information and communication technologies that:
            – Allow interaction with data, visualizations, remote and
              virtual laboratories, and experts
            – Bridge multiple learning environments and technologies

    • Support teachers’ professional development
            – Training programs
            – Professional societies
            – Collaborating to create
              new open access teaching materials
    • Lifelong potential for learning, from ―K to grey‖

Intel Classmate PC
Photo credit: Getty Images
4. Promote open educational resources

• Make materials available on the web with
  permission for unrestricted reuse and
• New proposals should plan to make their
  materials available and sustainable
5. Sustain NSF-sponsored projects

• Maintain cyberlearning innovations beyond
  the funding of a grant
• Extend initiatives across NSF divisions and
  create external partnerships
                                  STEM                                         SBE



                                  Educational Initiatives

          Industry                       Professional                             Other
                                         Organizations                         Institutions
       QuickTime™ and a
are needed to see this picture.

• Advances in cyberlearning technologies and the
  sciences of learning promise exceptional opportunities
  for transformative advances in learning for all.
• Becoming able to imagine and enact expansions of
  learning horizons is a major achievement that crosscuts
  environments for informal and formal learning, and will
  incorporate the mediating cyberinfrastructure tools now
  sweeping global societies.
• I encourage you to study and support cyberlearning
  outside school — and to find ways to re-voice the
  learner’s experiences in ways that will shape better
  designs for responsive learning environments.

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