Friday, April 11, 2008

I have been thinking about the Networked Learning Conferences, both from the past and coming up soon. What I remember is that the "critique" approach seemed to question whether e-learning was something to engage with. Some of the discussion seemed not to get past this to an engagement with practice. Not sure if I missed where this could have changed. I have found a link to Chris Grey Against Learning and had another look. Not very polite about the web.

Having put up the Flickr photos from the leadership event ( see previous post ) I have noticed more support for such forms of social networking. In e-learning age Jane Hart writes about a toolbox based on surveys of people in educationa and training and hosted by the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies. Most of this seems to be the sort of software usually mentioned anyway in discussion about the web, including Google Docs and Firefox. My guess is that this has mostly come companies and individuals in groups.

I have searched out some photos from Networked Learning 2004 and started a new set on Flickr. ( I reached the 200 limit so have now invested in the pro offer so will carry on loading more from the backlist indefinitely...) There is a spot for comment on Flickr but also the toolbox mentions voicethread, "a collaborative slideshow tool" for linking in audio. So maybe more links will turn up.

On Flickr there are tags for "networkedlearning" and "networklearning" but not much from the conferences.

One topic will be to sort out a definition for "Technology Enhanced Learning". From a Prolearn email I have found a Wikipedia reference. There is a note as of today that the article is not categorised and should be categorised with others of a similar nature. It will be interesting to see if this changes over the next couple of months.

One of the discussions will be about "The Tyranny of Participation and Collaboration in Networked Learning" including claims about "heterotopian spaces". Google is not very useful in explaining heterotopia. The Wikipedia offers a couple of obviously wrong choices and a link to Foucault. Most of the Google results are for journal articles that require payment.

I have found a description of one from Sage-

Shaping e-Access in the Cybercafé: Networks, Boundaries and Heterotopian Innovation
Sonia Liff

Warwick Business School, Warwick University,

Fred Steward

Brunel Research in Enterprise, Sustainability and Ethics (BRESE), School of Business and Management, Brunel University,

The cybercafé is located as an innovative site of e-access emerging in the 1990s. Accounts of its novelty are reviewed. Its distinctiveness as a site linking the `real' and the `virtual' is theorized in terms of social networks and Foucault's concept of heterotopia. The growth and nature of cybercafés in the UK are investigated using data from a number of surveys. The detailed practices of a sample of cybercafés are examined using data from on-site interviews and observations. It is shown that the properties of a heterotopia are expressed in cybercafés, but to differing degrees explained by contrasting types of boundary-spanning practice. It argued that this analysis has implications for the future management and facilitation of e-access in cybercafés.

Key Words: boundary spanning • cybercafé • e-access • heterotopia • information and communication technology (ICT) policy • innovation • network

Maybe some link will suggest more about this. I may pay out for the download but it could be better value to have a couple of hours web access at Life Bytes.

Comments welcome.

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