Archive for the ‘PLE2011’ Category

Personalised Radio Ciphers: internet-radio and augmented social media for transformational learning of disadvantaged young people

May 11th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

This is proposal submitted by Andrew Ravenscroft, Graham Attwell, David Blagbrough and Dirk Stieglitz for the PLE2011 conference in Southampton has been accepted. We are going to have a lot of fun. And remember you can join us too. Whilst paper submissions are closed you can still submit proposals for posters pecha keucha or the media competition until June 11th.

Introduction: Designing personalized new media spaces to support transformational and emancipatory learning

Relatively recent research into, and definitions of, personalised learning environments (e.g. van Harmelen, 2008) have proposed new technological configurations or learning design patterns. These typically harmonise individual learner agency and initiative with a developing ecology of open web services and tools. This is the PLEs from an ‘alternative learning technology perspective’. Another and complementary way to view personalisation, that has a history beyond relatively recent technological developments, is to view ‘personlisation as practice’. In this sense, personalisation is rooted in the ‘deep’ matching and development of learners interests, experiences and motivations with their chosen informal or formal learning trajectories, that may be realized through personalised technologies. This is a psycho-social approach to personalisaton and learning technology design and use, that conceives of learning as something that grows out from the learner, rather than something that is acquired from some pre-structured, ‘external’ and ‘imposed’ curricula.

This position is particularly important when we are attempting to find technology-enabled ways to engage, retain and support the learning of disadvantaged people who are excluded, or at risk of exclusion, from traditional learning paths and trajectories. Arguably, this problem is most severe in the burgeoning numbers of NEETs (Not in Education Employment and Training) throughout the UK and Europe. Addressing the needs of these growing communities requires new and radical approaches to learning, learning design and technology-enabled practice. One foundation for a radical and technology-enabled pedagogy for disadvantaged groups is the groundbreaking work of Paulo Freire (1970).

Applying Friere to PLE design: Technical reformulation of ciphers

In Paulo Freire’s seminal work “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” (Freire, 1970), he emphasized the importance of critical engagement in and analysis of broader societal ‘cycles’ and their effects. One way to do this is through using lived culture, and praxis (action that is informed by values) as the foundational elements for developing circles that promote transformational learning. These ideas have recently been taken up within the non hierarchical, shared, creative, inclusive, safe and supported spaces called “ciphers” – which have emerged from the urban youth culture particularly around hip hop music (Wiliams, 2009).

We are currently using this cipher concept as a metaphor for designing and developing RadioActive, a hybrid of internet-radio and augmented social media platform to support the transformational learning of disadvantaged young people.

The RadioActive pilot

This presentation will describe the design, piloting and evaluation of RadioActive with NEETs in the London Borough of Hackney. The radio-social media platform is being co-designed with these NEETs and their support actors (such as youth workers and parents) in Hackney (in London). A key aspect is that the ‘going live’ aspect acts as a catalyst for community engagement and cohesion, linked to related social media activity. Put simply, the internet-radio gives a presence, real-time narrative and an energy that drives participation, interaction and content creation.

This is an innovative and participative broadcasting model that combines Open Source or easily affordable technology to create ‘the communities’ radio platform. This deliberately fuses, inspired by Web 2.0 trends, traditional distinctions between broadcaster/program planner and listener/consumer. The holistic design concept is an edutainment platform and hard to reach community combined, via the cipher approach, into a connected ‘live entity’ rather than the community being seen as a separate audience that is broadcast to.

The central idea is that this radio cipher provides the means to initially engage and retain NEETs, who can then be exposed to and participate in informal learning activities that lead to the development of skills and competencies that prepare them for Further Education or work. They develop both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills through RadioActive. The softer ones relate to personal expression, the development of self-confidence and self-esteem, and the development of collaborative working skills. The harder ones involve the development of concrete digital literacy, media production, communication and organizational skills, that can exploited in other education or employment related activities. Similarly, their artefacts and competencies are recorded (e.g. in an eportfolio) or made public (e.g on the web) in ways that can be presented to potential Educators or Employers.

The proposed conference activities

This contribution will follow the collaborative and praxis driven spirit of this project and the PLE conference, through incorporating 2 related activities:
1. A presentation linked to the archive of the pilot radio show;
2. Mashup madness or a community in harmony? Live RadioActive show and DJ set during a social event at the conference, with RadioActive DJ’s mixing a set based on 1 or 2 favorite songs suggested by each delegate.

References

Friere, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum Publishing.

Van Harmelen, H., Design trajectories: four experiments in PLE implementation, Interactive Learning Environments, 1744-5191, Volume 16, Issue 1, 2008, Pages 35 – 46.

Wiliams, D. (2009). The critical cultural cypher: Remaking Paulo Frieire’s cultural circles using Hip Hp culture. International, Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 2, 1, pp 1-29.

PLE Conference Proposals Review complete

May 9th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Reviews of proposals for the PLE2011 Conference in Southampton are now complete and authors will be informed of the results tomorrow. It is expected that enrollment for the conference will commence next Monday, with a draft programme being published by the end of the week.

An update on the PLE2011 conference

May 9th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

I am extremely busy today but time for a quick catch up on the Personal Learning Environments Conference 2011, being held from July 11- 13 in Southampton UK.

Last years conference in Barcelona attracted nearly 90 submissions, far in excess of what we expected. This year we had less, with 65 papers, symposia and workshops. I don’t think the lesser number was due to reduced interest, but rather that in the present economic climate, many researchers are finding it hard to gain funding for conferences (I will write a further blog on how we can deal with this). I suspect also that beautiful though Southampton may be, it does not match Barcelona in terms of conference pulling power! We have just finished the review procedure with all the attendant difficulties of establishing shared criteria and quality standards for reviews and persuading overworked colleagues tos pare the time for an unpaid for activity.

Out of the 65 submissions we have rejected two for not meeting the submission guidelines. A further four are ‘borderline’ and we are further reviewing those proposals. Happily the rest are considered good enough fro acceptance.

The good news – in general the standard of submissions is much higher this year than last year. I suspect there are two main reasons for this – firstly an improved common understanding in our communities around the idea of Personal Learning Environments. Last year we had problems in that in many proposals it was hard to relate the focus of the paper to the idea of PLEs – this year that relationship is much clearer. The second reason is that we extended the length of abstracts this year and that seems to have improved the quality.

But I still get the feeling that a number of submissions do not do justice to the ideas and research on which they are based. I do not find it easy writing proposal abstracts and wonder if there is some mileage in firstly a little collective thinking in what we are looking for in a proposal and how we can convey that to potential contributors and secondly a more inclusive and supporting procedure to help those – especially ’emerging’ researchers in writing quality proposals. Any ideas welcome.

PLE Conference Keynotes

April 26th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

The PLE2011 conference being held in Southampton from 11-13 July has announced its (un) keynote speakers – Cristina Costa, Scott Wilson, Riina Vuorikari and Les Carr.

According to the conference web site they will provide key insights and understanding of what makes a PLE, from personal experience, through individual analysis and with thoughtful speculations on the future directions of this important field. “Each of our four keynotes will offer a slightly different perspective on Personal Learning Environments and each guarantees to ensure that their sessions attain the high level of interactions and audience engagement which was established with the first conference in Barcelona.”

PLE Conference Extension

March 30th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

The organisers have announced an extension until April 10 for submissions to the PLE2011 conference taking place at the University of Southampton. UK, from July 11th to 13th 2011. The PLE Conference is intended to produce a space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experience and research around the development and implementation of PLEs – including the design of environments and the sociological and educational issues that they raise.  Full details from the conference website.

PLE2011 Conference

January 31st, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Last year Pontydysgu helped organise the first Perosnal Learning environment’s Conference, PLE2010, held in Barcelona. And, to our delight, it was a huge sucess, as much for teh open format and exchanget of ideas as the subject, I suspect.

And although, we had envisaged the conference being a one off, we have been encouraged by the feedback to organise a second conference this year. Our good friends Hugh Davis, Lisa Harris and Su White at the University of Southampton in the UK have kindly offered to host the conference. And here is the call for contributions. As last year, we particularly welcome interactive and participative formats for sessions. The conference web site can be accessed here.

Call for Papers: The PLE Conference 2011

Following the highly successful inaugural event in Barcelona (#PLE_BCN), the next PLE Conference will be held at the University of Southampton, UK (#PLE_SOU) from July 11th  to 13th 2011, and will have a lively social  programme as well as a highly interactive and innovative technical programme.

The Personal Learning Environment (PLE) Conference is intended to produce a space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experience and research around the development and implementation of PLEs – including the design of environments and the sociological and educational issues that they raise. Whilst the conference includes a traditional research paper strand, we also encourage proposals for sessions in different formats including workshops, posters, debates, cafe sessions and demonstrations aiming to sustain the dynamic and interactive discussion environment established by the opening event in Barcelona in 2010.

A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) includes the tools, communities, and services that constitute individual educational platforms learners use to direct their own learning and pursue educational goals. This represents a shift away from the traditional model of learning, and towards a model where students draw connections from a growing matrix of online and offline resources that they select and organise. To gain something of the flavour of last year¹s conference search for #PLE_BCN and see http://pleconference.citilab.eu/

CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline Saturday 26th March

The conference organisers welcome 500-800 word abstracts for full or short research papers. Submissions for other types of presentation, such as workshops, symposia, demonstrations and installations are also encouraged. These can be submitted electronically via ConfTool http://pleconf.cs.uni-paderborn.de/ . The full guidelines for submissions can be downloaded here.

Conference themes

Conference themes include (but are not limited to):

  • Theories and frameworks for Personal Learning Environments
  • Technologies and software for developing Personal Learning Environments
  • PLEs in Practice (case studies, approaches to using PLEs)
  • Educational institutions, change and PLEs
  • Pedagogical approaches to managing personal learning
  • The development and management of Personal Learning Networks
  • Mobile PLEs and augmented reality
  • Supporting informal and contextual learning
  • Using PLEs in organisations
  • Using PLEs for Work Based Learning
  • Mash-up PLEs
  • Presentation formats
  • Future visions:  Quo vadis PLE?

The PLE conference is especially looking for originality and relevancy of ideas and for creative proposals, in both form and content. Formats for publication and communication of research are two different things! Independently of the publication format you decide to contribute, full research paper, workshop etc., the organising committee encourages interactive and creative ways of communicating research.

Hence, we invite you to submit your contribution in the publication format you prefer and select your preference regarding the type of presentation  you wish to make (e.g.: round table discussion, bring your own laptop, cafe session, etc.) in the submission form. Once the review of papers is concluded, presentations will be organised by topics and session chairs will start liaising with participants regarding the organisation of their session. Our goal is to create spaces for meaningful discussions. In short, the purpose is to create opportunities for delegates to interact with each other and achieve real communication. We aim to promote dialogue and interactivity throughout the conference.

We welcome submissions and ideas for videos, photo collages, podcasts,  cartoons, posters – or any other kind of artifacts you can think of. In celebration of User Generated Content we will have a Mediacast Contest during the PLE Conference 2011 with awards for the best three mediacast productions on Personal Learning Environments.

A separate call for pechakucha sessions will be released shortly.

Review Process

All proposals will be subject to a peer review process and all proposals accepted will be published electronically with an ISSN number. In addition to the proceedings, we intend to publish selected conference papers in special editions of the journals that support the conference.
Please note that all submissions should be licensed under a Creative Commons licence.

Each registered participant may submit one full or short paper contribution to the conference, although further proposals in different formats are welcome.

Deadlines

The deadline for proposals is March 26th, 2011.
You will be notified if your submission has been accepted by April 30th.
For those submitting proceedings papers, the deadline for the receipt of the full paper is May 28th.

Final Submission Information

Full Papers
If your abstract is accepted, the full paper should be between 3000 and 5000 words. words (including references, tables and figures).

Short Papers/ Extended Abstracts
The short paper proposals are especially designed to encourage the presentation of work in progress. Short papers should be between 1500 words and 2500 words.

Workshops, Posters, Symposia, Demonstration, Installations, BringYourOwnLaptop sessions and other Formats.
Please submit your proposal indicating that you intend to make a contribution in one of these alternative formats.

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