TEL Away Day: Social Learn

[Stephen Godwin has also blogged about the morning session.]

Martin Weller on SocialLearn – movie developed for mtg this afternoon, will go to VCE later.  We get an early draft still in Camtasia.  Microlearner – Move from expressed goals to relevant OERs via a Google CSE?

Then we get it again as a conventional PowerPoint.  Usual outline – part of response to Web 2.0 disruption in education.

SocialLearn is a profile, an API, a suite of learning applications, a site.

New tool called Microlearner – “Little snippets of learning that lead to a vast mind” – writes to and imports goals, resources, stream.  Also 2Learner – create/import goals, tasks, aggregate.  Pull in and publish relevant content (OpenLearn), relevant courses/designs (Cloudworks – “Flickr for learning designs”), publicise what you’re doing via Facebook apps, make connections with Cohere.

For – informal learners, students, educators (create your own PSE), partners, geeks, vocational learners.

Beta (invites) in July.

Business models hard – still don’t know how it’s going to make money, more work needed.  Use as springboard to get research in.  Then at end Feb appoint a ‘grown up director’ and make it all official.

The learner’s profile is held in one place, which is how you pull together everything together.  Though it’s an open API so you could read/write it from elsewhere.

Partnerships – could be e.g. Pearsons, Microsoft, etc.  Critical mass is key and hard to get.  Target two close-to-home groups initially – CPD and potential students who are ELQ and hence put off by high fees.

Is SocialLearn a Creepy Treehouse?  Less so since you give the choice/portability to the student, so they can make the decision about what’s work and what’s fun.    Clash between HE culture – we decide what you learn, and how – vs Web 2.0 where everyone does it.  Martin thinks SocialLearn should sit in the productive middle ground – students appreciate structure but it’s bottom-up – filter on the way out, not the way in (David Weinberger).

Most of Pearson’s money is from accreditation.  Tools For Change meeting – publishers’ get-together.  Trying to push aside HEIs from the business.  The point of SocialLearn is to create the nightmare competitor that puts them off.  A disaggregated education market place.

Relationship between SocialLearn and the OUVLE?  Duplication of MyStuff and profile?  MyStuff is an application that could plug in to the architecture.  SocialLearn could be seen as the VLE-killer (in the far future) – but more likely to be a tool that feeds in to the VLE, but comes with you after you leave university.  Need Eduglu to stick this all together, Microsoft, Cisco are all trying to build this stuff too – so clearly an idea whose time has come.

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Author: dougclow

Academic in the Institute of Educational Technology, the Open University, UK. Interested in technology-enhanced learning and learning analytics.