Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology & Associate Professor at Royal Roads University

Social media & Open Education Critiques

Posted on July 27th, by George Veletsianos in open, scholarship, sharing, work. 4 comments
Critiquing eyes, by CarbonNYC (CC-license)

Critiques of the current state of education are omnipresent. In such critiques, authors often highlight the positive role that social media and open education can play. While I don’t believe that the status quo is the best environment for education and scholarship to thrive, I also don’t live in a social media utopia. Yet, the critiques of social media and open education that I read are often superficial and easily countered: face-to-face interaction is important and the “best” mode of communication, we can’t allow open participation due to federal regulation such as FERPA, etc, etc. This is frustrating. Critique and self-reflection are healthy, even for mere humans who support both the integration of social media and openness in educational settings (especially higher education). To help me (and my students) better understand the complexities, hidden agendas, implications, and rhetoric vs. reality, surrounding social media and open education, I have been collecting serious and well-articulated critiques of the two. I am posting a few of these below, but if you know of any more, please feel free to add them in the comments and I’ll update this entry!

Open Education: The need for critique (Richard Hall)

The educational significance of social media: A critical perspective (Neil Selwyn)

Citizenship, technology and learning –a review of recent literature (Neil Selwyn)

The romance of the public domain (Chander & Sunder)

What does ‘open’ really mean? (Tony Bates)

Emerging Technologies in Distance Education: Available

Posted on July 23rd, by George Veletsianos in online learning, open, papers, scholarship, work. 3 comments

My edited book, Emerging Technologies in Distance Education, has just been published from Athabasca University Press, Canada’s leading publisher of Open Access, peer-reviewed, scholarly publications! Go get your free copy from the AU site above, and if you want to support the great work that Athabasca University Press is doing, then purchase the paperback volume (disclaimer: I earn a minute stream of royalty fees per copy).

A summary of the book follows:

A one-stop knowledge resource, Emerging Technologies in Distance Education showcases the international work of research scholars and innovative distance education practitioners, who use emerging interactive technologies for teaching and learning at a distance. This widely anticipated book harnesses the dispersed knowledge of international experts who highlight pedagogical, organizational, cultural, social, and economic factors that influence the adoption and integration of emerging technologies in distance education. Emerging Technologies in Distance Education provides expert advice on how educators can launch effective and engaging distance education initiatives, in response to technological advancements, changing mindsets, and economic and organizational pressures. The volume goes beyond the hype surrounding Web 2.0 technologies and highlights the important issues that researchers and educators need to consider to enhance educational practice.

Individual chapters are as follows:

PART 1: Foundations of Emerging Technologies in Distance Education
1. A definition of emerging technologies for education | George Veletsianos
2. Theories for Learning with Emerging Technologies | Terry Anderson
3. Imagining multi-roles in Web 2.0 Distance Education | Elizabeth Wellburn & BJ Eib
4. Beyond distance and time constraints: applying social networking tools and Web 2.0 approaches in distanceeducation | Mark J. W. Lee & Catherine McLoughlin

PART 2: Learning Designs for Emerging Technologies
5. “Emerging”: A re-conceptualization of contemporary technology design and integration | The Learning Technologies Collaborative
6. Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open & Social Learning | Alec Couros
7. Creating a Culture of Community in the Online Classroom Using Artistic Pedagogical Technologies | Beth Perry & Margaret Edwards
8. Structured Dialogue Embedded within Emerging Technologies | Yiannis Laouris, Gayle Underwood, Romina Laouri, Aleco Christakis

PART 3: Social, Organizational, & Contextual Factors in Emerging Technologies Implementations
9. Personal Learning Environments | Trey Martindale & Michael Dowdy
10. Open source course management systems in distance education | Andrew Whitworth & Angela Benson
11. Implementing Wikis in higher education institutions: the case of the Open University of Israel | Hagit Meishar-Tal, Yoav Yair and Edna Tal-Elhasid
12. The Use of Web Analytics in the Design and Evaluation of Distance Education | P. Clint Rogers, Mary R. McEwen & SaraJoy Pond
13. New communication options: A renaissance in IP use | Richard Caladine, Trish Andrews, Belinda Tynan, Robyn Smyth, & Deborah Vale

PART 4: Learner-learner, Learner-Content, & Learner-Instructor Interaction & Communication with Emerging Technologies
14. Using Social Media to Create a Place that Supports Communication | Rita Kop
15. Technical, Pedagogical and Cultural Considerations for Language Learning in MUVEs / Charles Xiaoxue Wang, Brendan Calandra & Youngjoo Yi
16. Animated Pedagogical Agents and Immersive Worlds: Two Worlds Colliding / Bob Heller & Mike Procter

Trying out ELGG

Posted on July 10th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 3 comments

I am teaching an online course starting on Monday and I am using the ELGG social networking platform as the tool through which I will run the course. I’ve used ning, pbworks, and wordpress (and yes, even Moodle… and WebCT and Blackboard) to run courses in the past, but I am really excited about using ELGG because I don’t have to hack together various tools to offer a diverse social learning experience for my students. Judging from past experience and other users, the platform is promising and will deliver quite a lot! @roycekimmons and the people at UT’s IDEA Studio deserve a public thank you as well, as they had to tweak the installation and hack various plugins to fit our needs. More experiences with ELGG will be shared in due course!