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iLearn, uLearn, weLearn

March 31, 2010

OK, so I’m obviously not a marketer, as you can see by my lame title, but I am interested in social learning (that would be the “weLearn” part in case you didn’t get it).  Learning together.  Learning from each other.  Learning in a social context.  Which many online tools help us to do now.  So, is it just becoming more popular because of the technology?   Is it a chicken-egg thing?  (Of course, it isn’t because Bandura has been around longer than Facebook).  So, people are talking about the technology when they are developing a “social learning strategy”, but are they talking about the theory, too? 

How do we design for social learning ?  According to Bandura, this is what it looks like: 

1. Attention — the individual notices something in the environment.
2. Retention — the individual remembers what was noticed.
3. Reproduction — the individual produces an action that is a copy of what was noticed.
4. Motivation — the environment delivers a consequence that changes the probability the behavior will be emitted again (reinforcement and punishment)

I’m not entirely sure that the tools which are being sold as “social learning” are really meant for that.  What are they for?  They aren’t digital bobo dolls.  It’s kind of like the whole “social” term has been co-opted from social media (actually I hate that term).  I don’t think that the tools we attribute social learning properties to really fit what Bandura thought social learning was.  Nope, I’d have to agree with George Siemens and Stephen Downes (we Canadians stick together, eh?), it’s really connectivism

But, now that I think of it, maybe the entire industry is a social learning theory in practice…

  • they got our attention – look you can update your status and share your favorite youtube videos, just like on Facebook!  
  • in case we didn’t get it, someone will tweet it, so we will get it, et voila, retention
  • can you say “re-tweet” or “add friend” or “add connection” – yep, we all follow along, or reproduce
  • motivation – I have one word – unfriend…

I guess the ultimate question is around learning theory, instructional design and technology – weaving these together in a way that helps people learn.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 26, 2010 10:27 am

    Well I’ve started the first ever social educational network. Maybe you want to check it out and give me your feedback as to what you think?

    We gear towards mainly post secondary education because we want to become the universal hub for all post secondary establishments.

    We don’t stop there though. Anyone can join and learn and teach anything.
    Our slogan is “Freedom to learn, Freedom to teach, Freedom to share”

    At ilearnulearn we have features such as courses which helps post secondary students post the courses that they have taken. This will allow users to type in course codes or names. This will pulll up user profiles with relvant search results. Which will allow users to contact other users for old text books, course material, and if they are willing to tutor.

    If not that lets say you want to take a certain course but you don’t know what to expect from that course or the things you need for that course. Well type it into our search and contact the person who has already taken the course and ask them yourself to see what you might need to take or what to expect.

    Also we like to promote blended learning where you can do it face-to-face, videos, files, and ebooks to teach and to learn.

    You can teach anything because we are always learning. Something as simple as riding a bike can be taught.

    Can you play the guitar? Can you play chess? Do you know martial arts? Can you use an Iphone? Can you read, write and speak a different language? Some people actually want to learn these things.

    We want to provide a place where this can be all done in one spot.

    ilearnulearn.org is still in it’s beta stage and looking for your feedback to help us out. If you like it please spread the word about it. If not let us know why and what we can do to make it something you would be interested in using. The more users on there the more there are things to learn, teach and share.

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