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New Technology Supporting Informal Learning

Want to get a good sense of emerging technologies available for learning and training? New Technology Supporting Informal Learning offers a great “state of the field” analysis of change pressures and tools/methods available as a response.

From the article: “Learning networks capture an essential element in learning today, the simple fact that we don’t know what we want to teach…Social networks represent a gradual decentralization of content and contact online…we are currently seeing experimentation in the development of distributed online courses and in software – particularly, the personal learning environment – that support the formation of connections between the far-flung pieces of such courses.”
The need for participatory pedagogy is obvious. Many researchers have acknowledged this for decades. Unique today is the ready access to simple technologies that permit high levels of participation at classroom and course levels.


  1. Doug Holton wrote:

    Wish there was a way to annotate articles. Virtually every paragraph has issues.

    Elgg the successor to Drupal?

    Simulations must have a start point and an end point and are inherently static?

    It is impossible for simulations & games to design unerringly for the learning needs of the student? Is that every possible?

    The digital natives / digital immigrants idea has been refuted by many, along with ideas like “A child raised on text will think and learn differently from a child raised on cartoons or Facebook”

    “to push learning decisions down the
    hierarchy or out to the edges of the network” – it really pushes decisions to those with the loudest, most frequent voices and strongest opinions

    And it is quite obviously false that no one knows what they want to teach: “an essential element in learning today, the simple fact that we don’t know what
    we want to teach”

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  2. Doug Belshaw wrote:

    I wish everyone used something like (as I do on my thesis blog –

    Would make life a bit easier… :-)

    Friday, February 26, 2010 at 5:02 am | Permalink
  3. Lauren wrote:

    In graduate school we incorporate many aspects of social media, that are actually very tactful, I was even surprised. Twitter, Jing, HotPotatoes, are just a few of what I’ve been using in my classes. The character and timing constraints make it challenging to provide learners with the most central and key ideas, which allows creativity to become cultivated. I believe knowing what professors want to teach is attainable in creative ways, I think a lot of it is based around innovative inventions for teaching in an online classroom.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink