It is hard to create a good online environment that is well suited for connected learning. It demands a lot of time and effort, both from “teacher”/facilitator and learner, and a shared knowledge of different digital tools to become a really effective and creative learning experience.
It has been nice to think about my personal learning networks during this topic. When it comes to work related subjects they seem to be clustered in groups and networks focusing on themes (for exemple communication, digital services at libraries, teaching librarians etc). I wouldnt say that we use a lot of collaboration tools when learning are taking place in these networks or groups, more often it is a question of posing questions and discussions them in groups on social media or in Slack in between conferences or networking meetings. In my experience “the library community” consists of individuals that are extremely engaged and interested in their field of expertise and also more than willing to share their knowledge. When I got interviewed for my first position as a librarian they asked me what I thought was the most important personal trait a librarian should possess, and I remeber that I instinctionally said: the willingness to share (knowledge, resources, space) – maybe that is in fact a competence that is important for any occupation today?
A big part of our discussion in my PBL group this topic has been about different tools. Which tools could be used to enhance or support connected learning? Some of the tools that we have been talking about:
– maybe even diigo, delicious and such
– working together in mendeley could be useful
– google docs
– Coggle (see our presentation)
Not until this weekend it struck me that none of us mentioned Wiki as a powerful tool to use when collaborating on different topics, writing articles, creating wikibooks and so on.
I found the reading about frustration in relation to group work and online learning especially interesting. Of course it can be a big source of frustration when you have a group assignement and the work isnt getting anywhere or it feels like you are the only one in the group that has understood the task (or whatever it might be). One thing to make collaboration in groups more effective is to have clear learning objectives but also to help the students clarify expectations and tasks in the group (link to Re:thinks project about group contracts in Canvas here as soon as I get the material, in swedish: https://www.kau.se/rethink)
The social aspect of connected learning is very interesting I think, and a feature that is seldom used in online courses. With this in mind I am really looking forward to the next topic.