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New Working Group: Learning From Each Other

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    I am happy to share news that our Minciu Sodas laboratory has a new working group lead by Pamela McLean. Her key concept is learning from each other and
    Message 1 of 3 , May 29, 2006
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      I am happy to share news that our Minciu Sodas laboratory has a new
      working group lead by Pamela McLean. Her key concept is "learning from
      each other" and that's the name of the group! Please join us at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learningfromeachother/ by sending a blank
      message to learningfromeachother-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      Pamela's investigatory question is How do we use ICT to enable an
      educational system that lets self-directed learners be agents of their
      own learning?

      It will take some time for us to build momentum. Jeff Buderer
      http://www.onevillage.biz of our Back To The Root working group
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/backtotheroot/ for leadership development
      has agreed that for now we work on distance learning also at Back To The
      Root until we get going at this new group. What I think the two groups
      have in common is the importance of first hand knowledge in being
      connected with ourselves and truly self-directed. Jeff, Thank you! and
      hi to Amy! and all our new participants at BTTR.

      Pamela lives in London, UK and is a leader of CawdNet
      http://www.cawd.net/daisy/CawdNet/715.html a network which combines
      networking on the Internet with community networking in rural Africa.
      She is especially active in Nigeria, helping teachers learn how to use
      ICT, and bolstering existing networks in Africa by linking up all manner
      of experts and helpers from around the world.

      Helmut Leitner shares notes from his extensive conversations with Pamela:

      I learned of Pamela through Jeff Buderer and also Janet Feldman of
      KAIPPG speaks very well of her. I met Pamela twice this month in
      London and was impressed by her good energy and deep experience. We're
      truly blessed to welcome her as a leader at our laboratory.

      Pamela and I also spoke about the technologies we're using. We'll try
      to coordinate our approaches. Our plan is to use our ProWiki at
      http://www.findbetterways.info to support unstructured learning (such as
      independent projects). She is setting up Moodle to support structured
      learning (such as step-by-step units), so we will be learning more about
      that, and I think, finding ways to participate. Omo Oaiya and Helmut
      Leitner will be speaking about Moodle and I hope will advise on which
      technology to use for which purposes. Also, perhaps our efforts might
      link up with OneVillage's.

      Pamela, I share your letter below. Oh, yes, you now have moderator
      privileges, please use them!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas

      Pamela McLean wrote:

      >Hi Andrius - and hello to anyone else who has joined.
      >Thank you Andrius for setting up this group.
      >I look forward to discovering who you have invited, to meeting people
      >with shared interests, and learning from each other about how we can
      >learn, and how we can help others to learn, making the most of ICT.
      >Andrius - you have described additional information-handling strategies
      >that you have been using with yahoo groups so I look forward to finding
      >out more about those, in practice, here too.
      >I don't know what mechanism you normally use for sharing information
      >about group members. How would you like us to go about that? Should we
      >just write something here?
      >It would be good if we could start off this group by introducing
      >ourselves to each other.
      >Each letter sent to Learning From Each Other enters the PUBLIC DOMAIN unless it explicitly states otherwise http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org Please be kind to our authors!
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Pamela McLean
      Where do we start in this group? What is it that we want to learn from each other? As Andrius explained in his introduction to this group, I am interested ICTs
      Message 2 of 3 , May 30, 2006
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        Where do we start in this group? What is it that we want to learn from
        each other? As Andrius explained in his introduction to this group, I am
        interested ICTs and increased opportunities for self-directed learning.
        This means that I am interested in the changing roles of teachers and
        learners now that ICTs are included in the learning process.

        I know that Andrius is here already - I don't know who else has arrived
        - if anyone - so I will start by reflecting on what (and how) I have
        learned from Andrius (not only when we met, but also as a result of
        meeting). Our initial meeting was through an e-introduction via mutual
        e-contacts - so ICTs have played a part from the start..

        My impression of Andrius is that he is knowledgeable and shares his
        knowledge generously so it would be hard to spend time with him and
        learn nothing. We first met on May 13th - but not for long enough - so
        we met again on May 15th. We have also had a follow-up discussion on
        Skype - and now we meet again here (more ICT enabling of learning). It
        seems that Andrius is not a man who gets to know people via
        organisational labels or small talk - and I'm not really interested in
        that either - so I found him refreshingly direct and thoughtful.. For
        me, the result of spending time with Andrius was that I started looking
        in new ways at knowledge and information that I already had . In
        retrospect I realise that, through his interest and encouragement, he
        gave me "permission and opportunity" to consider what I was learning and
        what I wanted to learn next in the projects I am working on (rather
        than "what I need to do next to move ther projects forward").

        His intervention was a catalyst for a learning leap. He was helping me
        to move forward in my studies - so he was acting in some way as my
        teacher, He definitely wasn't in "sage on the stage" mode - acting as
        "the source of infromation" - but he wasn't "guide on the side" either
        - guiding me through the content. It was something different - something
        I am still reflecting on.

        I have just skimmed through Andrius' "Learning from First Hand
        Accounts" email to this group - and have printed it out to read properly
        later. (I see another one "New Working Group: Learning From Each Other".
        I won't be reading that until I have sent this, so will not be referring
        to it here).

        I like the analysis and clear thinking in "Learning from First Hand
        Accounts" - I hope I will absorb some of those ideas and structures as
        we learn from each other here. The "voice" that he was writing with in
        there reminded me of books related to counseling. It suddenly occurred
        to me that when Andrius had acted as a "learning catalyst" he had done
        it by being a kind of "learning counselor" - taking the "pastoral role"
        of the teacher - rather than the curriculum/content focused role of the
        teacher as learning guide. We had looked in considerable detail at what
        I was learning - the "curriculum content" - when we discusseed the
        project I am working on - but the priorities shifted when we started to
        look seriously at what I really wanted to study and my personal
        motivation .

        The pastoral role is one I had previously overlooked when I had
        considered the various roles played by teachers, self directed
        students, "information sources" and ICTs. Self directed students often
        don't need anyone else to guide their studies, and when it comes to
        content they get that from the Internet or discussion with their peers.
        In many cases they don't need a teacher to assign them work or to mark
        it or to accredit their final level of performance and knowledge - but -
        the occasional session with a learning counselor - I reckon that can
        really help a self-directed student to refocus and get back on the fast

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