Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PLENK2010; Fostering Open and Networked Learning!



 picture source: Global Education
    Formally, the PLENK2010 ( Personal Learning Environments, Networks and Knowledge) which was kind of massive open online course (MOOC) finished last week but, informally it will be continuing through the networks of the participants which have been created during the course across various latforms.                     
    PLENK2010 covered various topics and issues from learning theories (e.g. comparing connectivism with other learning theories such as constructivism and cognitivism), PLE & PLN, self-directed informal learning, the role of educator in open education, the issues concerning the learner’s autonomy in open learning and many more relevant topics. 
   There was a ground for all participants with different learning styles and preferences to find out their ways in the context of this course in which, how they can learn, how to interact with others; just to be a lurker and stalking what is happening there or being an active participant to benefit from collaboration with other people in the course, creating and sharing the contents and being engaged in various forms to enrich the learning experiences. 

    For me, the MOOCs I have attended this autumn ( PLENK2010 & eci831) were exciting and very insightful. I enjoyed them and learned a lot as a participant and I got so many insights for my research on open education and networked learning. It was a great opportunity to encourage and keep me motivated to create and develop my PLE, also joining so many open online learning networks (OLNs) which have great potential for enhancing connectivity and networking in today’s connected world. 

   The big issue which makes me pondering is that: what these kinds of open online course add to education and learning?  What are the values of open education and networked social learning which challenge the structure of formal learning? And how the conventional formal education systems could cope with the needs of self-directed informal learning? Undoubtedly, these challenges are resulted from the evolutionary advancement of new social media and collaborative technologies which provide the infrastructure for putting more value on open education and informal social learning.