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Multiliteracies for Social Networking and Collaborative Learning Environments



Session Outline






This session applies connectivist and multiliteracies approaches to exploring recent developments and issues in open learning, and how these might apply to more conventional settings.  The session is paced on Cormier’s 5 stages of MOOC participation: orient, declare, network, cluster, focus. Participants declare their personal goals for the course and trace their progress through eportfolios, either simple or elaborate. Any reasonable level of participation earns a badge in the course.



Target Audience


This session is appropriate for educators at any level of technical expertise provided only that participants maintain a positive, I-can-do-this attitude, resolve to get help from others in the network as an antidote to frustration, and are willing to try their hand at constructive play involving creating content online and giving feedback on each other’s creations. Although work with suggested tools is optional, with alternatives often available, participants should be willing to try out and sign up for some online accounts granting access to socially networked Web 2.0 tools and resources.


Participants should be able to articulate and explore their own learning strategies.  They should be comfortable with, or at least willing to have a go at, unstructured learning; that is, they should be prepared to discover and apply underlying structure for their perspective on the course according to their own experience and notions of learning. As George Siemens puts it, they should be prepared to find their own pathways on their individualized learning journeys and not expect to tread a path laid out in advance by a prescriptive course facilitator. Successful participants will keep an open mind regarding alternatives to traditional modes of learning, and resolve to learn from experimenting with finding their own pathways leading to their individualized goals.


Participants should also understand that the course is about deep and personal learning as opposed to training. It explores how participants can learn informally through models alternative to traditional institutional ones.  It deals with learning why, applying critical thinking, engaging with the material and applying one’s own schemata, and with tools and skills that engage higher echelons of Bloom’s (new digital) taxonomy.  Although working with the latter tools and skills might be assisted by tutorials and instructions, the course itself is not concerned with training how to do particular things, but in working through approaches that would enable learners to learn whatever might be appropriate to their future contexts (given the likelihood of change necessitating learning from others in a PLN), as opposed to learning finite skill sets.


Participants should understand that the facilitators here see themselves as what David Warlick characterizes as “master learners.” That is, their motivation for facilitating this course is also to learn through experimentation with open course configurations. They undertake to provide a level of cohesion that might guide participants in choosing their path toward achieving their own formulation and understanding of their notions of learning and literacy.  The facilitators will use their experience in suggesting tools and possible pathways for helping participants achieve their goals. However, the context assumes that participants will take cues from each other. They may request, but should not rely on, direction and feedback from facilitators in order to keep moving along their learning paths.




Interest Section Sponsors






Weekly Outline


By the end of this online session, participants


  • will have developed strategies for reflecting on and reconsidering their notions of these essential steps in successful learning: how they and their students can learn through constructive play, engagement, experimentation, and trial and error leading to chaos, failure and subsequent resolution for deeper understanding.
  •  will see more clearly the value of doubt, uncertainty, resolution of ambiguity, and modeling of successful outcomes as pedagogical tools for their students and for each other. 
  • will help each other discover, explore, and fit a range of available online tools to their individualized teaching and learning styles.
  • will enjoy learning at their own pace what they want to learn by helping other participants in the course to realize their own learning goals. 


Week 1  (Jan 14 - 20, 2013) - ORIENT


Introductions and session dynamics are a crucial part of week 1.

Orientation is guided by the course wiki at http://goodbyegutenberg.pbworks.com 



Week 2  (Jan 21 - 27, 2013) - DECLARE


Participants declare their goals for the course and how they would like to achieve them.

The ‘declaration’ should be in some open format (such as a blog) which anticipates the development of an eportfolio tracking progress in achieving those goals. 



Week 3    (Jan 28 - Feb 3, 2013) - NETWORK


Participants explore and develop their PLEs and PLNs, personal learning environments and networks.


Week 4     (Feb 4 - Feb 10, 2013) - CLUSTER


At this stage, participants should be identifying others in those networks that have similar interests, and perhaps find ways of collaborating with them on achieving their shared learning goals 



Week 5  (Feb 11 -17, 2013) - FOCUS


Participants prepare their eportfolios for presentation in whatever state they have reached. 

Ideally, they will present them to the group either in some asynchronous recorded format, or synchronously in a final wrap-up session. 

Perfection is not a goal; having something ‘deliverable’ to show for having participated in the course is the main criterion.


The final session could be at the end of the course or scheduled for a future Sunday as a Learning2gether event.  


At the end of the course, successful participants will be awarded badges they can mount on their eportolios as they see fit (hopefully the badge will be created by someone in the course, see <http://www.openbadges.org/en-US/>).  Evaluation of “success” is learner-oriented, augmented by feedback from other participants; that is, participants judge their degree of success based on what they have themselves put into their own learning during the session, and whether they achieved more or less what they had set out to do when committing themselves to participating in the course.


Wrap-up and session evaluation.



Join this session


Sign up for the session starts on Jan 7th, 2013 at 


The action starts on Jan 14, 2013.


To join this group:


From January 7 to 13:


  1. Go to: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/multilit/
    and JOIN the group 





Vance Stevens practices ESOL, CALL, and SMALL (social media assisted language learning). He coordinates the PLNs / CoPs Webheads in Action and Learning2gether, publishes, and blogs on educational technology.


Ana Cristina Pratas has taught content subjects and different fields of EAP for many years. She is also a blogger, curator, and has a strong interest in online/distance education. Her research interests include ethnography, digital education in developing countries as well as teacher training.

Ana Cristina currently works in Higher Education in the UAE.



Claire Bradin Siskin is just finishing up a 3-year project as director of the English as a Second Language Writing Online Workshop (ESL-WOW). She will soon start a 10-month appointment as an English Language Fellow at the Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda, Angola. Her website is at http://edvista.com/claire.



Tony Gurr is an educational consultant and instructional skills facilitator based in Ankara, Turkey. His blog http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com/ is popular with educators, trainers, curriculum and assessment specialists and educational managers.



Session Online Spaces


      ePortfolio tools: Blogs, Wikis, Glogster, http://www.wix.com/ 

      Networking and curation: Scoop.it, Twitter and Tweetdeck, Diigo / Delicious  

      Google tools: Blogger, Reader, Docs or Drive 

      Synchronous presentation tools: Bb Collaborate / Elluminate, Today’s Meet,
Big Marker: 
Google+ Hangout in conjunction with YouTube 

      Asynchronous presentation tools: Slideshare.net, Dropbox, Podomatic 

      Discussion tools: Yahoo Groups, Posterous 

      Aggregation tools: Feedburner, Pageflakes, Netvibes, Spezify 

      PLN’s: Learning2gether, EdTech Talk, Ed Tech Crew, Classroom 2.0, Mightybell, http://connectededucators.org/ 

      Open course platforms: P2PU, Coursera, Khan Academy, MIT, Udacity, TheCN.com
Open Masters concept: 

      MOOCs: any that happen to be going on to serve as models 

      Past MOOCs: Change11/12, EduMOOC, MobiMOOC

      Any upcoming MOOCs 



The Electronic Village Online is a project of TESOL's CALL Interest Section


Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Language, an international education association







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