Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Social web in support of informal learning by Teemu Arina

I've been workshop-hopping for the whole day. I know it annoys some people when I leave or enter rooms between the presentations, but the fact is that as I'm responsible for my own learning, I can choose what I will listen and what not. Many speakers are just dead-boring. Btw, having screens and audio outside of the workshop room would be very beneficial for conference folks like me.

As Teemu A. was speaking about social web supporting informal learning, I was chatting in Skype with my buddy Sebastian Fiedler at the same time. I've been giving him little updates about the conference, he was not able to come here. Then I opened a Skype audio call with him so that he was also able to listen to Teemu in real-time. (Teemu will make his audio available on his blog at

Teemu A. talked about how learning environments are affected by the approach that we take for learning. He put hierarchical approach and network approach of learning on the two end of the dimension, pointing out how connections form in groups. Informal learning is a lot about social interactions, and collecting and using social capital in networks. He mentioned "Connectivism" by George Siemens that outlines that relations are more important in learning than what goes on in the "pipe".

Teemu went on talking about how informal learning among young people take place nowadays. He talked about the shift from mono-chronic learning to polychronic learning where many things take place at the time, plans change rapidly, learning is multidimensional where learners commit to relationships and prefer using asynchronous tool to have layered communication going on.

At the end, Teemu concluded in an anecdotal note that content (I guess for both, formal and informal learning) should be put on the Web, made visible on Google, preferable in rss or any Web-feeds with Creative Commons license. Fun!

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