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  1. 1. THE PROBLEM OF CONTEXT: THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH ICT CAN SUPPORT LEARNING Rosemary Luckin, in collaboration with Wilma Clark and Joshua Underwood [email_address] <ul><li>Wiki: </li></ul><ul><li>http://eorframework.pbworks.com/ </li></ul>
  2. 5. Premise <ul><li>Context with respect to the use of technology to support learning is under-examined , under-theorized and under-developed : we need to re-connect technology, learning and context in the way in which we design and use technology to support learning . </li></ul>
  3. 6. How can we talk about these circumstances to support design? What can we learn from theory? What can we learn from previous work? Testing the EoR
  4. 7. How can we talk about these circumstances to support design? What can we learn from theory? What can we learn from previous work?
  5. 8. Theoretical Background 5
  6. 9. Theoretical Background to ‘Context’ A complex multiplicity to which we are serially exposed. Language makes reference to local issues , local conditions , local knowledge , social , interactional and institutional elements and a sense of history through ‘ sedimented structures ’ (Williams, 2002). Linked to Space and Place with the attribute of Landscape and thus horizon and boundaries .
  7. 10. Theoretical Background to ‘Context’ Context as a container OR as distributed in the artifacts which are woven together in concert with and as part of the permeable, changing, events of life . (Cole, 1996). Artefact-mediated action - the existence of both the mediated and unmediated link between subject and object. Situated Cognition , LPP and Activity Theory -> Vygotsky and the ZPD Every function has two levels: the interpsychological and the intrapsychological . All the higher functions originate as actual relations between human individuals. (Vygotsky, 1978).
  8. 11. The Zone of Proximal Development Pedagogy
  9. 12. Theoretical Background to ‘Context’ Distributed Cognition (Hutchins,1995) cognition has been ‘ unhooked from interactions with the world ’ –uses the metaphor of an ‘ ecology of thinking ’ to describe human cognition as interactions within an environment ‘rich in organizing resources ’. Goodwin (2003; 2007) - we need to take the structure of the environment into account through ‘ environmentally coupled gestures ’
  10. 13. Theoretical Background to ‘Context’ Context = ‘ any information that can be used to characterize the situation of an entity. An entity is a person, place, or object that is considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and applications themselves ’ (Dey, 2001). Dourish (2001) proposes embodied interaction as a feature of interaction; ‘ embodiment is a question of how the technology is used ’. Rogers (2006) impossible to implement context – we need the creation of technologies that can be ‘ ecologies of resources ’ that meet people’s needs, with people as the drivers in control.
  11. 14. Theoretical Background
  12. 15. Theoretical Background 10
  13. 16. A proposition: Context re-defined <ul><li>Context matters to learning; it is complex and local to a learner. </li></ul><ul><li>A learner is not exposed to multiple contexts, but rather has a single context that is their lived experience of the world that reflects their interactions with multiple resources : people, artefacts and environments. </li></ul><ul><li>The partial descriptions of the world that are offered to a learner through these resources act as the hooks for interactions in which action and meaning are built through internalization . </li></ul>
  14. 17. Context and the role of technology <ul><li>It is the role of the more able participants to scaffold a learner’s construction of a narrative that makes sense of the meanings distributed amongst the resources . </li></ul><ul><li>Designers of technology-rich learning environments need to support activity across multiple locations and with multiple people . </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed methods of human and computer distributed scaffolding as part of the wider task environment in a meta-scaffolding process to orchestrate the fading of the whole environment as well as its components </li></ul>
  15. 18. Putting Theory into Practice: Empirical Background
  16. 19. How can we talk about these circumstances to support design? What can we learn from theory? What can we learn from previous work?
  17. 20. The Homework project: participatory design with teachers, learners, parents OPEN MIND PRODUCTIONS, CHANNEL 4Learning, Joshua Underwood, Joe Holmberg, Hilary Smith, Hilary Tunley, Ben du Boulay
  18. 22. A = Zone of Available Assistance B = Zone of Proximal Adjustment ZPD learner more able partner
  19. 23. From Empirical work suggestions for Scaffolds and Adjustments <ul><li>The need to quantify assistance and value of meta-level scaffolding </li></ul><ul><li>The potential for building relationships between those who act as MAPs for learners </li></ul><ul><li>The potential for timely interventions to prompt vocalization and facilitator action </li></ul><ul><li>What is the role of technology here – when can it be smart and when can it support people to be smart? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we look at learners holistically and map out their interactions so that we can identify the role for technology? </li></ul>20
  20. 24. How can we talk about these circumstances to support design? What can we learn from theory? What can we learn from previous work?
  21. 25. The Zone of Proximal Development Pedagogy
  22. 26. A = Zone of Available Assistance learner learner
  23. 27. learner
  24. 28. Key = context category element Tools and People Knowledge and Skills Environment learner
  25. 29. Key = context category element = filter element Tools and People Knowledge and Skills Environment Filter Filter Filter learner
  26. 30. Key = context category element = filter element Tools and People Filter Filter Filter Knowledge and Skills Environment learner
  27. 31. Key = context category element = filter element Tools and People Knowledge filter Tools and People Filter Environment filter Knowledge and Skills Environment learner
  28. 32. The Ecology of Resources model of context <ul><li>The Ecology of Resources model represents the learner holistically with respect to the interactions that make up his or her context </li></ul><ul><li>Modelling context as a set of inter-related resource elements , including people and objects, the interactions between which integrate with their interactions with the learner to provide a particular context. </li></ul>25
  29. 33. The Homework project as an Ecology of Resources 30
  30. 34. Numeracy Numbers Addition Subtraction Time Addition adding 2 numbers to equal 10 adding and subtracting numbers 9 and 11 Family Tablet Mum Dad Sibling Family Norms Household ‘rules’ Bedtime Where work is allowed Home Rooms Lounge Bedroom Garden Key = influence = cxt. cat. element = filter element = part of = type of = social/family Tablet use ‘rules’ Battery Pen Keyboard Screen School Rooms Class Library Playground School ‘rules’ Timetable Where work is allowed learner
  31. 35. Numeracy Numbers Addition Subtraction Time Addition adding 2 numbers to equal 10 adding and subtracting numbers 9 and 11 Family Tablet Mum Dad Sibling Family Norms Household ‘rules’ Bedtime Where work is allowed Home Rooms Lounge Bedroom Garden Key = influence = cxt. cat. element = filter element = part of = type of = social/family Tablet use ‘rules’ Battery Pen Keyboard Screen School Rooms Class Library Playground School ‘rules’ Timetable Where work is allowed learner
  32. 36. What can the Ecology of Resources approach offer? <ul><li>The Ecology of Resources approach offers a way to: </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about learners holistically – to sensitize us to the range of interactions that constitute their contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Frame the participatory design process </li></ul><ul><li>Explore data to understand more about learners’ contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the assistance that could be available and the way that learners’ interactions with it might be filtered and supported </li></ul><ul><li>Identify situations where scaffolding might be used </li></ul>
  33. 37. Identify situations where scaffolding might be used <ul><li>A Design framework and a set of associated tools and methods </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 1: Create an Ecology of Resources Model to identify and organize the potential forms of assistance that can act as resources for learning. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1 – Brainstorming Potential Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to identify learners’ ZAA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2 – Specifying the Focus of Attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3 – Categorizing Resource Elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4 – Identify potential Resource Filters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 5 – Identify the Learner’s Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 6 – Identify potential More Able Partners . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase 2: Identify the relationships within and between the resources produced in Phase 1 . Identify the extent to which these relationships meet a learner’s needs and how they might be optimized with respect to that learner. </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 3: Develop the Scaffolds and Adjustments to support the learning relationships identified in Phase 2 and enable the negotiation of a ZPA for a learner. </li></ul>
  34. 38. How can we talk about these circumstances to support design? What can we learn from theory? What can we learn from previous work? 30 Testing the EoR
  35. 39. Example <ul><li>People: </li></ul><ul><li>Learners (11-15) and their mentors at a self-managed learning centre in the southeast of England. </li></ul><ul><li>Aim: </li></ul><ul><li>To explore and model learners and their contexts , with a particular focus on technologies. identify the range and types of resource, in particular technology resources, available to learners and to identify relationships between these resources and the varying contexts, in and beyond the centre, in and through which the learners sought to fulfil their learning needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Method: </li></ul><ul><li>An iterative, participatory design approach. The project was a collaborative effort between academic researchers, learners and their parents, and staff at the learning centre. </li></ul>
  36. 40. learner
  37. 41. Phase 1 Design Framework, Step 1 – Brainstorming Potential Resources to identify the learners’ ZAA Design Problem: (Generic) Characterising the learner, the learning context and learners’ interactions with their context and available technologies. Design Motivation Design Activity ZAA Issue 1 Characterising learner, learning context and available technologies Exploring the learning context using informal chat, observations, photographic data, documentary data Generic, general overview of spaces, people, tools, practices, technologies and activities Skills gap – technical support multi-context use of technologies 2 Linking learners, contexts and technologies 3 Linking learners and technologies to trips/visits 4 Linking learners and technologies to specific trips Exploring learner perceptions of relationships between trips, technologies and learning - group discussion (semi-structured interview) Focus down on practices and learner’s resources Distinctions made between studying/ learning ; leisure / learning; interests/ learning; and intrinsic/ extrinsic motivations Skills and knowledge gap – use of technologies for learning, green issues problematic (locale, transport, rules in public spaces)
  38. 42. Phase 1 Design Framework, Step 1 – Brainstorming Potential Resources to identify the learners’ ZAA 35 Refined ZAA (Trip to Royal Observatory to learn about Astronomy): Category Elements Knowledge Environment Resources Astronomy, information on the sky at night (stars, galaxies, Milky Way, etc.) Royal Observatory, Planetarium, shop, cafe, GPS networks, wifi connectivity, Internet connectivity, Planetarium Exhibit spaces, Planetarium learning workshops Learners, staff from learning centre, peers, researcher-designer, museum guides, show narrators, museum attendants, shop assistants, other museum staff), other learners/visitors, interactive exhibits, simulations, models, digital information screens, mobile phones, text messaging, batteries, memory cards, voice recorder, digital still image camera, digital video camera, combined still image/video camera, headphones, Planetarium shows and exhibits with information on the universe, galaxies, stars, black holes, Milky Way, films, video clips, DVDs.
  39. 43. Step 2 – Specifying the Focus of Attention <ul><li>How to support learners and their mentors to make effective and appropriate selections and use of available technologies to support learning on a trip . </li></ul><ul><li>How to support learners and their mentors to make effective and appropriate selections and use of technologies to support learning about astronomy at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. </li></ul><ul><li>How can we support the learner to make appropriate selection and use of available technologies to learn about the Milky Way whilst on a trip to the London Planetarium ? </li></ul>(R=Researcher, P = participant).   R: ... what we’re interested in doing is finding a way of talking to you about the stuff where, together, we can work out what the right things to use for particular learners, for particular activities might be, … P: Well… T’s organising a London Planetarium visit … we could agree on a community meeting that you could come to where we plan the planetarium and the college visit. R: … it needs to be part of your normal process… P: Because what we’ve just initially been doing, often it’s spontaneous, often not a lot of planning but we’re trying to move towards a situation where people are more planned, more thinking about what they want to learn from particular activities , you know, not just going on a visit but what do you actually want to get from this .
  40. 44. Step 3 – Categorising category elements Key = context category element Tools and People Knowledge and Skills Environment learner
  41. 45. Step 3 – Categorising category elements learner
  42. 46. Step 4 – Identifying filter elements Key = context category element = filter element Tools and People Filter Filter Filter Knowledge and Skills Environment learner
  43. 47. Step 4 – Identifying filter elements 40 Resources (can also be potential MAPs) Filters (can be positive or negative) Astronomy, Planetarium show, interactive exhibits, simulations, models, digital information screens, information about the universe, galaxies, stars, black holes, Milky Way, film or video clips, audio commentaries, Planetarium learning workshops, Planetarium shop Milky Way, design and layout of exhibit space , content/relevance/organisation of exhibits, access (to show, exhibits, workshops, shop), Internet connectivity, network connectivity , language, location, Planetarium rules , time Learners, staff from learning centre, peers, researcher-designer, Planetarium show narrator, museum guides, Planetarium ticket collectors, shop assistants, other museum staff, other learners/visitors Relationship , accessibility, time, location, existing knowledge, environment, confidence, opportunity, group/community rules Mobile phones, batteries, memory cards, voice recorder, digital still image camera, digital video camera, combined still image/video camera, headphones, mp3 player/iPod, DVDs Connectivity, Planetarium rules, copyright, power, storage capacity, technology skills, availability, quality, ambiance (e.g. light levels, sound levels)
  44. 48. Step 5 – Identifying learner resources Learner Resource Purpose Capture Confidence <ul><li>Secure in existing levels of knowledge and motivated to seek out new learning </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to approach specialists in a formal context </li></ul><ul><li>High level of dexterity, technical acumen in use of technology, willing to take risks, experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to seek help from others </li></ul><ul><li>At home in ‘formal’ or ‘strange’ environments </li></ul><ul><li>Developing social skills </li></ul>Learner self-assessment Pre- or post-trip Reflective journal Learning journal Learning Agreement Learning Goals
  45. 49. Step 6 – Identify potential More Able Partners Name Explicit/Implicit MAP Relationship and constraints Resources Planetarium Show Narrator Implicit Infrequent, formal interaction constrained by show timing and constraints of employment Low familiarity with learner Social skills Astronomy knowledge Learning Mentor Explicit Frequent, formal and informal interactions constrained to time at learning centre/on trip High familiarity with learner Social skills Some astronomy knowledge Peer Learner Implicit Frequent, formal and informal, constrained by time at centre Some familiarity with learner Some social skills Some astronomy knowledge Technology Explicit Frequent (if personal to the learner), infrequent (if access is shared, local, static); constraints (other people, space, skills, time) Astronomy knowledge Information storage/retrieval Simulations, play, interactivity Visualisation Communication Evaluation Participatory dialogue
  46. 50. Identify situations where scaffolding might be used <ul><li>A Design framework and a set of associated tools and methods </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 1: Create an Ecology of Resources Model to identify and organize the potential forms of assistance that can act as resources for learning. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1 – Brainstorming Potential Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to identify learners’ ZAA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2 – Specifying the Focus of Attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3 – Categorizing Resource Elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4 – Identify potential Resource Filters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 5 – Identify the Learner’s Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 6 – Identify potential More Able Partners . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase 2: Identify the relationships within and between the resources produced in Phase 1 . Identify the extent to which these relationships meet a learner’s needs and how they might be optimized with respect to that learner. </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 3: Develop the Scaffolds and Adjustments to support the learning relationships identified in Phase 2 and enable the negotiation of a ZPA for a learner. </li></ul>
  47. 51. Phase 2: Identifying Relationships and Filters learner Milky Way Andromeda Cigar Event Schedule Access Activities Peers, Mentor, Sibling Researcher - Designer Museum Staff Astronomy questions Astronomy inspires Astronomy explores Exhibits Galaxies Planetarium Rules
  48. 52. Modelling the Learner’s Context – The Planetarium Project
  49. 53. Phase 3: Identifying Scaffolds and Adjustments 45 Actions to be completed by learner and MAP Actions to be completed by design team to adjust and scaffold Negotiate a shared representation of the goal or sub-goal of potential interactions (identify the recognition-production gap). Provide facilities or tools to enable learner and MAP to negotiate the gap. Astronomy example: Learner and MAP can explore the range of available technologies and discuss their suitability for a particular activity. Explore the resources identified in the learner’s EoR model. In particular the filter elements and the extent to which these need adjustment. Provide accessible descriptions of available resources. Astronomy example: Learner consults with museum staff to establish rules of engagement with setting; local signage also contributes to this; researcher-designer and learner discuss functionalities of technologies. Select the resources most suitable for the learner and identify at what levels of difficulty and in what way these should be introduced. Provide specifications of the range of resources, e.g. level of difficulty or range of locations. Astronomy example: learner and researcher-designer discuss opportunities for in situ transfer of data using mobile phone and Flickr.
  50. 54. Trajectories of Learning in Learners’ Digital Worlds T1 T2 T3 T4 T5
  51. 55. Student D – playing game (iteration 4 prior to trip) – card selection – and taking photo at Planetarium
  52. 56. How can we talk about these circumstances to support design? What can we learn from theory? What can we learn from previous work? Testing the EoR
  53. 57. Joshua Underwood – language learning 50
  54. 58. Example design interaction data example <ul><li>I get asked if I want ‘un* poche’ in the supermarket. Tentative ideas about meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Use phone to note ‘un poche’ and add photo </li></ul><ul><li>Later reviewing entries on phone can’t remember pronunciation, use TTS, not convinced. </li></ul><ul><li>Later still on laptop look up pronunciation on forvo, can’t find it, request it </li></ul><ul><li>Search for gender and meaning of une poche and translations of plastic bag - they don’t coincide - un sac plastique </li></ul><ul><li>Send item to Blogger & tweet it from phone </li></ul><ul><li>Later get e-mail Blogger comment from Breton friend. I add a comment and link from the blog to forvo for someone to provide pronunciation for pochon </li></ul><ul><li>Later get a comment from another friend with a link to fr.wiktionary definition for pochon </li></ul><ul><li>Read article - find poche for small plastic bag used in south-west France, which is where I heard it :-) </li></ul>
  55. 59. Resources for investigating, making & sharing meaning TV & Film Newspapers, Books & Magazines, e-mail… Songs & Radio Language in action… Resources for investigating, making & sharing meaning
  56. 60. End result 1 – initial technology design for m-iLexicon Capture of language interactions & Context Notes, images, sounds, where & when Collected language items Resources Filters Structured language item record Interaction history Send item to resources e.g.
  57. 61. The Intelligence Dilemma <ul><li>We can’t scaffold everything: We can’t build intelligent systems to encompass all the interactions in a learners’ context. </li></ul><ul><li>We can identify situations where we can use technology (&AI) smartly and people smartly to build appropriate relationships to support learners’ interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>The EoR can help us to do this and to promote increasing learner autonomy by developing within learners the skills that enable them to build conceptual links between the networks of people, places and things that form their personal Ecology of Resources. </li></ul>
  58. 62. Resources <ul><li>Wiki: </li></ul><ul><li>http://eorframework.pbworks.com/ </li></ul>
  59. 63. Thank you

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    Jan. 18, 2013

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