Supporting Everyday Learning
This is an unedited transcript of my workshop.
There we go, so now I'm recording. That would have been interesting so welcome to the session called supporting everyday learning you probably saw the the advertisement for it so you have some idea of what to expect but overall what I'll be talking about today is as the title suggests supporting everyday learning.
Oops that's just size add a little bit better there that looks nice um, so the slides and the outliner available at this website here in addition to the conference recordings that are made available to you the slides audio video etc will be available after as well now. I'll start recording on my end.
I just like to make a backup of everything so this is supporting everyday learning. CNI April 2019, so welcome.
It's it's hard to do this. During the keynote yesterday. We were told that this was the first virtual conference that's he and IE has ever had it's not completely true back in yes that says in 1996 a group of colleagues and I put together something called online teaching and learning for what was then the Canadian Association for distance education that was a session for the wise and witty Wednesdays which later became the wise and witty weekdays and, It was pretty good example of the the sort of thing that counted as to use the quote supporting everyday learning that happened in the past.
I haven't seen any of these for a very long time they seem to have disappeared but they were pretty there were a regular in our field back then.
You know, when I it's it's gee it's like 20 years ago now no it's 40 years ago now just a few months shy of that. I started as a. New student first year student at the University of Calgary in the very first thing that I did was not to go to class it was to go to the student newspaper the gauntlet.
Sign on and my work with the student newspaper became as important to part of my education as my classes what was great about the student newspaper is that we were producing we first were doing two issues a week and then one issue a week we had to produce and it was you know day after day, we were producing stories producing articles etc and is what?
Well on the other side of it we were providing learning for people day after day week after week and this journalistic streak has defined a lot of the work that I've done over the years in online learning and to a large degree. I think defines my own approach to online learning and I think that there's a great deal that colleges and universities can learn especially in this digital age from.
The world of newspapers magazines, etc. So I want to begin with thinking about what is everyday learning and. You know from PBS learning they say learning does not take place only in the classroom we observe animal friends or sometimes enemies in the background we get out walk around we pick out new shapes we look at pieces of art but I would go beyond that we watch TV we listen to radio those of us who still listen to radio podcasts other media, we talk to friends, you know, there is a huge amount of learning that takes place outside.
The formal context of learning. I want to be clear about what I mean by everyday learning. What I mean is not this. You know, something that we do daily inside a course no what I mean is something that we do daily yeah does not have to be every single day but you get the idea and there are other things in our lives that happen courses projects hobbies work vacations, whatever right but it's not course defined it's learning defined.
And I know that this isn't the model that we use in schools colleges and universities. But my argument here and this is an argument is that it is more or more one that these institutions are institutions should be turning to. And so that's the kind of message that I'm trying to get across today is that there are things that we can do to support everyday learning has learning institutions.
So we're going to test the interactive features of this workshop. I don't have a list in front of me of all the people who are here, but what we're going to do is try a jam board, oh I guess we don't have a whole lot of people here we have a few people so if I could get somebody to pop the jam board link into the chat, please.
Because I don't have already done okay so login to the johnboard login all you have to do is click on the link and you should be taken straight into the jam board yes. I see you all there now you can if you want if you click the little oh and let me pop over here right screen, okay, so you can click this little t and start typing.
Or if you're feeling adventurous you can click on the pan and type that way. Or if you're feeling adventurous you can add a sticky note, it doesn't matter whatever works for you is what works so the question. I'm going to ask. Is I forgot my question the the question that I'm going to ask.
Is what's your everyday if you think about what you learn every day or what things you do every day, even I'll clear the frame. And now type in right in whatever what's your everyday and I'm going to capture this for posterity and actually put that in the slide in this slide so that people can see it.
I had sort of hoped for like hundreds of people so that this would fill with messages but huh, you're a small but mighty group you can still fill it with messages.
And I'll put one of my own in just as an example.
Reading the newspaper. So we got reading team interactions walking the dog coffee yes love coffee is good working training my puppy watching series, okay, someone is going to put theirs at an angle trying out new recipes, that's a good one. Nobody's going to try writing with the pan, eh.
I'll put one in.
I can see why nobody's using the pan.
Boy, that's hard, isn't it? There. Helping kids with hope homework teams checking with check-ins with team. Yeah, actually that's one that we use quite a bit here browsing HE publication podcasts all day and what's interesting in our field now is that you can do podcasts all day. So Googling random questions.
Give it just a few more seconds here. I know I see one more person who has the symbol of a bull writing. So it's filling up nicely cooking. Okay, so what I'm going to do. Is I'm going to. Destroy the snipping tool. I hate when all the icons disappear like that on Windows.
I don't know if it happens to other people but all right am I going to capture that? Copy voila learning object is born. Okay. I'm just going to save that. Let's say that so that. CL1. All right. So yeah, you get the idea. Everybody does something every day to learn and you know on reflection we can probably think of many many more things.
Trying to find my PowerPoint again. Here we go. Oh. Back. Oh it moved. So here's my everyday. And actually, it's it's probably not really different from your everyday. I have files that I access I've documents that I work on slides that I work on like the slides that you're looking at audio video email even the weather, right?
Social media baseball because I'm a baseball fan blogs services, like my bank websites travel when back in the days when there was trap. Travel even the stuff at NRC we had something called GCPDO, which is a wiki PDF or government employees GConnects and GC co-lab which are like discussion boards federal science library and the rest.
So, here's a tool that I depend on for this. And. This is the the the first of the tools that I would like to introduce you to. Let well I guess I can't see your chats but I was gonna say she who has experience with feed lead, but let's explore feedly for a second and if you would like you can follow along all you have to do is click or type in this link to feed lead calm.
And so here we are this is my personal feedly area now if you haven't used feedly before let's find a browser. I never use oh like edge hey. Dot com don't think I'm logged in yeah, so this is what it'll look like for you. So the way to start using it is just click on this get started for free button and then you can continue with Google or you can sign in with feedly and I would just typically continue with Google because it's easy, you know, it'll force me to sign in on Google because I don't use this browser ever.
Good thing. I remember my password.
Okay, so. Now I'm loading up again, this is my personal feedly. So the thing with feedly is all these different websites, you know, the the 41% of all websites that are powered by WordPress and magazines and and other blogs YouTube even pretty much we're not every site but the majority of sites that publish recurring content online.
Produce something called an RSS feed and we don't need to know anything about that all we need to know is this plus sign here we click on the plus sign we can search and you know, they'll recommend a bunch of things but if we find this site that we're interested in like oh say mind so I'll just click on mine and let's see if there's anything that feedly can find and come back to feed lit, just what I did is I copied the, Link and now control V to paste the link.
I'll hit enter. And. Oh it's picking up OLD, oh well daily JSON, so it's not necessarily RSS content, but when you see something you just click on the link. And okay, it doesn't have any entries at the moment, that's true. I have neglected my JSON feed badly. But you know pick any of these any website you want let's click on Columbia journalism media and entertainment so this is actually a list it's a bundle of feeds, so the media and entertainment bundle all follow all.
And where will I put them well? I can create categories. Or they're calling them here new feeds so oh just find say. Oh, I don't know. I'll pick one. I'm trying to find one quickly, oh, maybe a. Media. And I'll just add and so now I've followed this bundle.
And now I'll scroll down here to where I have media when you start out it won't have so many items but here's media, here's all the things that I just subscribed to. So let's look at one of the media play news so here we can see so some articles this just came in so I had no idea what was here, but Dakota Johnson to start and Jane Austin adaptation persuasion for Netflix well okay big deal, but if I was interested in that I would just click on this headline.
And now I mean to the actual story and so on so. There are tons of sites out there and if you're ever to go to my site, you would see links to many of these sites about online learning technology or any subject that you're interested in. And you can follow them all in feedly an RSS reader and so that's the first of the tools that I wanted to introduce in this session today.
Now. I want to give some examples. Of everyday learning just to kind of. Stimulate your thinking about what they what they could possibly be so here are a few. The magazines themselves that are put up by institutions and and it's interesting. I picked these three MIT technology review. Stanford social innovation review and Harvard business review for.
One reason well a few reasons, but one of the reasons is they're from big name institutions. But I think that their big name University big name institutions partially because they do things like publish these magazines and try as I might I thought about this I can't find anything similar from Canadian institutions and I don't know if someone knows of one you can share it in the chat.
But I don't know of any so right off the bat these magazines are providing a kind of everyday learning that represents an opportunity for Canadian institutions. Just recently the Open University of China. Was given a UNESCO award for its support for rural learners it put. I don't think their iPads but they look like iPads into their hands and got them involved in being able to access learning resources as needed from wherever they're needed whether working the field the farm wherever that's an example supporting everyday learning.
Here's another example from the Canada School of Public Service. It's called bus rights. Guess where these are intended to be used. Yes on the bus and basically what they wanted to to do is to introduce the school of public service to public servants because so many public servants don't really use the school and they wanted to give them an idea of what the school is and what it's doing these days.
So the school of public service has gone through a number of projects recently where they've transferred a lot of their learning from traditional in-class learning to frankly much better and much more accessible online learning events. Now, there's still courses but a lot of what they're doing now is consists of these everyday learning kind of opportunities.
Here's something from Clark Aldrich that he calls short sims. Basically what he does is he talks about developing online scenarios where people learn by doing but it's not a major commitment, you know, you're not saying well, yeah, I'm gonna work on this for 40 hours. It's something where you can do it quickly and easily get the experience and then move on to the next thing.
Daily photos something that I've been involved in well as it turns out. I guess for 14 years. The idea is that participants.
In theory create a photo a day and then share it with other people in the group. You might think well that's not learning. Well, you should see my photography 14 years ago as compared to my photography today and you would be forced to conclude. That yes indeed it is a kind of everyday learning.
Jim Groom has taken this to a high art in something called the DS-106 daily create and basically what they do is they put out an item every day. A topic or creation idea and the idea is to create something new every day doesn't have to be good doesn't have to be well professional and we've we can see the quality of some of the stuff but the main thing is people are creating and that's what matters.
There's another one I didn't participate in it with Doug Bellshire just finished it hundred days to offload to daily writing exercise if you're in journalism, you know that you want to be doing daily writing exercises if you're in school like public school, you may have gone to an English class where the teacher had you doing daily writing exercises, but most people I think stopped the exercise when the class stopped that's why we need to be thinking outside the class for this sort of thing.
I do daily writing exercises and again, it's a learning activity.
Here's an example of my daily writing exercises it's my newsletter OL daily now it's an exercise for me in daily writing but it's also a way of supporting everyday learning and you can see my my journalistic roots coming out in this publication but you know, I think that doing something like this certainly has helped the cause of online learning generally and and open learning in particular.
I think it. S advanced the knowledge in the field, but also it's a kind of public outreach for the subject and I've heard back from people around the world. I just got email in fact today from Kazakhstan wanting to work together on something and I thought well Kazakhstan that's great and it's also a good calling card for my employer the National Research Council of Canada because it's a very visible manifestation of the service that it offers to Canadians.
Can you think of more examples you probably can and in fact. I'm gonna give you that opportunity right now, we'll go back to the jam board. I need to find it whoops, that's not it that's not it, where did it go? Where did it go? I've lost it. There it is.
So we'll go back to the Jamboard. I'm going to clear the frame. And can you think of examples? Of everyday learning along the lines of what I've just described or maybe something completely different something that I've missed.
And again all you need to do is open up the Jamboard on your own computer and type your contribution.
Okay. I have to be the world's worst person that's supporting collaborative activities.
Maybe you don't have that URL again. Messages. People are waiting oh that was ages ago people. No nose 15 minutes ago. Let's try putting this link into the chat again. Oops, that's not the link. Why wouldn't it copy?
That will probably.
There we go. I've put the link back in the chat.
Still nothing. Oh, we got one person. We'll vindicated now.
The question is, can you think of examples of ways or projects that support everyday learning along the lines of the sorts of examples that I just gave?
Book clubs. That's a great example.
And for those of you who are not familiar with foot clubs, the idea is you got a group of people together. You read a book. And and you talk about it. It's that simple. Who is it? Jenny McNesse. Has been either participating or leading in a group of people who've been reading books about educational theory, for example recently, they read and commented on one of Vel hooks's books.
And. Special interest groups is also. An excellent suggestion. Communities of practice similarly. These are things in fact. I participate in both kinds of things. I participate and I'll look at some of the tools but one of the tools I don't mention because I forgot these Google groups. Currently on BC campus we're doing a book club on small teaching online by flower derby and if 79 registrants yeah exactly, you know, you don't need to depend on sessions like this organize something for yourself like that.
And it's fun when there's so many people list serves, absolutely you know a mailing list you could set up a mailing list using a program called list serve or there are other applications. Or you can use Google groups in Google groups will again do the mailing for you as well.
She got the idea.
So I'm gonna capture this. Oops. Fact and what I want to capture the comment as well because why not and I can except I've lost it, here we go. I'll just move it over now. I'll try capturing again.
File save as. And see how to.
Let's consider some types. Of everyday learning. And again, I'll just sort of breeze through these but every one of these slides has a link that allows you to linger and follow and look at what they've been doing to support everyday learning.
So one type is conversations or debates and this is taken from a paper where they're doing that in China they're debates are are more structured but they have a topic-based discussion where they're looking at cases on the role of information technology that dated etc and then the actual comment themselves.
Projects and activities and I linked here to something called machine learning projects for 2021 and if you go to this link it's exactly as the title suggests it's a whole bunch of machine learning projects now you might not be interested in machine learning that's fine and this probably isn't for you, but if you are or if you know someone who is this is something that can keep you occupied for part of the day for what's the rest of your life?
Probably. Link sharing like sharing was one of the original activities on the web where you would find a link and maybe comment on it and share it with your friends. Now there used to be a site called delicious that did that now people use services like tumblr or Pinterest I guess is the latest thing and what I've done down here is I've shared a link to a link sharing site.
Pinterest on the topic of link sharing and distance learning ideas.
Resource centers setting up a resource center, that's something that would require more institutional support. But it's a widely popular way of supporting community in public learning. The link here is something called media smarts and it used to be called the media learning center, oh she's I've forgotten any of it but basically digital media literacy center it's an organization that supports digital and media literacy along with critical thinking skills and it hosts online events post-resources, etc.
To support this kind of learning in the community.
Video series. Something that any institution can do you can do it, you know with fairly high production values or you can do it with. Is less production value like this video maybe I've done a bunch over the years some are good some are not so good but the main thing is they're getting you know, the ideas in the information out there this link is to something by Stephen Fry who you have heard of and you know, you think about the benefits to people but also the benefits to Stephen.
Fry in doing something like this his video series is laws of cricket. Very useful for someone like me, who knows nothing about cricket but would find it probably a good alternative when there's no baseball because baseball season is over.
Volumetric video is something I saw on a presentation at this conference yesterday. And basically it's the production of a video of a 3d object the video itself is 3d so as you play the video. You can rotate the model around and. Let's have a look at one of these.
I think you might enjoy this. That's a volumetric video and you see I can manipulate this as it's playing.
And we'll have to start it over again to keep it going.
And there are various other volumetric videos in this website called sketchfab.com. Now. Again, this isn't the sort of thing that you can necessarily do as an individual but it is the sort of thing that an institution could do if the institution. You know was so inclined.
What else do we have? The tech. The the big question because you know, it's not. Automatic that these things appear out of nowhere they need to be produced somehow and at least a part of this workshop is about the tech that's needed to produce these things. So in this section.
I'm going to outline a few tools and we'll have a look a deeper look at one of them. So. Moodle allows you to create a whole bunch of different kinds of activities and there's a whole list of them here. And the thing with Moodle though is as a learning management system, you have to sign into it.
Which makes it really hard to use to support everyday learning you have to enroll in classes and all of that so I included a link down here at the bottom. To. Revamp Moodle. Oh it's it's down here, sorry. But you can't why can't you see it? Anyhow. There we go, it's down here to make your Moodle course public without asking users to log in as a gas and a guest and that makes your Moodle course a lot more accessible to people.
Another one is coincidentally called cricket and guess how I found the the resource on cricket yes. I landed on Stephen Fry's course all I was looking for something completely different cricket is something offered by Thompson Rivers University offered they're just setting it up and again I saw it in a presentation at this conference yesterday.
It's based on Alan Levine's smallest possible learning object technology or tool. I forget the t stands for and specifically called something called splot box and that's something you can add to word press and the idea here is that you can create a mechanism to allow people to upload collections of media content, we're contributions can be made without requiring login to providing.
Personally identifying information and you kind of see the theme to some of these, you know, some of these projects and activities where people can access them without signing over their life without paying money, in fact without barriers that slow them down and cricket is a good example of this and I invite you to follow the link to cricket or more accurate well, there's not much in cricket yet, but in splot there's lots of stuff there.
But casting here are some services that allow you to podcast soundcloud basically you can record your podcast right from your desktop or mobile phone. I tend to record the audio. Using the audio recorder on my phone the reason why I like to do that is because it's producing. As I speak.
The transcript of what I'm saying so that I'm creating not only the audio but I'm also creating the text for my audio at the same time. And I find that really helpful and important for accessibility purposes and if I can figure it out it's probably just the simple thing.
I'd have this transcript playing somewhere on my video as as I'm actually giving this workshop there are other video conferencing tools that are already doing this automatically, for example the Microsoft teams service. This is only going to get better but the main point here is simply recording some audio describing you know on the interesting educational topic is one of the best ways of supporting everyday learning there's a site out there.
And I'm gonna have to search for it because. History of philosophy. Without any gaps. And here it is. So this is a podcast. He's on episode. 370 yes, he has gone from the classical Greek from Tully's and X commander of accent meanies the classics of Greek philosophy all the way through and the Islamic world medieval philosophy and teen Renaissance Indian philosophy Africana through to.
Well we look at what he's doing most recently roaming the Renaissance. Fantastic stuff and after three hundred and seventy episodes of this he's getting pretty good on it, this is an incredible contribution, you know, not just to philosophy but to everyday learning in general and you know, these sorts of resources are exactly the sort of thing that I have in mind but it began back at the beginning well with a plan but with one person and a microphone.
And you know, definitely were definitely recommended if you're interested in philosophy at all.
Oops. This article hear me out by the educationalist. Talks about why audio was useful some design ideas, and then some practical aspects of creating podcasts.
Webcasting that's what I'm doing now. I'm not just talking into the zoom application and sharing my screen. I'm actually doing webcasting and what I'm using is a project or sorry a product called open broadcasting system. I think that's what the S stands for and I'll let you have a look at it.
What hey, it's not so easy to have a look at while I'm showing it but basically. This is it here almost we're still gonna get a little bit of. Mirror image here, but this is the application. I have different scenes, these are the ways to set it up setting up what you're seeing so when I do the TV style, I'm just picking the TV style screen.
And then different sources the audio is coming from my microphone. And as well I have two screens so I can work from a left screen and a right screen and the video capture device which is my webcam and those are the only sources that I'm using and then basically all I've done is organize these sources in different ways so that you can see different views of the same thing happening at once.
And then over on the right. I've got a virtual camera and that's what I send into zoom instead of my real camera. I send the virtual camera and all that sense is the feed of whatever I'm doing in OBS and then I'm also on the right here as you see on recording now with webcasting.
Which you can also do is use a tool like YouTube. So here we are in YouTube. Again, if you have a Google account. Just click on that little create button in the upper right hand corner and you could upload a video or you could go live. And that's what I do is I go live now you can go live.
Straight from the camera.
Or you can go live. Using OBS all I need to do to be doing a live stream on YouTube is supporting every day learning.
Give it a title right and.
Description feeling some of this stuff. You have to change the language because for me it always defaults to Brazilian Portuguese. I have no idea why but it does that oh and like I prefer English Canada because that's what I speak. And it always defaults to the standard YouTube license.
So you change that then what you've done that will come back over to OBS. Here we are and I just click start streaming. It's connecting now if we look at the right. Here we go, it should pop up here in a second. Here it is now. I'm live streaming on YouTube and if you don't believe me.
We'll go to YouTube. And. Go to. My channel. And here we are live. And I'm gonna make sure my volume is turned off otherwise. I'll get incredible feedback. So we don't want that to happen here. I am on YouTube viewing my live broadcast of the online session that I'm going right now even though there's a little bit of a like, but yeah, I'm gonna start shutting all this down and stream.
I'm doing this on an ordinary cable internet connection. I'm not using fiber optics or anything like that, so you know, it won't work. Well it works marginally if you're using the the bell what they call five to the node which is twisted copper pair to the home but regular cable internet work fine, and of course if you have fiber it'll work fabulously and so I was doing that broadcasting plus broadcasting to zoom and it all worked really well and that's something you can do right set up a zoom conference.
Use something like OBS and broadcast on YouTube live and you know, it doesn't have to be great production values, there are literally thousands. Maybe 10 to thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of live streams happening every minute of every day on YouTube and to me, it is crazy that colleges and universities aren't a big part of this.
What else have we got? Collaborative authoring and this is the third tool that I want to take you into and interesting will you we've already used that tool we used that tool when we went into the jamboard here, it's just we didn't know we were using that tool necessarily but the way that works come back to the slide here.
I created a document to offer support for people who are trying to offer learning during the pandemic and working from home and don't have access to millions of dollars worth of technology. I created a guide called. Creating an online community class for conference quick tech guide, and these are all the different kinds of tools that you can use and obviously I can't go through all of these or anything significant subset of these but the tool that I can show you is this tool itself that I used to do with it, it's a it's Google docs and the URL is simply docs dot Google.com.
Or you can just follow the link in this powerpoint presentation, you'll get taken to this particular document and then of course you could create your own new document quite easily from there. You just go to your docs home, excuse me your docs home and I don't know why but it's sort of hidden down here the big plus sign really should be up here somewhere right right here where you can see it let me know you click on the plus sign and now we've created a new document.
So I'll give it a title. I'll just call it title. And I'll give it some content some content and now. I want to share the document with the world and work collaboratively with other people on editing this document, so I click on share. Now I have the what do they call it these days.
I forget what they call it, but it's kind of it's. Whatever it is, it's Google for companies or Google for small companies it cost me like a five dollars a month, you can also do this for free but anyhow. We have to get link here and then the share I can add them by putting in their email address but I don't want to do that because it would take forever to share it with any number of people and also I might want to share it with strangers and also I don't want to collect people's emails and email addresses, so what I'm going to do is click here change link to now there's two things here that I can do first of all I can get rid of this down so that CA limitation and just say anyone who has the link.
Can access this document and then I change this from viewer to editor now anyone who has the link can edit the document. I'll copy the link and I'm done. That's all it took now. I can go into the chat and I might still have access to the chat here we go and warning five minutes left, which is less than that now.
I'll put the link in there and you could actually now go in and. Edit this document.
Oh okay all right, so anyhow. All you have TTT is another tool the lost me to join all the services together well worth your time. Pro tip use design tools to make images to put into your documents or your other things. So just to wrap up this session and asking we're online we can't go over the way we used to in person we can't go over time but what are some good practices well one I've harped on from the beginning eliminate barriers to access and there's all kinds of reasons for that but the main reason is you're trying to get people to do something every day, don't make it hard.
Another good practice don't assume particular learning outcomes, you know. We think that we're trying to teach people specific things but really, you know for everyday learning people have their own reasons their own purposes for accessing whatever resource that you're offering don't limit yourself to one outcome think of affordances instead think about what they're you helping them to do.
Another practice. Consider various things for people to choose from don't just give them one option give them many options and it's kind of ironic. I was doing the Google search and Google offered me alternative searches, so I was doing it search for different searches and I got related searches.
Keep things clear. Let me repeat that keep things clear again, it's something people are doing quickly once a day, they're not gonna have time for you know, abstruse language and convoluted vocabulary in jargon for something like this for everyday learning it's for everyday people we need to use everyday language.
Think stand alone activities, you know and education we so often want to create this linear program, but we can't do that. And stay on topic. I was doing a tutorial on docker recently, which had me do this whole installation of Python which I had no interest in just to use docker and there's no reason for that.
So I would have if I'd had time had you guys be doing more examples but I don't have time why do we do this supports lifelong learning supports equity and inclusion allows the institutions to reach diverse markets helps us support collaborative research and in the end creates greater support for our public institutions.
That's the presentation and that's all the time that I have so I thank you for joining me today and I again, I invite you to review my website and review this presentation which will be available along with slides audio video and transcript online on my website, thank you for everyone.