Archive for April, 2007

and this a great guide as to how NOT to do a presentation



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(in Estonian)

Enesejuhitud õppimiseks hajutatud õpimaastiku koostamine ja selles toimuva ühe lubavustepõhise tegevusmustri läbiproovimine ja kirjeldamine etteantud reeglite alusel (õpikeskkonna elementide kirjeldamine (esitusviis vaba); 1 pedagoogilise töövoo diagramm koos tegevusteks vajalike keskkonna lubavuste kirjeldamisega – diagramm ja narratiivne kirjeldus).

As far as I understand the following is required:

I have to construe and describe a self-directed learning landscape and then choose one of its activity patterns and report on its affordances. It is allowed to use any popular presentation software. It is also necessary to choose and describe a teaching situation by construing an activity flow-chart and describing the affordances.

In other words, it looks like designing a sample (interactive)  learner-context interface using available freeware and illustrating it with a flow-chart of possible modes of interaction/activity and comments (mostly can-do and why-do statements).


Assuming that being a teacher does not prevent me from being a learner, I can say that the following www.englishlab.net/moodle is my personalized learning environment. It is MOODLE (see www.moodle.org) which I use both as an educational content-management system (a pre-defined global affordance) and as a personal learning space (a new affordance I have embedded) .  As a learner, I have linked to all the online resources I have to use on a regular basis. The system enables me to upload whatever digital media I wish and share it with the users. It is possible for me to interact with the other users using both built-in functionalities eg chats, forums, blogs, commentary boxes next to assignments, private messaging, wikis, and regular email. There is also an external more powerful forum (phpBB2) which is seamlessly integrated through the aggregator page www.englishlab.net/phpBB2

Summary System Affordances and Participant Roles

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It seems that without getting all the buzz words and concepts clear I will not be able to proceed any further. Hence the glossary below is likely to swell and udergo multiple alterations as time elapses and I gain more insight into the subject matter.

WEB 2.0, affordance-based instructional designs, aggregator, personal learning environments, learning landscapes, etc

NB! Web 2.0 properties are mouded by user perceptions.

The notion of the learner-context interface (Language Learning in Distance Education by Cynthia White, p 86, etc CLTL) places the individual learner’s capacity to construct an effective interface with target language*  (TL) sources in the learning environment at the centre of distance education. 

* I guess any subject area could be referred to here.

An affordance is an action that an individual can potentially perform in their environment. However, the more exact meaning depends on whether the word is used to refer to any such action possibility or only to those which the actor is aware of, both of which are common uses.  (Wikipedia)

Thus an affordance is a kind of can-do statement applicable to a particular functionality within a learning environment (eg a Web 1.0/2.0 CMS), which does not necessarily have to be pre-defined by the creators of the CMS , ie any scope of application of a tool/feature within a learning environment either initially known or not known by the user may be perceived as an affordance. It is important to differentiate between what happens and how the learner perceives what happens.  Keeping a blog is an activity which is multidimensional,  some of those dimensions are affordances, whereas some are not. Let me elaborate on that. Blogging invloves typing, editing and saving your blog entries. These are not affordances.  However, blogging enables you to share knowledge and provides you with opportunities to interact with readers of your blog in the comment area. These could be perceived as affordances.

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