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Welcome to Croatia, and to the 11th Networked Learning Conference

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Parallel Session 3 - Ban Jelačić [clear filter]
Tuesday, May 15
 

9:00am CEST

Encounters with the mobilage (virtual or actual)?
This paper explains and reflects on two methods used as part of a doctoral research project to investigate mobile phone use by healthcare students for academic work._x000D_ Theoretical moves were made to retain some of the complexities of researching technology use, drawing upon ideas from ethnography, phenomenology, actor network theory (ANT) and the networked learning literature. Informants and their devices were conceived of as a 'mobilage'; a blend word that incorporates 'mobile assemblage' from ANT with theories of informal learning, ie. bricolage. A focus on the mobile phone helped to circumscribe mobilage but it was important to avoid excluding other information technologies in use._x000D_ The two methods featured in this paper are 'encounters', a particular framing of one-to-one interviews, and an online focus group (OFG) which drew upon the 'Day Experience' cultural probe method, seeking to prompt informants to giving 'in the moment' detail of their mobilage._x000D_ Encounters were primed with a learn-place list/map drawing activity which, in some cases, dominated the early time spent with informants. In spite of this threat to gaining useful data about mobilage, it became apparent that the list/map drawing itself made the encounter a site of epistemic performance closely related to the practice of academic work. This realisation occurred whilst listening to the audio recording rather than attending to verbatim transcription._x000D_ The online focus group ran for three months. Seven informants were invited to react to triggers sent by the researcher but they were also free to post their own messages, including hyperlinks, and other media. Response traffic varied over time but at its nadir was sustained by a couple of informants. Informants who contributed to both the encounters and the online focus group helped provide a more rounded picture of mobilage as manifest for them. Although the OFG was never intended as an 'online ethnography', scholars from that field confirm the usefulness of meeting informants in person. OFG data was carefully transferred from the Yammer platform to the ATLAS.ti analysis tool so as to anonymise contributions but retain the 'look and feel' of Yammer._x000D_ It is hoped to take the corpus forward into representation through a series of vignettes which, as part of analysis, are being developed as phenomenological texts.

Speakers

Tuesday May 15, 2018 9:00am - 9:25am CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 3 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words methods, ANT, mobile phone, cultural probe, interviews, online focus group

9:25am CEST

Amira’s complexity and cosmopolitanism: the role of disposition in mobilities and mobile learning
The capacity of individuals or systems to generate or learn how to generate a metastability, a state of navigating the largely unmanageable aspects of complexity, “cannot be reduced either to the actions of individual actors or to persisting social structures” (Urry, 2016: 59). Complexity largely resists proportionality or linearity; small changes can generate large structural consequences, and individuals will, intellectually or dispositionally, exert considerable resources towards navigating this metastability._x000D_ This paper explores complexity through Amira, an imagined composite of characteristics gleaned from the author’s research. Amira is a Nepalese woman studying in a postgraduate programme in Europe. The habitus of Bourdieu is repurposed as disposition; a tendency of an individual to act, react, or think in a particular way based on the social systems through which they move. Disposition is advanced in as a necessary addition to the theorizing of mobilities and mobile learning respectively, one that countenances Amira’s navigational practices and learning. It is a fluid process of engagement across multiple contexts, some being materially, deliberately, and dispositionally mobile. Ultimately, it is one that Amira must negotiate to maintain the mobility on which she depends._x000D_ Mobile technology is positioned as a critical factor in managing Amira’s mobility across her communities. Mobile learning, as an attendant learning position designed to bolster Amira’s capacity for managing her mobility, needs to account for the wider range of this activity: across multiple interactional contexts, amongst people and interactive technologies, encapsulating public and private processes; activity that moves between individual Amira’s) and structural (those “immanent to the material conditions of global interdependence”) systems. _x000D_ Mobile learning, if it to be of use to Amira, needs to account for the wider range of this activity: across multiple interactional contexts, amongst people and interactive technologies, encapsulating public and private processes; activity that moves between micro (Amira’s) and macro (those “immanent to the material conditions of global interdependence”) systems. Mobile learning needs to be accounting for Amira’s capacity for material capacity, intellectual capacity, and, as this paper is attempting to suggest, a dispositional capacity. Disposition is advanced in this paper as a means of expanding her capacity to navigate the complexity of her own mobility, and as a means of expanding research practice towards identifying such complexity.


Tuesday May 15, 2018 9:25am - 9:50am CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 3 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words mobile learning, digital education, complexity theory, mobilities, cosmopolitanism, ICT4D

9:50am CEST

Making digital compost: place-responsive pedagogy at a distance
Students studying at a distance are situated at a location remote from the campus, connecting to the institution via learning networks such as virtual learning environments, and communicating through a range of synchronous and asynchronous tools. While students may perceive a link between their physical learning environment and the institutional campus, their physical location may not be explicitly acknowledged or included in the learning activities of distance programmes beyond opportunities to participate in summer schools._x000D_ As place is defined as a location which has meaning for an individual, I propose that further research is required to explore the role that these meaningful locations can play in the learning experience of students studying at a distance from the institution. I question whether it is possible to develop a form of emotional connection to place at a distance, through artefacts and stories shared digitally by someone who feels closely connected, or related, to a place. I consider what the benefits may be of developing a more place-aware approach to teaching and learning in this context._x000D_ This paper outlines the early stages of a PhD research project investigating the importance of place for distance learners studying online. I will briefly describe methods previously used in outdoor education which may provide a way of capturing a sense of place at a distance. These methods include storytelling and walking interviews, with both options making use of mobile technologies. The use of these methods may also foster a stronger connection between students, the locality where they are based while studying, and the institution. Through this process, it may help to reduce the sense of social distance which can affect students studying at distance._x000D_ Incorporating activities traditionally used in conservation and outdoor education may demonstrate how education for sustainable development principles and practices can be integrated into distance education. If successful, this may help to address the missing element of teaching "in" the environment, providing a route to facilitate experiential place-based learning for distance students. This may also encourage a sense of care for the environment, as part of an affective approach to learning._x000D_

Speakers

Tuesday May 15, 2018 9:50am - 10:15am CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 3 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words place, distance education, mobilities, education for sustainable development, storytelling

10:15am CEST

Learning how kinds matter: A posthuman rethinking Ian Hacking’s concepts of kinds, dynamic nominalism and the looping effect
What does it mean to learn in a network? What does it mean to be a particular kind of learner? To develop and work towards a particular kind of being? Does every instantiation of a network lead to a different form of being? If networks are, as Jones (2016: 486) says “interactive processes that co-constructively shape persons”, then how contingent are these? How much does the social and material elements of the network contribute to the learner’s understanding of their own personhood?_x000D_ This paper is an exploration of Ian Hacking’s work on ‘making up people’ (e.g. Hacking 1986, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2006a, 2006b). Hacking posits that the possibilities for people are bounded, determined by what is imaginable and articulable, what is named and described. This naming of people, or classification, is part of an iterative, dynamic process in which the names and the named emerge simultaneously and in interaction with each other, changing the “space of possibilities for personhood”. In this paper, I link that concept to notions of ‘becoming’ in networked learning and suggest Hacking provides a useful frame to think about how learners come to know about and enact particular ways of being._x000D_ I start by briefly summarising Hacking’s key concepts of kinds, dynamic nominalism and the looping effect, and outline Hacking’s framework. I argue that Hacking is offering a useful onto-epistemology for thinking about 'becoming' as part of a sociocultural network of humans, institutions and social processes. I then briefly describe posthumanism and explore how a posthuman and sociomaterial approach can help round out the important missing element in Hacking’s theory – the materials and technologies that are crucial in understanding any learning assemblage. In bringing together these approaches, seemingly inoperable binaries collapse and ‘becoming’ becomes a matter of constant process and persistent re-workings. This offers productive ways to think about learning as an emergent entanglement of social, the material and the technological processes that are constantly re-working and re-creating what it means to be ‘made up’.

Speakers

Tuesday May 15, 2018 10:15am - 10:40am CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 3 - Ban Jelačić, Paper
  • Key Words Ian Hacking, Kinds, Posthuman, Sociomaterial, Becoming, Learning