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

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Parallel Session 4 - Ban Jelačić [clear filter]
Tuesday, May 15

12:05pm CEST

Mapping AI and Education debates: revisiting acquisition and participation metaphors for learning
The role of artificial intelligence for learning is again attracting attention in policy and academic fields; a renaissance fuelled in part by the proliferation and availability of big data, alongside advances in computational techniques and the need for a new ‘technical fix’ for Education (Robins and Webster, 1989). In the public domain, dramatic headlines abound proclaiming the end of education as we know it in utopian and dystopian terms. Yet, in the academic sphere important advances are being made that educators need to pay attention to in order to have a more nuanced and ‘responsible response’ (Biesta, 2013) to the role that artificial intelligence can and should play in Education._x000D_ This presentation aims to contribute to that goal through reporting findings from an ongoing study that aims to identify and explore academic studies that are concerned with artificial intelligence and Education. Through the use of a number of machine learning techniques we aim to map and visualise the current areas of research in this area and identify the underlying philosophies of learning and education embedded within these activities, drawing on Anna Sfard’s acquisition and participation metaphors for learning (Sfard, 1998)._x000D_ Through primarily computational analysis (including network analysis and natural language processing) of the citations, titles and abstracts (where available) of around 8500 books, chapters, papers and conference presentations alongside small scale qualitative coding of a sample of papers we highlight the different ways that people define and talk about AI in Education and demonstrate how the vast majority of work in this area is primarily promoting an ‘acquisition’ based view of learning, promoting individual cognition over collaborative, networked forms of participation. We argue that while this is not necessarily a problem as acquisition is an important aspect of learning; discussions of the use of artificial intelligence in Education would be significantly advanced if far more attention was placed on ways of thinking about learning and Education that promote a broader social-cultural view. This would enable more discussion of if, and how, the use of artificial intelligence in Education could advance knowledge in a Network Society alongside the use of artificial intelligence to make knowledge transfer more efficient; and further advance theoretical debates in Networked Learning.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:05pm - 12:15pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Jelačić, Short Paper
  • Key Words Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning , Topic Modelling, Acquisition, Participation , Education

12:15pm CEST

Makerspaces as complex sociomaterial assemblages: Is networking the key factor?
The emergence of makerspaces is an outgrowth of our current educational and technological era. While making is not new, networking capabilities has made it relatively easy to locate materials, knowledge, procedures, and expertise. Through technologies that are now affordable to consumers, there is a folding of human activity, digital, and material; that is, these practices, previously viewed as separate phenomena or separate regions of activity, blend (Mol & Law, 1994). Physical computing and 3D printing are becoming part of our practice. We can combine electronic, programmable circuitry into traditional crafts such as sewing or origami. Makerspaces are difficult to define because each one is unique, fitting on a continuum of formal to informal and offering different levels of learner/participant control. For example, in some makerspaces facilitators explicitly guide projects; other makerspaces may be gatherings of individuals working on different projects without any discernible leadership. Gatherings may be physical, virtual, or both. The projects, people, and problems may lead to differing degrees of collaboration, sharing and problem solving. We argue that the activities that occur at a given makerspace emerge from the unique characteristics of the space, participants, materials, and networking practices. From a sociomaterial perspective, makerspaces may be viewed as complex assemblages in which the human, digital, and physical are highly entangled. In this paper, we describe a single phase of a larger research project examining the experiences of makerspace facilitators. Our main goal in this phase of the research was to examine the extent to which curating, creating, relating, and networking, as per the makerspace activity (MAP) diagram (Figure 1), are part of the makerspace assemblages described to us by our study participants. For this research, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 makerspace facilitators. The participants included teachers, librarians, school technology consultants, and makerspace club members. Our first pass at coding the transcripts resulted in a significant number of codes emerging in the relate category in comparison to the create, curate, and networking categories. This result led us to question the centrality of networking and whether or not relating should be considered the central characteristic of makerspace assemblages. We conclude that networking, while less prevalent in the transcripts (i.e., less salient to our interview participants), remains a significant characteristic. However, we offer a revised version of the MAP diagram in order to recognize the significance of relational learning.

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:15pm - 12:25pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Jelačić, Short Paper
  • Key Words Makerspace, sociomaterial, networked learning, assemblages, relational learning

12:25pm CEST

Project Pulse: co-designing the ‘smart’ campus with Internet of (teaching and learning) Things
This short paper describes a research project which aims to co-design prototype Internet of Things (IoT) technologies with staff and students at a higher education institution in the UK. However, rather than adopting a technical approach, which would perceive devices simply as ‘problem solving’ instruments, this project seeks to engage with critical approaches to IoT through the use of speculative methods (Ross 2016), such as ‘design fictions’ and ‘objects-to-think-with’. This approach is intended to surface crucial conceptual and ethical issues for education, such as the radical intensification of digital networks potentially engendered by this technology, and the prospect of increasing surveillance and diminishing privacy in an era of ubiquitous connection. These are questions too often overlooked in the habitual forecasting and advocacy of ‘new’ educational technology, but also in the engrained approaches to ‘solutionist’ (Morozov 2013) technology design. This paper will outline the two initial stages of this ongoing project: firstly, the development of preliminary IoT provocations; and secondly, the outcomes from co-design workshops with staff and students. The preliminary IoT devices include: campus motion and sound-level sensors; live public PC login feeds from across the campus; collated social media feeds from distance students; wearable smart watches configured to receive feed data; a smart phone app with interactive functions that can respond to feed notifications; and a web-based interface to visualise the range of data feeds. These devices were produced to demonstrate specific, and provocative, educational applications of IoT technologies, and to encourage responses from workshop participants. The second stage will describe outcomes from two co-design workshops: the first with campus-based and distance students; and the second with teaching staff at the institution in question (scheduled for November 2017). Grounded in the themes of ‘presence’, ‘community’, and ‘surveillance’, these workshops are designed to elicit critical responses to IoT technologies in higher education through the development of speculative designs that 1) enact key issues for students and teachers by modelling practice, and 2) offer creative alternatives to established design cultures by resisting, and obfuscating (Brunton & Nissenbaum 2013) the drive for ‘big data’ collection and its promoted efficiency gains. Drawing on these designs, this paper will conclude with, not only the key challenges that students and teachers perceive in the networked futures of higher education, but also creative visions for alternative technologies that can approximate new ways of connecting the humans and ‘things’ involved in education.


Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:25pm - 12:35pm CEST
Ban Jelačić Hotel Dubrovnic, Zagreb
  Parallel Session 4 - Ban Jelačić, Short Paper
  • Key Words Internet of Things, IoT, speculative methods, design fictions, surveillance, ethics