Support for learning: A shift of emphasis can simplify the technology needed

I see a common emphasis as I follow links from Personalized Learning Networks to Personalized Learning Environments to Responsive Open Learning Environments to Personalization Approaches in Learning Environments (see links at the bottom).

The emphasis is on the technology made available (new widgets etc.) as if that’s all a learner needs to pursue their personalized learning.  What needs more developing — or even a central place — is the more human dimension.  Of course, this sometimes happens as one uses technologies to, say, participate in a c-MOOC, but my preference (advice?) is to start from the premise that people need human support to regain their sense of being avid learners and to take initiative to build human relationships to cultivate support for themselves or others.

The shift of emphasis can simplify the technology needed.  Collaborative explorations do a lot with google+ hangouts and private communities.  G+ circles are all that are needed for my recent proposal for Emergent co-exploration in c-MOOCs. And so on.  (See “Guidelines about specific situations and specific ways in which specific technologies are of significant pedagogical benefit” from 2001.)

[Also posted to google+, where additional comments may emerge.]

Links
Collaborative explorations, http://collabex.wikispaces.com
Guidelines about specific situations and specific ways in which specific technologies are of significant pedagogical benefit,http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/etguidelines.html
Emergent co-exploration in c-MOOCs, http://wp.me/1gwfa
Personalization Approaches in Learning Environments, http://adenu.ia.uned.es/workshops/pale2014/index.htm
Personalized Learning Environment, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_learning_environment
Personalized Learning Network, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_learning_network
Responsive Open Learning Environments, http://www.role-project.eu/News

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

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