Landing : Athabascau University

Week 2: Diving in to the landing

Last updated April 26, 2010 - 6:02am by George Siemens

Week 1 served as an introduction to social networked learning. In week 2 we'll put a practical focus on networked learning by starting to develop the technical skills of participating in networks.

A networked course does not have a centre in the way we expect with a course in Moodle or a traditional classroom. There is no "one place to go" for all the content and interaction. The weekly resource pages provide a starting point, but the conversations held during the week and the resources course participants share are critical in providing a learning experience.

However, while conversations and content may be fragmented, we need some type of centre in order to make sense of a particular subject. To respond to this challenge, we create "temporary centres" in the form of tags or when we search for a particular concept in a a network. 

In order to discover others (and be discovered), members of a network need to provide basic information in their profile. A profile is a key starting point to forming connections with others. Once you have a few connections to others, you can quickly expand your network by skimming through their list of followers and selecting from those. 

Contributing to conversations is another important way to get connected to others. For example, commenting on someone's blog post (or on artifacts such as images, or a social bookmark) is an effective way to form connections with other course participants.

In week 2, our focus will be on addressing these two aspects of social networks 1) making yourself "discoverable" by filling out your profile (and tagging your posts with TLSTN) 2) contributing to conversations.

Activities this week:

1. Most of you have already experimented with the Landing - through contributions, blog posts, and joining the tlstn. During our elluminate session this week, we will walk through the basic structure of the Landing and address privacy settings, completion of your profile, finding and adding followers (friends), and searching for colleagues.

2. Please visit this poll and detail when you would like to meet for our weekly live session. I'll send out meeting confirmation information later today (Monday)

3. Complete your profile and "follow" a few course participants (try searching for people who have posted with the TLSTN tag)

4. Leave a comment on at least one blog post of a course participant

5. Write a blog post expressing your views on the concept detailed above - namely that networked courses don't have a centre and that we form some coherence through "temporary centres" such as tags and search terms. Do you feel comfortable with the concept? What concerns do you have? Could you see this mindset working well in courses you teach or design? If not, what would have to be addressed before you would be comfortable?

6. At the conclusion of the week, please provide a reflection of your experience in using the Landing this week - what should change? What would you like to see added? What isn't working?