Added by Michael Twidale, last edited by Damian Duffy on May 05, 2009  (view change)


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Provisional Suggestion for the main tasks in the course

HASTAC Presentation

4-5 pm, Apr. 21, Tuesday
1122 NCSA

Put together a set of slides for a very short presentation. Think of the 'elevator' presentation you might give to an authority in a related area of work. Slide schema:

  1. Picture + name + title
  2. What are you doing?
  3. What are the implications for ubiquitous learning? / What does ubiquitous learning mean (to you)?

You should expect to talk for around 3 minutes. Post your slides to the wiki.

Ubiquitous Learning Course Tasks

Ubiquitous Learning is a new idea, a new domain of investigation and a new label which we might use to describe our interactions with certain objects and representational environments. For this reason, in this course we are not going to give you a list of topics and readings. Rather, we are going to ask you to undertake three tasks and share these with the group in order to build a collaborative conception of Ubiquitous Learning, exemplify its practices and explore its nuances.

Participants in this course will undertake three tasks, each about the length of a full Wikipedia entry and posted to the course wiki:

Task 1. Make a Contribution to Ubiquitous Learning Theory

Select a key theoretical idea that connects with Ubiquitous Learning and describe the idea in a thoroughly referenced text. The theoretical idea will almost invariably not use the concept of 'Ubiquitous Learning', however the purpose of your text will be to outline the idea, reference key sources, and connect the idea to your the our class group's developing conception of Ubiquitous Learning.

For instance, some concepts:

  • Ubiquitous computing (Twidale 2009)
  • Web 2.0 (O'Reilly 2005)
  • Open education (Iiyoshi and Kumar 2008; Peters and Britez 2008)
  • Social production (Benkler 2006; Lessig 2008; Wark 2004)
  • The wisdom of the crowd (Surowiecki 2004)
  • Participatory culture (Haythornthwaite 2009; Jenkins 2006a; Jenkins 2006b)
  • Transformative pedagogy (Cope and Kalantzis 2007; Kalantzis and Cope 2008)
  • Formal and Informal Learning (Burbules 2009; Kalantzis and Cope 2008)
  • 'Over the shoulder' learning (Twidale 2009)
  • Gaming (Gee 2003; Gee 2004; Wark 2007)
  • Networks and distributed systems (Galloway 2006; Galloway and Thacker 2007)

Possible subheads:

  • The idea defined (including reference to key thinkers and theorists, the genesis and development of the idea)
  • The idea exemplified (illustrations of the idea on practice)
  • Implications for Ubiquitous Learning (connections between the idea and the idea of Ubiquitous Learning)


Social production of knowledge (esp wrt e-governance)

I think the concept of social production of knowledge is closely linked with the idea of Ubiquitous Learning. There is a collaborative component to social production i.e. people can learn and share knowledge outside of any institutional framework. The questions I am most interested in are:
What is social production of knowledge? What are the existing theories? How can the concept of social production be applied in e-governance?

  • from a 1-way model govt->public to a two way model govt<->public
  • what are the economic/social benefits?
  • will people participate?

Powerpoint slides are posted under Attachments.

Transformative Pedagogy

Transformative learning involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premise of thought, feeling, and actions. It is a shift of consciousness that dramatically and permanently alters our way of being in the world. Such a a shift involves our understanding of ourselves and our self-locations; our relationships with other humans and with the natural world; our understanding of relations of power in interlocking structures of class, race, and gender; our body-awareness; our visions of alternative approaches to living; and our sense of the possibilities for social justice and peace and personal joy.(Edmund V. O'Sullivan, 2002)

PPT          PDF

Accessibility Issues for the disabled in Ubiquitous Learning

Universal design, "barrier-free" or "accessible design" and "assistive technology."

Web 2.0 - what does it mean in this context? Participatory Culture - what does it mean in this context?

What do we mean when we say Web2.0? How can we operationalize (measure, define, think about) it as a social movement and as technological change? What implications does it hold for ubiquitous learning? How can we think about a facet of Web2.0, participatory culture, in this vein?

I'm particularly interested in participatory culture as it relates to the participation gap (access, equality, power, representation, agency). These all relate to learning (how we learn norms, skills for access, interest in representation, community-driven inquiry). I need to refine this a little bit to clarify what I'm talking about, but I think I could look at this as a facet of Web2.0.



boyd, danah. (2007). "Information Access in a Networked World." Talk presented to Pearson Publishing, Palo Alto, California, 2 Nov 2007.
Cormode, Graham and Balachander Krishnamurthy. (2008). Key differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. First Monday, 13(6), 2 June 2008.
Hinchcliffe, Dion. (2006). "Web 2.0 definition updated and Enterprise 2.0 emerges." ZDNet, 5 Nov 2006.
Jenkins, H. (with Clinton, K., Purushotma, R. Robinson, A. J., & Weigel, M.) (2006). "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century." Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation.
McDonald, Fritz. (2008). "Web 2.0: What It Means, How It Works, And How To Use It To Your Advantage." Stamats, 24 Apr 2008.
Musser, John. (2006). "Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices." An O'Reilly Radar Report, Nov 2006.


The final presentation on Web2.0 and Ubiquitous Learning (PowerPoint) (PDF)

Play and learning

What is the relationship between play and learning, especially in contexts that are neither specifically playful (e.g. games) or learning-oriented (e.g. schools)?

Synonyms found in academic articles for play are ludo/ludens/ludic, such as in Huizinga's seminal Homo Ludens.

Citations and related articles/researchers might be:
Huizinga, J; Jenkins, Christine; Barab, Sasha; Campbell, Andrew; Kling; Reynolds, Rebecca;

Free-association of concepts:
Inquiry-based learning, serious leisure, Affect, CSCL

Multimodal learning

Analysis of multiple modes of meaning making and the ways these modes interact to create meaning is necessarily a part of ubiquitous learning, since the ubiquity of new media technology extends beyond spatial and temporal dimensions, including also a ubiquity of media. The "linked shifts in representation and dissemination" that come with the growing prevalence of using new media in learning practices result in changes in the forms of reading, knowledge, communication, and authority that inform learning (Kress, 2004).
Multimodal discourse analysis provides a means of categorizing the "dominance" and "salience" of particular modes over others within various forms of multimodal communication. (Kaltenbacher, 2004). Applying such analysis of the various modes of discourse in ubiquitous learning environments can be useful in providing a fuller picture of the practices of knowledge creation and production within those environments.

Kaltenbacher, M. (2004). Perspectives on multimodality: From the early beginnings to the state of the art. Information Design Journal, 12(3), 190-207.

Kress, G. (2004). Reading images; multimodality, representation and new media. Information Design Journal, 12(2), 110-119.


Wisdom of Crowds: quality, trust, authority

Task 2. Parse a Ubiquitous Learning Object

Select a device or new media environment, and 'parse' it for its intrinsic pedagogical characteristics, and actual or possible pedagogical applications.

Think about your method in doing this. You might consider the object from a technical perspective, the way we have been socialized to use it, a comparative in terms of institutionalized education, etc...

For Instance:

  • A learning management system (Blackboard, Moodle)
  • A social networking environment
  • A game
  • A mobile device such as a cellphone
  • A virtual world

Possible Subheads:

  • Structures and functions
  • Intrinsic pedagogical characteristics (staged entry, help etc.)
  • Actual pedagogical uses
  • Possible pedagogical uses
  • Implications for Ubiquitous Learning

Ideas of a Learning Object to Parse

Social photo software like Flickr

Web Comics for e-learning

What can comics in online environments afford e-learning pedagogy? This section will discuss some of the advantages of comics in pedagogy, and how those advantages can be furthered in interactive online environments.
Site for case study:Factoring with Mr. Yang



In recent years we've seen heavy adoption of Facebook both locally and internationally. In fact, in some audiences, particularly those in large university environments, penetration has reached levels of around 90% and the social networking service has come to play a crucial role in the college experience and (potentially) adult identity development. With such a prevalent role in institutions of education (universities) it begs the question - what roles can Facebook play in learning? What roles does it play already? What are some of the operating social norms and how is the system employed for informal and formal learning? Who uses it and how well does it work? Are there particular uses, components and individuals in the system that are conducive to learning? More importantly what could be done? Might Facebook be leveraged as a tool to address issues of digital literacy?


Outdated Reference Pool


Includes an introduction to Facebook (structures and features), social norms of the system, intro to ubiquitous learning, Facebook as an educational tool (advantages and dangers), relations to some of the social aspects of Web2.0, relevant literature, and most importantly, ideas for learning!

The final presentation on Facebook and Ubiquitous Learning (PowerPoint) (PDF)

Google Reader

Possibilities UL via OLPC

In terms of hardware, OLPC is equipped just like a basic laptop. Lowering the hardware prices is the only very first step on bridging the digital divide. How MIT and open source communities' contribute to the software developments and explore its various potentials? Based on their contributions, what sorts of ubiquitous learning activities has been implemented in school and non-school settings? Are there any creative uses of OLPC helps more ubiquitous learning activities? (GPS on OLPC, or OLPC as handhelds for examples)


Government Websites

I am interested in analyzing government websites as a tool for e-governance. For example, what kind of information is available? are they easy to navigate? are they interactive? are they boring? Is there a focus on learning?

PowerPoint slides are posted under Attachments.

Task 3. Analyse Ubiquitous Learning in Practice

Either conduct a micro-research project, or collate results of the publish research on a technology-mediated learning practice.

For Instance:

  • Observe Sam Kamin's class using tablet computers
  • Survey the research literature on the distinctive features of e-learning
  • Give a person an unfamiliar device or immerse them in a new online environment, and observe how they learn to navigate the new device/environment
  • Survey the literature on children and video game playing

Ideas of a Ubiquitous Learning Context to Study

Engineering Open House / Conference

A teacher from a neighboring district has agreed to allow me to follow her group at Engineering Open House on March 13, which has children ranging from 5-8th grades. In addition, I've made myself available to answer questions the children might have, which may prove to be a valuable source of information - the kinds of questions and the timing and manner they are asked might reveal some aspects of how children learn in these kinds of environments.

Open Source Public Art


Self technical-literate experiences on exploring and hacking OLPC

Many people purchased OLPC for supporting its B1G1 project for education, and it's the first time for many users to touch a non-Micro$oft or Apple powered commercial computers. People gathered online to share the experiences, questions and solutions collaboratively. Some users get to empower themselves by knowing more about hardware, operating system, and the working mechanisms of a laptop. In addition, it is a true evolving learning community. OLPC is not only a educational tool for children, but also educative for adults who own it.

Study of a teacher new to online learning

Storytelling in Stop-Motion

(Ubiquitous) Learning with kids and multimedia - a digital learning series at the Rantoul Public Library.


Studying the use/participation/effectiveness of the technology training programs developed for the new Prairienet. How is the effort representative or related to ubiquitous learning? What can we learn from other theories/conceptualizations?


Literature Review on the state/relevance/importance of e-governance especially in the context of developing countries. Does e-governance promote learning through participating?

OLPC Practices


Collaborative Knowledge Making

The collaborative aspects of this work will be (in sequence):

1. Course participants will agree on a complementary tasks. In other words, we will agree to do things which are different in order to build a comprehensive whole class view in the course wiki.

2. We will develop a plan of wiki posts in which one theory, one object and one practice post will be made each week (by midnight Saturday), others will review and comment online by the time of the Tuesday meeting, when we will have three presentations.

3. End-of-course knowledge integration - cross-link, cross reference each of your three posts with other relevant posts.


Week 2: Considering: a) the Ubiquitous Learning idea; b) the things we might do to work through this idea in this course - possible tasks, as per suggestions above.

Week 3: Choosing, allocating and scheduling the 1 theoretical idea, the 1 object, and 1 learning practice per course participant

Weeks 4-13: Each week we have a mix of 1 theory presentation, 1 object presentation and 1 learning practice presentation.

References (a few, just a starting point ...)

Benkler, Yochai. 2006. The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Burbules, Nicholas C. 2009. "Meanings of "Ubiquitous Learning"." in Ubiquitous Learning, edited by B. Cope and M. Kalantzis. Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press.
Cope, Bill and Mary Kalantzis. 2007. "New Media, New Learning." International Journal of Learning 14:75-79.
Galloway, Alexander R. 2006. Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.
Galloway, Alexander R. and Eugene Thacker. 2007. The Exploit: A Theory of Networks: University of Minnesota Press.
Gee, James Paul. 2003. What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
---. 2004. Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling. London: Routledge.
Haythornthwaite, Caroline. 2009. "Participatory Transformations." in Ubiquitous Learning, edited by B. Cope and M. Kalantzis. Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press.
Haythornthwaite, C. (Jan. 2009). Crowds and communities: Light and heavyweight models of peer production. Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society. []
Iiyoshi, Toru and M. S. Vijay Kumar. 2008. "Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge." Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Jenkins, Henry. 2006a. "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century." John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago.
---. 2006b. Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. New York: NYU Press.
Kalantzis, Mary and Bill Cope. 2008. New Learning: Elements of a Science of Education. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.
Lessig, Lawrence. 2008. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. New York: Penguin Press.
O'Reilly, Tim. 2005, "What Is Web 2.0? Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software", (
Peters, Michael A. and Rodrigo G. Britez. 2008. "Open Education and Education for Openness." Rotterdam: Sense.
Surowiecki, James. 2004. The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations. New York: Doubleday.
Twidale, M.B. 2009. "From Ubiquitous Computing to Ubiquitous Learning." in Ubiquitous Learning, edited by B. Cope and M. Kalantzis. Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press.
Wark, McKenzie. 2004. A Hacker Manifesto. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
---. 2007. Gamer Theory. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.