August 12, 2014
For the month of July HASTAC partnered up with the Connected Learning Alliance to produce a webinar series focused on building trust in connected learning environments. An archive page with all the webinars can be viewed at http://dmlcompetition.net/resources/
We met in July to explore the concept that “students should have safe and trusted environments for learning,” which is one of five principles for creating safe, optimized and rewarding learning experiences shared in the Aspen Task Force ‘Learner In The Center Of A Networked World” report. We know that trust, privacy, and safety are critical to learning in an open online world, so we framed the series around the following questons: What tools do learners need to navigate, collaborate, and learn online with confidence? What solutions will foster greater civility and respect in online learning environments? How can open technical standards create more opportunities to share and collaborate online in a spirit of trust? What role do badges play in conversations about trust in connected learning environments?
Our goal was to inspire people to think about both challenges and solutions to building trust in connected learning environments, which is the theme of our upcoming HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition, the Trust Challenge, which opens on September 3.
The topics of the webinars covered:
With all of these conversations around trust taking place, especially the complex social considerations of trust, it is the infrastructures that underly the social learning environments that we hope people are inspired to think through. The underlying theme and goal of this series is to think of solutions to challenges to trust in connected learning environments, or “ways to think through the creation of digital systems and tools that enable trust in connected learning.” For example, how do we:
In the webinars, we spent time reflecting on the complex relationship between trust, teacher/instructor, and learners. This conversation is part the backdrop for us to start thinking through the complex task of building digital tools that are designed to put learners at the center. A big part of this, and something that came through with all of the webinar sessions, is rethinking the hierarchy of learning spaces to allow for more dialogic and transparent interactions and learning paths. To paraphrase what Audrey Watters said during the 4th webinar on Higher Education as a Trusted Learning Environment, how do we account for students being interpolated into technology, and how do we make sure that the technological tools and solutions we are creating empower everyone involved in learning?
August 1, 2014
Jade E. Davis, Program Coordinator at HASTAC, participated in the Social-Emotional Literacies and Digital Citizenship webinar produced in collaboration with ConnectedLearning.tv, and shares her thoughts about the conversation in this blog post.
The final webinar in the Building Trust in Connected Learning Environments series was on “Higher Education as a Trusted Environment for Learning”. In addition to myself, the participants included:
This was a very dynamic conversation with many takeaways for people who plan to enter the Challenge. Here is a partial list of questions that came up during the conversation to consider when we imagine new trust based tools for connected learning.
How do we:
1. build trust in the processes of learning, from the tools to the shared spaces?
2. use tools to empower instead of reinforcing existing power relationships for both the learner and the instructor?
3. allow for many voices to be heard while removing noise?
4. make it easier for learners to understand what they can and can’t control?
5. build in the ability to delete or hide in open tools?
6. ensure that we’ve minimized the barriers to entry
7. take advantage of the wealth of information and connections made possible by digital media?
8. find ways to encourage creativity and co-exploration?
This isn’t an exhaustive list of the wonderful questions, concerns, and challenges that were brought up during the webinar. As we think through the purpose of tools for learning, it is important to not forget that on either side of the tool we are hoping to make connected learning better, safer, and transparent for all those involved, from the designers and developers to the user. Trust is essential to all of this.
Now that the webinar series is completed we hope you will watch, comment, and join the conversation over the next month as we prepare to launch the application on September 3rd. You can follow us on twitter @dmlcomp and join the ongoing conversation with the hashtag #dmltrust.