Three seminars on critical literacy practices

Shared Epistemic Agency and Agency of Individuals, Collaborative Groups, and Research Communities.

On December 9. Senior Lecturer Crina Damsa talks about Epistemic Agency.

This contribution attempts to clarify the notion of shared epistemic agency, with its constituting aspects, and to examine research that exemplifies how it is expressed and achieved in relation to processes involving learning and knowledge construction. Building on theoretical works from learning sciences, educational psychology and sociology, shared epistemic agency is depicted as emerging in a dynamic way and is defined as a capacity that enables groups to carry out joint knowledge-generating activities that lead to a shared outcome. An analysis of empirical studies shows different ways epistemic agency is expressed in the context of individual and research communities’ knowledge work. Research findings by a study of collaborative learning in higher education, in the context of group projects supported by technology, is used to illustrate the enactment of shared epistemic agency in formal educational settings. The discussion foregrounds that (shared) epistemic agency is not something given and should not be taken for granted; it emerges and is achieved in and through the unfolding (co-)construction processes. In addition, it highlights the idea that creating intellectual interdependence, which is deemed necessary to co-construct knowledge, is also an effort that can be assigned both to individuals and groups, but also to how the structural context affords and facilitates this interdependence.

Digital Didactical Designs in Coexisting Spaces.

On Tuesday October 14 at 10.00-12.00 Prof. Isa Jahnke from the Interactive Media and Learning Center, Umeå University talks about Digital Didactical Designs in Coexisting Spaces.

 Abstract. In the era of the Homo Interneticus, we have the Internet and all information always with us in our pockets and handbags – on our mobile phones and media tablets. In this situation, schools and higher education face the shift away from separating technology and education into co-located settings: web-enabled technology becomes part of the classroom and new teaching and learning spaces emerge. It is the expansion of communication and social interaction to multi co-existing (socio-technical) communication spaces. In this context, what kinds of digital didactical designs do the teachers apply in their practice to scaffold and engage student learning in such new co-existing spaces expanded by web-enabled media tablets? In my talk I will discuss this question from the approach on “Digital Didactical Designs” that is built on the European tradition of Didaktik and reflects the use of ICT in education as socially constructed forms of social and socio-technical practices.

Rich Landscapes of Learning

On November 18th at 10.00-12.00 in room M20, Professor Gerhard Fischer from the Center for LifeLong Learning & Design, Department of Computer Science and Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, talks about “Rich Landscapes of Learning: Exploring Core Competencies for MOOCs and Residential, Research-Based Universities”

 Abstract. Learning is the central activity of the 21st century. It needs to be reconceptualized, nurtured, and supported to meet numerous intellectual and economic challenges by taking advantage of transformative theoretical frameworks and innovative technologies. Massive, Open, Online Courses (MOOCs) are receiving world-wide attention as a means to revolutionize education. The excitement and hype around MOOCs is grounded in promises being disruptive, being free, and providing a totally new kind of learning experience. The attention for MOOCs has moved beyond academic circles. Neither panacea nor snake oil, MOOCs evoke serious questions that deserve informed debate grounded in the learning sciences complementing the current existing discussions from economics and technology.The presentation will analyze MOOCs as one component of a rich landscape for learning. In doing so, MOOCs can serve as a forcing function to identify and reflect on the core competencies of residential, research-based universities in nurturing and supporting aspects of learning that cannot be easily addressed by MOOCs.

Is there a European Strand of Sustainability? @NORDICHi 2014

I have attended the workshop organised by Daniel Pargman, Elina Ericksson, Bran Knowles, Maria Håkansson, Cecilia Katzeff, Chris Priest.

We were 9 presenters, all of us seem to be on the same page as nobody was interested in  persuasive nor ambient technologies or any kind of technical cure to the issues raised by the triple crisis ( economic, environmental and energy). Many position papers focused on energy consumption and resource scarcity while mine concentrated on what we can learn from communities such as Transition Towns which are a place where people are reinventing their everyday practices. I’ve enjoyed the Pecha-kucha and the fish-bowl techniques for small group interaction and I was astonished by participants’ engagement and sharp thinking. Here a link with all our personal statements.