This book, recently published by the Laboratori de Mitjans Interactius (Interactive Media Lab), surveys university presence "in the cloud" and the extent to which different institutions incorporate online learning systems into higher education. The book collects research from two research groups on either side of the Atlantic - the University of Barcelona's Interactive Media Lab, in Spain, and the Federal University of Santa Catarina New Technology Lab (Communic), in Brazil.
ESSIE´s Annual Assembly 2011 successfully attracted a wide range of participants, from universities, colleges, institutions, professional education, vocational education, primary and secondary education, as well as public and private organisations, networks and multipliers!
This truly expresses the transversal and complementary nature of Systemic Innovation.
ESSIE would like to thank all the Assembly participants, such as the Society members, volunteers, professionals, academics, interestees, invitees and article reviewers, who have all worked so hard to make the Assembly a big success, both in terms of organisation and scientific content!
The ESSIE Annual Assembly always is a definite mark on the calendar. It is an energetic event, providing the stage for many presenters to reflect on their research and practice, as well as on their struggles. The Annual Assembly brings together all distinctive individuals from the ESSIE Society, allowing them to participate in the Mission ESSIE has embarked on.
Personal Learning Environments for Overcoming Knowledge Boundaries between Activity Systems in Emerging Adulthood
This theoretical route starts with the definition of emerging adulthood as a period broadly located between adolescence and adulthood in which individuals are faced with many types of transitions. A fundamental aspect of such a transition period is the personal network of relations, and in particular the concept of bridging social capital formed by networks of weak ties. Researches on the use of web technologies in emerging adulthood are also discussed, as the results show the importance of these tools for maintaining and reinforcing bridging social capital. The conclusions derived from this theoretical route emphasise the relevance that web artefacts 2.0 have, in particular SNSs, providing emerging adults with many possibilities and support in:
- maintaining and developing their social capital;
- constructing a knowledge background that could help them during transitions through different activity systems.
These conclusions also lead towards a new conception of eLearning strategies employed in contexts such as universities, characterized until now by a heavy use of web artefacts 1.0 in which students play a passive role. We believe more flexible eLearning systems, such as SNSs, should be taken into consideration, since they are more likely to meet the needs of today’s emerging adults in terms of information and knowledge.The full text of this article is available in English and Spanish. The Spanish version is made possible our partner, the Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). // El texto integro de este artículo está disponible en inglés y castellano. La versión castellana ha sido posible gracias a nuestro socio, la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI).
The adoption of a Web 2.0 approach to learning in universities is a complex process confronting important technological, managerial and human barriers. For these reasons, the design of a set of objectives and a strategy accepted and promoted by the managers, especially those in charge of knowledge management, is absolutely needed. This first step requires in many cases radical cultural changes for people used to work and make decisions in a different scenario.
The introduction for the web 2.0 approach to learning in universities must be done through an adaptive strategy, one that may be designed integrating previous experiences of educational, research and business organizations.
This vision was replaced in the late 20th century by the idea of centres of excellence, which are highly specialised but rather narrow in their approach to knowledge. The idea of civilisation degenerated into techno-bureaucracy. This trend has been further intensified by the market model of a university, favouring fields of human inquiry that make money. Also, corporate universities are being promoted, especially when new models of e-learning and mobile learning can be applied.
There is now a need for common European virtual education and a common European degree system. The content of a European virtual university gateway service would be a portal to net-based or net-supported courses and programmes, information seeking, collaboration and exchange, common denominators, ownership and endorsement labels. The quality issues include transparency, benchmarking, meta-data structure, user and peer reviews, sharing of models and best practices, a sharing system and tool description, as well as user experiences.
Virtual education in Europe has mainly taken place on a national level thus far, and there is not yet a great deal of transnational collaboration. National consortia with centres of expertise have been formed in many countries (France, the Netherlands, Finland, etc.), while some single e-universities and project-based national initiatives also exist. Public-private partnerships are also developing, and there are new providers of content from corporate and media-linked sources. The issues of quality assurance and accreditation, as well as international strategic alliances, are being widely discussed.
In Finland, the following progress has been made in recent years in introducing e-learning to higher education:
- Changes in management: earlier, the management of the university gave orders to departments and faculties to make progress in applying e-learning within their work. The solution then was further training of the faculty members. Now, there are strategic services, enabling the universities to involve the departmental level. This middle-out approach involves the operative directors of departments and faculties.
- The trend is to promote cooperation between the best research and teaching universities so that material of high quality will be available to all. A European learning portal between universities is being constructed.
- Common support structures and credit systems are being developed between selected European universities which would guarantee mobility and operative infrastructures. Students of any of the participating universities would be able to participate in research-based education. Also, search engines for the courses are being developed.
The article is originally published at “e-Learning Conference 2005: Towards a Learning Society 2005”.A full text of this article is available in PDF format at http://www.elearningeuropa.info/files/media/media11006.pdf