Drupalcon Portland session: Collaborative Learning Systems in Drupal & tpm - The Koch Family
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Drupalcon Portland session: Collaborative Learning Systems in Drupal & tpm

I'm still following Drupal here in NW England and around Europe since version 4.7. The next Drupalcon is in Prague next month and I'm all set. As what seems a lifelong learner of Drupal there are usually many sessions of relevance to me. There's repetition creeping in too (at Munich last year), which is a good sign for me. Perhaps it's a sign of Drupal's maturing but there are sessions of specific interest in health and education. This week the program for Drupalcon Prague starts to really emerge.

Until the 13th when the program appears, there was an educational-learning example from Portland in May 2013 embedded below, by Avram Sand and Fabian Franz. The introduction for which begins...
How can you use Drupal to add value to a Learning Management System? In this case study we will show how Trellon helped Population Services International (PSI), a leading global health organization, build a collaborative learning environment using common Drupal modules.

There are some great pointers in this session, modules to consider and insights into functionality.  Whatever TLA is employed - LMS (learning management system), VLE (virtual learning environment), TEL (technology enhanced learning) ... the lessons are transferable.

In the latest edition of the philosopher's magazine tpm 3rd Quarter there's a paper on TEL by David Mossley and Clare Saunders: A revolution in philosophy teaching? (pp. 40-45). Mossley and Saunders argue the case for tempering our expectations of TEL, framing their article around constructivism:
... TEL, presents entirely new and exciting learning environments which students can engage with in more ways, with greater self-motivation, and with more creative possibilities than ever before. If constructivist pedagogy is right, thr more "engagement" with a perfectly modelled environment of ideas in a virtual space a student can enjoy, the higher the quality of their learning experience will be; for they will be presented with just the "optimal" set of experiences needed to create their won meanings appropriately. However, once we start to analyse what the word "appropriately" might mean in this context, we suggest this starts to point us toward a different way of thinking about epistemology and pedagogy. p.42
More positively, they conclude that - technology enhanced learning:
... can and does furnish new spaces and opportunities for social learning - it opens up new avenues for us both to practise and enhance further our philosophical knowledge and capabilities and (thereby) to co-create the future of philosophy and of knowledge more broadly. p.45.
Mossley and Saunders also refer to Hegel's idea of Bildung:
describing education as the bringing into harmony of all one's thoughts, experiences, activities and practices in existing contexts; that is, education as shared approaches to ways of making meanings, of gaining competence, based on the meanings explored by others before us. p.43.
Here is another avenue to support the role of Hodges' model in education and practice.


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