Social Presence

Aimee Whiteside, Amy Dikkers and Somer Lewis discussed the power of social presence for learning in the May/June edition of the Educause review online.
I found their post thanks to an alert from DERN.
It coincided with me thinking about collaborative tools after I had met with a remarkable group of educational technologists at a national sporting organsisation. This group has developed rich resources for coach education and development and is using PebblePad as their platform of choice to share these resources.
This is a profoundly social approach to learning and resonates powerfully with Aimee, Amy and Somer’s discussion of “the power of human connectedness for learning”. In their post, they identify seven strategies to develop connectedness:

  • Understand social presence for learning
  • Create social connections to build community
  • Understand a variety of tools and media
  • Harness reflection and prior experiences
  • Provide early and continuous feedback
  • Design with assessment in mind
  • Encourage change in small steps

After meeting the educational technologists at the national sporting organisation, I understand that their use of PebblePad affirms these strategies.
My search for connectedness has encouraged me to explore agnostic approaches to sharing as well as integrated platforms.
This week I found Trello and Slack. I am keen to explore their potential as community tools.
I have added a Vanilla Forum option on my Clyde Street blog. I am experimenting with Alan Levine’s assessment bank too.
The educational technologists at the national sporting organisation have helped me think much more carefully about engaging learners. I am looking forward to writing in more detail about their work. Aimee, Amy and Somer’s discussion of social presence has been an excellent prompt to think about the synergies between sport and higher education learning environments.

Photo Credit

Pebble Art (pshutterbug, CC BY 2.0)


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