Easton Phidd commented on my “pre-paper” called Personal Learning Environments and the revolution of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development — “pre-paper” as it later became a full published paper Heavy switchers in translearning: From formal teaching to ubiquitous learning. As the questions he is putting are very interesting, and my answers were getting longer and longer, I thought I’d better share them on a new post.
Is there any empirical research on substitution patterns?
My own experience / applied research — which depicts (in Spanish) these processes in my own teaching in a graduate programme on e-Government — can be accessed here:
On the other hand, an (almost) complete list of works around the area (most of them with a theoretical approach) can be found at The Personal Research Portal: related works, a collection of works related with personal research portals and e-research (as enhanced research).
Another option is to navigate this collection of works related to Personal Learning Environments penned by yours truly.
In a more informal way, I’d say there are lots of examples out there:
- There are many examples were usual textbooks are being substituted by open educational resources. I’d dig in OER repositories for experience of reuse.
- There are also examples of university-enterprise partnerships that can be understood as shifting some formal teaching towards informal training/learning.
- And, last, but not least, cMOOCs are definitely a transition towards total hybridization.
Definitions of heavy-switching and substitution pattern
Heavy switching is a way of denying multitasking in pedagogical terms — it already has in psychological terms by evidence. And of proposing tearing down the walls of compartmented learning.
I would define heavy switching as the constant interaction between learning actors — resources, environments and institutions — that takes place once planned and unplanned learning, and structured and non-structured teaching take place simultaneously and seamlessly, thus blurring the boundaries of time, space and formality that usually artificially compartmentalize learning.
A substitution pattern is the path that one goes through to replace a methodology, tool or technology in actual use by a new one. A substitution pattern will very likely have four stages:
- The appropriation of the new methodology/tool/technology.
- The adaptation of the novelty to the traditional use.
- A phase of improvement of the tasks performed.
- A transformation in the very essence of the tasks being performed.
How does the heavy-switching/translearning model can impact second language (L2) learners?
I, in fact, made a proposal/reflection on the topic of Personal Learning Environments for second language learning during the “II Conference on language learning: environments, tools and learning resources” in 2011. My keynote was Native Latin teacher wanted. Linking personal teaching and learning strategies on the Net.
My reflections were published at that time, but I may reproduce some of them here for the sake of easiness:
- The teacher is a researcher, a student, and should thus make their learning strategies explicit so that students can copy them or be inspired by them.
- Read a lot. If you’re a knowledge worker, you have to read.
- Read thoroughly: analysis, synthesis, abstraction are a requisite for juicing a reading.
- The best way to learn is to teach something. A Personal Learning Environment is also about teaching, or about learning by teaching, not only “just learning”.
- In a digital world, everything is connected.
- Thus, inside/outside is a false dichotomy, artificially created to raise walls were there were none. Ask yourself why someone would try and build such walls.