ERG SES G15, ICT and Education
This research project addresses issues related to what is currently the digital identity of the researcher in the field of Online Distance Education and eLearning and his/her personal learning environment, researching the genesis, management and dynamics of the personal learning network of each member in a community of researchers.
For an effective contextualization of the problem, the study involves the analysis of three concepts: digital identity, personal learning environment and personal learning network. It seeks to answer the following main question: How does the researcher create, manage and stimulate his/her digital identity to build his/her Personal Learning Network (PLN)?
This main question is intended to address the following objectives:
• To identify the PLN of researchers in a research community, in order to identify how they handle its construction, management and dynamics;
• To identify the researchers' digital identity;
• To define how students identify and create the online relationships for their PLN;
• To identify the structural factors that enable a collaborative learning through a PLN.
Learning collaboratively through a network of social connections depends on the correct use of digital media by researchers (Castells, 2001). Hence, there is a tendency to optimise learning by using digital technologies made available to the individual through the network. The evolution raises an awareness of the need to promote new ways to learn, collaborate and disclose one's work, as part of his/her digital presence, both personally, academically or professionally (Costa & Torres, 2011). Digital presence is the creation of a Digital Identity through the presence the researcher has in the several web spaces he or she is registered in and where he or she publishes something of his/her own, such as the social networks.
To sum up, the technological evolution poses new challenges to education and researchers, as we live more and more connected. The network is composed by individuals that are part of our daily lives, with whom we share interests, resources, ideas, hyperlinks and insights, among others, but who essentially enrich our professional, academic and personal life (Weller, 2011). Sharing happens mainly through the social networks and Web 2.0 tools, that promote and make it easier to edit, simulate, comment, share text, sound, image and video, stimulating and adding value to the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) and network learning (Mota, 2009b), enabling a collaborative and open learning through each person’s Personal Learning Network (PLN) (Brown, 2002). Each researcher’s PLNs enable the access to knowledge and experts 24 hours a day (Richardson, 2013).
The PLN allows the individual to learn and, thus, to improve his or her practice, in a networked environment (Castañeda & Adell, 2013b; Costa, 2010; Costa, Keegan, & Attwell, 2009). According to Costa (2011), PLNs are essential to create interactions among individuals, through the Web 2.0 tools. Holding an online PLN contributes for self-emancipation.
Rajagopal, Brinke, Bruggen, & Sloep (2011) have conducted a study to present a professional networking model to create a Personal learning Network, based on Johnson (2008) and Nardi, Whittaker, & Schwarz (2000) have demonstrated the importance of interaction among professionals and experts, for a more prolific learning. Based on a qualitative research on the role of tridimensional virtual environments on creating and developing a PLN, Nikolaou & Tsolakidis (2013) concluded that digital evolution demands from the individual a lifelong update and learning.
The study thus seeks to contribute to the understanding of how the research community builds, maintains and nurtures their personal learning network, in a useful way for their learning process. In other words, how the PLN can be a means for the researcher to disclose his/her identity in the network (Castañeda & Adell, 2013).
Alexander, B. (2008). Web 2.0 and Emergent Multiliteracies. Theory Into Practice, 47(2), 150–160. Castañeda, L., & Adell, J. (Eds. ). (2013). Entornos Personales de Aprendizaje: claves para el ecosistema educativo en red. Alcoy: Marfil. Castells, M. (2001). La galaxia Internet (p. 302). Barcelona, Spain: Areté. Costa, C. (2010). Lifelong learning in Web 2.0 environmentsnts. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2(3), 275–284. Costa, C. (2011). Educational Networking in the Digital Age. In M. Thomas (Ed.), Digital Education: Opportunities for Social Collaboration (pp. 81–99). Palgrave Macmillan, UK. Costa, C., & Torres, R. (2011, April). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias - ISSN 1646-933X, 47–53. Couros, A. (2010). Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open and Social Learning. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.), Emerging Technologies in Distance Education (pp. 109–128). Edmonton, Canada: AU Press, Athabasca University. Downes, S. (2007). Practice Learning Networks in Practice. Emerging Technologies for Learning, 2. Frey, C. (2012). How to cultivate a personal learning network. The mindmapping softwareblog. Johnson, M. (2008). Expanding the concept of Networked Learning. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Networked Learning, pp. 154–161. Halkidiki, Greece. Lalonde, C. (2012). How important is Twitter in your Personal Learning Network? eLearn Magazine. Education and Technology in Perspective. Morais, A. M., & Neves, I. P. (2007). Fazer investigação usando uma abordagem metodológica mista. Revista Portuguesa de Educação, 20(2), 75–104. Morrison, D. (2013a). How to Create a Robust and Meaningful Personal Learning Network [PLN]. Online learning insights. Mota, J. (2009b). Personal Learning Environments: Contributos para uma discussão do conceito. Educação, Formação&Tecnologias, 2(2), 5–21. Nardi, B. A., Whittaker, S., & Schwarz, H. (2000). It’s not what you know, it’s who you know: Work in the information age. First Monday, 5(5). Nikolaou, A., & Tsolakidis, C. (2013). Three Dimensional Virtual Environments as a Tool for Development of Personal Learning Networks. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 8(2013), 79–88. Rajagopal, K., Brinke, D. J., Bruggen, J. Van, & Sloep, P. B. (2011). Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. First Monday, 17(1). Richardson, W. (2013). Create Your PLN: 6 Easy Steps. Educational Leadership: Reflect, Refresh, Recharge, 70, 20–22. Siemens, G. (2010). My Personal Learning Network is the most awesomest thing ever!! ELEARNSPACE. Learning, Networks, Knowledge, Technology, Community. Warburton, S. (2010). Digital identity matters. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (Vol. 56). London: King’s College London.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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