Research Log of Web Science Students

Computer Science is not simply programming

Eskwela and the PLE

with 4 comments

Sometime last year Sir Rom suggested we pattern our thesis after the specs of the Eskwela project. That didn’t materialize somehow but I was able to see what Eskwela is during TedX Manila. During Mel Tan’s talk about the initiative, I was able to start forming a lot of insights about how I could shape the PLE we were developing. They were all very vague though and I never came to anything concrete.

Last Monday I found myself at the Eskwela office where Mel Tan goes about her great work. To my mind I thought this was going to be a short meeting because we just wanted to get help gathering people to test the project. We would brief her about the system and then give her the link to the Google forms we made and that would be it.

But Dan mentioned along the way that Ms.Tan was excited about the PLE. I didn’t make anything of it. Turns out she was and I there we had to make an impromptu pitch about our thesis! I knew when I told her, “We don’t need an lcd projector Ma’m” to which she replied “No, you’ll be telling some people about the project.”

Here’s a summary of her take on Hardwire:

1. It was too advanced for the users of Eskwela. The users she said didn’t have access to a computer or internet. Some were even struggling to use them. Also, Eskwela isn’t entirely a web based framework. From what I understood some of it is still a fat client.

2. They needed a PLE which was a personal profile. It would show the modules that a user was taking, has taken or still needs to take. It would highlight the projects the learner has uploaded. We have something like this in Hardwire showing the modules the user created, the projects the learner has uploaded. Obviously the module part is still lacking.

Stephen Downes in his essay, the Future of Online Learning, mentions this exact concept of a PLE>

There’s also a teacher in Eskwela, something that Hardwire’s pedagogy doesn’t support.

Apparently right now the PLE means different things to different people and that it’s probably still a long way from getting its definition.

I said to myself too bad I thought Hardwire was in the for the big time. I guess my eagerness was short lived just as I didn’t expect to be giving a pitch that day.

But with the insights I just got from that meeting, I have never been more stirred to be working on a project such as the PLE in the future.

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Written by Jose Asuncion

February 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Hardwire

4 Responses

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  1. eSkwela needs a reboot – correction, the stakeholders need a reboot. Their concept is still rooted in traditional learning – where there is a teacher teaching concepts, rather than self-learning for students and simply mentoring for the teachers.

    Their content are basically in CD form – hence, offline. Whilst this may be cost-effective for them, migrating them to the cloud might render this model obsolete. Unfortunately, this is where they are leading, and yet the still insist on their old model.

    The module concept is readily supported by Hardwire – remember the learning objective? That is basically it – you have a learning objective and you link their ‘module guide’ to your learning objective and add more links. THEN you create your own modules for assessment by Projectrix.

    Extending Hardwire into a PLN will be next — the social component will be added to enable collaborative learning to the max.

    Rom

    February 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    • Hi Sir, I think we both have the same evaluation of Hardwire but what convinced me that it is still early for the users of eskwela to adopt it was that when she said that most of them were poor and were even having a hard time using a computer. Some have a hard time dealing with one browser window open let alone many windows that you need to be able to find learning resources on the web and put them in Hardwire. There are also bandwidth problems in the areas where eskwela is deployed.

      I guess these are some limitations of cloud based learning.

      Jose Asuncion

      February 13, 2010 at 8:05 am

  2. And oh, did she mention using Moodle for eSkwela and yet she said that there’s no “web framework”?

    Rom

    February 12, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    • She showed us how they used Moodle in Eskwela. But she didn’t say anything about a “web framework”.

      Jose Asuncion

      February 13, 2010 at 8:09 am


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