Research Log of Web Science Students

Computer Science is not simply programming

Posts Tagged ‘Personal Learning Environment

Social Learning

leave a comment »

No it’s not socialized learning like our tuition fee. It’s A social networking platform for learning, one of the many features we hope to have in Hardwire.


Stephen Downes drew the line between formal learning and informal learning. Social learning is informal. Formal learning is what I am doing in UP.

Why informal learning?
One of my reviews told me that 80% of learning is informal and only 20% is the sort that society puts a premium on. 80%  is  a lot learning that’s not given recognition! With the internet (forums, help groups and blogs) maybe informal learning will account for more. I am not so sure if that review factored in informal learning done on the
internet. But at least we can be sure of the 80%!

Pros of informal learning
The difference from formal learning is that informal learning is a personal effort fueled by problems, interests (not institutional or industry standards) etc What I like about it the most is that it gives the learner a lot of freedom in terms of how to go about learning. In a normal class setting the teacher has control of everything from the learning objectives to the methodologies (project, machine problems, seatworks). This is a bit too constricting if not boring for some students because not everyone likes doing projects/machine problems and seatworks. But in most cases, students don’t have a choice.

I believe social learning will work especially on the web.
One reason why is because web 2.0 software is more relevant to young people than books or lectures.

With the power of the internet, social learning is a mere code away! Actually it’s probably already here with systems like elgg being very popular in the edublogosphere. Imagine for a second if facebook were only used for learning — initiating a dialogue with people who are pursuing the same objectives, sharing links and courses and creating new course materials.

Ok, I take back what I said. Social learning is not entirely here. Elgg is hack and facebook well facebook is not known for learning as it is for mafia wars. With hardwire we hope to make this a reality! 🙂


Written by Jose Asuncion

August 31, 2009 at 11:03 am

10 things about an extended Sprint 1

leave a comment »

By now I should have finished developing the feature that lets a user haul his profile from a social networking site like facebook, twitter etc. What happened was that we had suddenly made the decision to migrate languages and platform.

1. From LAMP, we’re now using Java on top of the Spring platform.
2. Migration was a bit of a headache.
3. I was apprehensive about Spring not working on Google appengine but if you know your J2EE and basic SpringCore, it’ll be fine.
4. Always put “isELIgnored=false” in all JSPS! This makes the compiler not ignore JSTL tags and EL. It took me two hours to find out what was wrong with my code when my ELs weren’t printing! Thank God I googled for help. Which leads me to the next thing…
5. Java on google app engine isn’t quite well documented. Well at least for my problem in 4.
6. With PHP we brute-forced the logging in using Google id, now we’re just calling the user library thanks to app engine!
7. Java and Spring are case sensitive. index.jsp != Index.jsp. Another bug which took me a lot of time to kill!
8. Using Twitter Oauth to get a twitter profile is more complicated than I thought.
9. You need a persistence to store the user’s unique access token.
10. You can now login to our app using google id and logout without worrying about if you logout of google accounts. Once you logout of our app you’re also logged out of google (logged out of gmail etc).

– Jeune

Written by Jose Asuncion

August 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm

The challenges for the future of elearning

with 2 comments

The future of elearning aims to address the needs of new findings in education. Whereas before elearning simply was a translation of the classroom experience into software, experience tells that such methods can be pretty sterile. Or from another point of view, it is not innovative enough to do justice to the state of the art technology that is already out there and that makes these pretty sterile elearning methods available. Surely things can be better than that!

Why not harness the appeal of web 2.0 software? Social networking sites are fun and everybody likes learning that is fun. Imagine a learning environment that that gives learners the ability to create, to share
ideas, to join groups, to publish their own learnings pretty much like much like one’s favorite social networking site. Now we’re talking! Imagine a learning environment that is interoperable with your favorite social networking site; where one shoutout his/her findings across social networking sites or vice versa (for instance, one can see status updates from the learning environment in his/her Facebook/plurk) .

Such are the aims of the future of elearning. And like we’ve been always saying in our presentations: PLEs have the potential to meet [a challenge like that]. Yes something like that is not yet out there but we aim to set the standard.

I finally can enumerate these challenges:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jose Asuncion

August 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Concepts in Photos: Personal Learning Environments

with one comment

For all the chatter it has generated in the edutechie community, I find it hard to describe what exactly is a Personal Learning Environment. I’ve been asked many times before, “What are you working on for your thesis?” to which I just don’t how how to answer. One thing is for sure though, whatever descriptive, more easily recognizable bunch of words I manage to cough up with as answer, I will always, at the end of the day so to speak find myself expounding on it.

But here’s a definition we’ve been trying to work on for our thesis. Maybe someday with this I can figure out my dilemma too:

PLES are

personal learning spaces…


…where learners take control/manage own learning…

set goals

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jose Asuncion

July 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

First Post

leave a comment »

We wanted our thesis to be as organized as possible so we’ve come with some sort of platform where we can work on.

The main thing here is working asynchronously.

We are using Google Calendar for our workflow,


Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jose Asuncion

July 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm