Education 3.0 and 3Cs

As we approach the second iteration of Bring Your Own Devices for Learning (BYOD4L) it is inevitable that we’ll reflect on whether the structure provided by the 5Cs is the right one. It is an illuminating and formative exercise. The fact is, it is good enough and serves the purpose of allowing us to review the use of personal smart devices in higher education.

Just to remind you, the 5Cs are connecting, communicating, curating, collaborating and creating. Each day participants consider how personal smart devices support these different ways of engaging as a learner.

What has amused me recently is the proliferation of Cs in various aspects of my work. For example, I am presenting on Teaching Excellence at the forthcoming Higher Education Academy Conference and, as it happens, our review of data concluded there were 4Cs of special interest: challenge, confidence, consistency and clarity. All enhanced within the Context of Course based design (rather than module-centric design). When we presented at our own learning and teaching conference last week our short paper shared a session with a colleague reviewing what students were looking for based on an analysis of satisfaction in the NSS, and he concluded it was Competence.

I digress. Back to BYOD4L! This post on the User-Generated Education blog by Jackie Getstein discusses Education 3.0. It characterises Education 2.0 as focusing on 3 Cs – communicating, contributing, and collaborating. Very similar to BYOD4L so I was intrigued to find out why this essentially student-centred and interactive philosophy of education required an upgrade. Education 3.0 can also be defined, according to the post’s author, by 3Cs; though they are expressed differently, being about roles. Connectors, creators, and constructivists describe the self-directed learner. This point about self-direction is interesting, though I would talk about self-regulation I think to bring out the Critical and reflective dimension that is important. I’m now looking for a C for that idea of self-regulation and perhaps meta-Cognitive would do, though it’s not very tasty! Back in the original iteration of BYOD4L I did suggest Considered – a word that embraces ideas of reflective, critical and self-regulated learning.

What about this Education 3.0 idea then? Well, swiftly moving on from how we enjoy playing with constructs to help us imagine and reflect ( Ed.1, .2, .3 or Cs, for example), I’m not sure that the ‘Constructivist’ notion is as good as it can be. As a word it feels a bit technical, but also the concept does not have a balance when set with the ideas of Creators and Connectors.

Getstein does not expand upon these ideas in the post but I assume the reference is to constructivist and even social constructivist theories of learning which I think are generally well established in the theory of modern higher education if not always present in practice! So, always worth including these ideas.

Gerstein also says Education 3.0 is about freely and readily available content supporting problem and interest based pedagogy centred around ideas of innovation and creativity. The big important idea not captured in the post (but is in her accompanying infographic as ‘networking’) is the social dimension, especially if we are talking about innovation. I don’t think education needs inspirational individuals as much as it now needs inspiring teams. As we move through Roger’s diffusion of innovation cycle mapped to the social Web (Web 2.0) I think the main big ideas for education at the moment are now out there. What is needed is to move towards wider adoption and good practice. The innovation at this point, therefore, needs to be collective.

I think this is exemplified by the open social space of BYOD4L in the way it is developed, facilitated and experienced.

About Andrew Middleton

NTF, PFHEA, committed to active learning, co-operative pedagogies, media-enhanced teaching and learning, authentic learning, postdigital learning spaces. Key publication: Middleton, A. (2018). Reimagining Spaces for Learning in Higher Education. Palgrave.
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