The leading idea for the London workshop, which will be led by Ben Bachmair and Norbert Pachler, is to help at-risk learners (NEETs) due to enrol for some specialist provision at Uxbridge College to identify personal learning themes in preparation for engagement with learning opportunities to be offered by the college.
The target group is characterized by difficulties in engaging with formal learning opportunities and participants in the workshop have a history of poor attendance. They can typically be described as being uneasy with traditional cultural practices of formal education.
The rationale behind the workshop is to help participants bridge that gap and to enable them to harness their personal media and learning habits in preparation for formal educational contexts.
One idea is to split the cohort into three groups to investigate their personal motivation and the learning options available at Uxbridge College. The groups interview each other (videos), take photos of their formal learning as well as from social contexts, e.g. bring photos from at home etc. Finally they prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the workshop facilitators with their results. A role play could be helpful in which the facilitators assume the role of learners who have to follow the personal curriculum of the students.
The project will build on prior work of the London Mobile Learning Group (http://www.londonmobilelearning.net), in particular the notions of conversational threads, responsive contexts and user-generated contexts (see the flyer Parameters and focal points for planning and evaluation of mobile learning [add URL to document here]).
The project is underpinned by a view of learning as an interrelation of target orientation with self-representation and play. Usually at-risk learners (NEETs) direct their forms of self-representation and playing against the target orientation of instruction in formal educational contexts. Therefore, the approach taken will allow for self-representation (references Facebook, YouTube etc) and elements of play.
Participants produce a first portfolio with the two strands: a personal diary; and in relation to learning outcomes.
In the course of the workshop, the facilitators will also seek to explore the mobile media habitus of the target audience and their perceptions about the usefulness of their mobile expertise in relation to a habitus of learning. For this participants could use the personal diary aspect of the portfolio.
The facilitators also produce their own mobile portfolio. The aim is to enhance reflexivity of participants and facilitators by setting up conversational threads through portfolios.
Download the London Workshop report here.
For further details, please contact Norbert Pachler.