Literature Review … Final Piece of the Puzzle!

 Previous post recap ………..

“The report goes on to say that it’s not about trying to formalise the informal; rather it is about using this newly emerging third space in ways that stimulate students and enable them to transfer their skills.”


Wikepidia states that :

…………….”The Third Place” is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace.  In his influential book The Great, Good Place, Ray Oldenburg argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.

Oldenburg coins “first” place as our home and those we live with. Our second place is the workplace — where we may actually spend most of our time. Third places, then are “anchors” of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction. All societies already have informal meeting places; what is new in our day is the intentionality of seeking them out as vital to our current societal needs……..

Konrad Glogowski  

……. has noticed that the online community he has built with his students every year often resembles a “Third Place”. He decided to investigate what contributes to this development. He discovered that ensuring that certain features and freedoms are in place before learning begins can have a strong impact on the development of a classroom community.

…………….. he says that he tries to ensure that the online environment he prepares can grow into a vibrant and engaging community. His idea is to ensure that the students see the online environment as their own – not merely an extension of the classroom, but a place where they feel free to interact and write as individuals.

 Stephen Heppell 

………….. spoke to Learning and Teaching Scotland about online learning communities, and stated that technology has given us a much flatter playing field. He suggests that young children online can have the freedom to whoever they want to be – and that means that they can take part in really engaging debates.

He is of the opinion that it’s always fascinating to see what happens when children learn together and has witnessed quite remarkable progress. For example, he recalls a primary school child who was leading an online debate about badgers – everybody else in the debate had a PhD and was average age 28. It wasn’t possible to tell she was a primary school child – she was out researching like mad to make sure she stayed ahead of the people and that she knew what she needed to know!

Jackie Marsh  

……………. writes that, because of the range of learning opportunities presented by digital technologies, new pedagogical approaches are needed in schools if the curriculum is to be sufficiently engaging and appropriate for children and young people. She believes that it’s essential that schools offer opportunities for all children to become competent and effective analysers and producers of a range of multimodal texts and artefacts. 

Jackie worked with Peter Winter on a project where the pupils blogged about Dinosaurs. As the topic was negotiated by Peter and a teacher in the USA, Jackie writes that ownership of the project was somewhat limited ……… but that the children were free to use the blog to engage in the topic in whichever way they wished to, which led to a range of creative and imaginative work. She goes on to say that:

” …….enabling children to create blogs based on their own interests and experiences, rather than linked to a classroom-based topic, might offer opportunities for children to create networks of peers interested in similar topics, thus offering valuable learning opportunities with regard to social networking software (Lankshear & Knobel, 2006).”

Jackie is of the opinion that the affordances of blogs mean that they are ideal formats for displaying aspects of one’s identity, and quotes Victoria Carrington:

“……….these texts are signposts of the kinds of practices with technology and text that may be socially useful in developing and displaying self-narratives — layered, networked texts, multimodality, the continuous and conscious slide between online and offline. (Carrington, 2006, p. 11)” 

The idea of ‘online and offline’ co-existing communities is something that Victoria  suggested I look at in my own Case Study:

  • whether the use of co-existing online communities enhances and/or changes the offline context of my classroom;
  •  whether it shifts the ways in which both myself and the children in the class conceptualize and operationalize curriculum;
  • whether I find myself changing the ways in which I teach and deliver curriculum;
  • whether a school-sourced online community will have the same features and adoption as one created by the children outside school.



OK …. that’s the Literature Review bit (and blogging it as I went along has definately helped!).

Now moving swiftly on to the ‘Implementation’ of the Plan………….

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