As a learner, participation in NGL was useful for me


This post follows from my previous work ‘As a student, participation in NGL was useful for me’ (O’Keefe, 2014).

As part of my participation in the University of Southern Queensland EDU8117 Networked and Global Learning (NLG) course, I have been tasked with a challenge to use Networked and Global learning principles and tools to learn something new (Jones, 2014). This is an activity in ‘public click pedagogy’, a theory proposed by Chris Bigum and Leonie Rowan (2013) where individuals are encouraged to share their learning processes. The learning activity I chose was to learn a new Irish Tune on the violin and improve my technique. I documented my learning process on my WordPress blog ‘Pushing the Boundaries with Networked Learning’ (O’Keefe, 2014). Over the past 8 weeks, I was able to successfully transform my learning using Networked and Global learning, and I have explained some of the reasons NGL was so useful for my particular learning activity below.

The primary benefit of participating in NGL is that it enabled me to learn an Irish tune by ear and improve my technique in a way that would not have been possible without the use of networked technologies. I discussed this in my post ‘Me as a Learner’:

While notation is available for Irish tunes online or in books, it is very basic and does not adequately capture the traditional variations, rhythms and lilts required to play the tunes authentically…without being able to fly to Ireland and book in with a certified Irish fiddle teacher, I am keen to look closer at what I can access and harness in the NGL space to learn tunes and how to play them in an authentic style/manner (O’Keefe 2014).

In this way, the NGL has helped me to effectively ‘redefine’ or ‘transform’ my learning, a concept which I discuss further in my blog post ‘Redefining Learning in my Organisation’ (Puentedura, 2014; O’Keefe, 2014).

The Irish Tune that I chose to learn was ‘In the Tap Room’ and by the end of the first 8 weeks of the course, I was able to successfully learn to play the tune by ear and also incorporate some new ‘authentic’ fiddle techniques. My learning process was documented in my blog posts ‘CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel’ and ‘Sharing my learning on You Tube’ (O’Keefe, 2014).

One factor that contributed to my success in learning this tune was finding the right tools for my learning task. While there were a number of tools available on the web that I could use, not all of them suited my needs. This idea aligns with the argument made by Goodyear, Carvalho & Dohn (2014) that the success of NGL learning depends on the appropriate tool being used for the particular task:

One cannot assume a direct relationship between (say) a specific digital tool and some desired outcomes. Rather, one needs to understand the kinds of connections that can exist between such tools/devices and participants’ activities.

For example, in response to one of my blog posts discussing possible tools to suit my learning task, the course convenor suggested the use of Sound Cloud (O’Keefe, 2014). This was a tool that he had found useful for trying to learning a musical instrument with a relative. However, after exploring the platform, I realised that the site was not well suited to learning Irish music, as there was limited traditional Irish Music available on the website and I also did not have a peer or relative in mind to share recordings.

This finding led me to explore other possible learning communities that I could connect with to assist me to learn a new Irish tune and improve my technique (Riel & Polin, 2004). One community that I found useful for my learning activity was YouTube and I discussed some of the literature exploring the use of YouTube for learning and its benefits in my post my blog posts ‘CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel‘ , ‘CLEM Model Continued – The YouTube Model and an example in the school context’ and ‘CLEM Model – Literature around YouTube in learning’ (O’Keefe, 2014). Some of these benefits of YouTube include that it caters for a range of learning styles, allows for diversity in participating in learning, it allows students and teachers to create and shape knowledge and it enables archiving of learning (Quennerstedt, 2013; Buzzetto-More, 2014).

In another blog post ‘Growing my definition of networked learning’, I also consider the definition of networked learning and how it is about more than just acquiring knowledge (Dron & Anderson, 2012; Dron & Anderson, 2007; Riel & Polin, 2004; O’Keefe, 2014). I discuss how it is also about sharing knowledge with others to help them learn, that is, contributing to learning communities to benefit both current and future learners:

I had initially thought that the process of learning how to play a new tune …could be achieved simply through watching you tube videos and reading articles online. It is now becoming clearer and clearer to me, that I should push myself beyond this, and look at what collaborative opportunities there are available where I can connect with others to learn, and where ….I might be able to share my learnings with others (O’Keefe; 2014).

This idea aligns with the theory of ‘public-click’ pedagogy as already discussed, which suggests that learning outcomes can be improved through individuals making public their learning processes for others (Bigum & Rowan, 2013). In this same blog, I also discussed how the activity of participating in networked learning by creating and sharing information, also enhances learning through achieving the highest levels of cognitive functioning as described in Bloom’s taxonomy (O’Keefe , 2014; Dron & Anderson, 2012).

One way that I participated in a learning community to assist others to learn was through establishing my own YouTube channel which I used to make my process of learning public (O’Keefe, 2014; Bigum & Rowan, 2013). I observed that other members of the course had found this to be helpful for their own learning. An example of this was on a peer’s blog where they commented ‘Clare’s application of CLEM to learning Irish music was really helpful (and enjoyable) and caused me to reflect on my approach to learning…’ (Liriges, 2014).

It is therefore evident that participating in Networked and Global learning was beneficial for me as a learner for a number of reasons – it enabled me to transform my learning, provided access to a range of tools for my learning task and provided an opportunity to share my learning with others to assist them towards their own learning goals.


O’Keefe, C. (2014). Pushing the Boundaries with Networked Learning. Retrieved October, 2014 from

Jones, D. (2014). An experiment in Networked & Global Learning. Retrieved October, 2014 from

Bigum, C, & Rowan, L. (2013). Ladders, Learning and Lessons from Charlie: exploring the potential of public click pedagogy (No. 2). EdExEd Working Paper Series. Retrieved 9 October 2014, from

Puentedura, R. (2014). SAMR and Curriculum Redesign. Retrieved October 19, 2014 from

Goodyear, P., Carvalho, L., & Dohn, N. B. (2014). Design for networked learning: framing relations between participants’ activities and the physical setting. In S. Bayne, M. de Laat, T. Ryberg, & C. Sinclair (Eds.), Ninth International Conference on Networked Learning 2014, 137–144.

 Riel, M., & Polin, L. (2004). Online learning communities: Common ground and critical differences in designing technical environments. In S. A. Barab, R. Kling, & J. Gray (Eds.), Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning ,16–50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Quennerstedt, M. (2013). PE on YouTube – investigating participation in physical education practice. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 18(1), 42-59.

Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2014). An Examination of Undergraduate Student’s Perceptions and Predilections of the Use of YouTube in the Teaching and Learning Process. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning & Learning Objects, 1017-32.

Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2007). Collectives, networks and groups in social software for e-Learning. In World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 2460–2467). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved October 14, 2014 from

Dron, J & Anderson, T. (2012). Learning technology through three generations of technology enhanced distance education pedagogy. Retrieved October 13, 2014 from

Liriges, D. (2014). Insights: Reflections on learning and clem. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from


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