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


“accessing information …merely the first step of the learning process.”


Great post on the ‘ Learning to learn with NGL‘ Blog discussing using NGL to learn Yoga. One of the key points I got from this post was the idea that ‘accessing information’ is ‘merely the first step of the learning process’ and that active participation and engagement is what is necessary to achieve best results.

This is another good reminder for me as I continue my studies in the USQ NGL course and prepare for my upcoming assignments.

Why is Blogging so useful for reflection and learning?


Associate Professor Jill Walker Rettberg has discussed how Blogging is a useful tool for reflection and learning in her paper available in the E-Pedagogy for Teachers in Higher Education Virtual Book – available here .

Some of these reasons she suggests that blogging is helpful for learning and reflection include:

* It helps us to communicate our thoughts more clearly and our thoughts are more carefully considered because we know that it is for an audience

*Blogging makes it easier to practice writing – it is quick and easy to post our thoughts online and respond to external ideas through blogs. Also, because others will read and respond our posts, we are more inclined to better spelling, grammar and punctuation.

*It increases our confidence in writing and learning because we are actually creating and publishing something (higher order learning)

*It enables Peer Review and Reflection – We produce better work and help others do the same through being able to give and receive feedback quickly and easily through Blogs. We are also able then to reflect on, edit and reshape our ideas online.

Walker Rettberg then went on to discuss how she used blogging in her own classes, leading by example, just as David Jones has done throughout this NGL course.

As a student, this paper has provided me with some further theoretical underpinnings for why I have found blogging so useful in this course and why I have benefitted from following our course convenor’s own blog.

It was also great to read another post on the FutureLearningMusings on the same topic and which explores some other aspects of blogging.


Walker Rettberg, J. Blogging as a Tool for Reflection and Learning. In A. Karin Lars & G. Oline Hole. (Eds.), E-Pedagogy for Teachers in Higher Education. Bergen, Norway: Bergen University College. Retrieved from

Woohoo I now have a blog..continued..


Now that I am getting into my assignments for the NGL course I am taking a moment to reflect my posts. “Woohoo I now have a blog’ was the first post I made on Pushing the Boundaries with Networked learning”. It showed the excitement I had at getting involved in the NGL course and finally making a space of my own online.

Looking at the initial posts of my peers in this course, it was nice to see that this enthusiasm was shared by others.  I can even relate to the sense of nervousness expressed by another peer.

What has also been valuable for me was that others have shared their frustrations.

One of the frustrations I have experienced is that sadly, I somehow seem to have deleted my first post “woohoo, I know have a blog”- just another example of me as a new learner in the Blogging world, trying to find my feet and getting my head around how to use this new technology.

I’m grateful to Mari in sharing the link to Keith Brennan’s article which has helped me to better understand my fluctuating feelings and also frustrations with connectivist learning as a novice.

Keith Brennan discusses the idea of cognitive overload and its effects on our self-efficacy, which is key to our confidence and success in connecting online. From this article I can also see that being able to see how other the feelings of other people in the course, have also fluctuated over time, did in fact help with making sense of WordPress and the course, and with building my confidence to keep posting. The feedly tool proposed by David Jones, also helped me with this cognitive overload.

CLEM Model – Literature around YouTube in learning


Following on from my previous post on the CLEM model….

In response to the comment from David Jones on my post about what particular aspects of YouTube make it such a good learning resource, I have delved into some of the literature around this platform.

2. The Literature

Buzzetto-More’s article “An Examination of Undergraduate Student’s Perceptions and Predilections of the Use of YouTube in the Teaching and Learning Process” has helped me to better understand why YouTube was such a helpful learning tool for me in trying to learn a new Irish Tune (see further details on my learning challenge here).

YouTube is currently the most popular video sharing site, with 1 billion users on average per month (Buzzetto-More, 2014). In a recent comparison of existing video sharing platforms available online, which considered the ease of use and range of features available – YouTube was rated the best, with a perfect score (Buzzetto-More, 2014). It seems no wonder then that there have been a number of studies conducted recently into the benefits of YouTube as a pedagogical tool. In the article, Buzzetto-More provides an overview of these recent studies and the many virtues of this popular platform for learning, which include:
• Increasing depth of engagement in, and understanding of, subject matter.
• Stimulating “greater interactivity with content, increased engagement, more rigorous discourse, and enhanced knowledge transfer and memory building” (Buzzetto-More, 2014, p.20)
• Improving information recall by providing students with memory cues and clarifying understanding.
• Enhancing online courses by facilitating discussions, enhancing lectures, encouraging independent learning, and assisting in tutoring.
• Having a greater appeal to students due to the 15 minute limit on videos.
• Meeting the learning needs of the Digital Natives who are visual spatial learners.
• Ability to support learning for mature and international students by providing easy access to “alternative views and opinions on subjects, variety in delivery mechanisms, and the use of every day examples to illustrate points” (Buzzetto-More, 2014, p.21).
• Supporting conceptualisation through visualisation.
• Providing students with increased choices and control over the direction of learning i.e. supporting activity learning.

The article also looks specifically at undergraduate students’ perceptions of the value of YouTube as a learning tool, concluding that the “incorporation of YouTube enhances instruction and increases student interest” (Buzzetto-More, 2014, p.30). One reason being that students could access YouTube from a range of device, such as their mobile without requiring specific computer software. As a student of the NGL course, this one reason I feel I have been more engaged in this particular course, compared to others is because I have been able to access the Word Press app on my phone easily, at any time and from anywhere.
Another reason the undergraduate studies surveyed in the article, considered YouTube an engaging and valuable tool was because of the short length of the videos (maximum 15 minutes). As a student of NGL and as in my role as a learner this is something which has certainly appealed to me with my limited study time, due to having to balance study with full time work.

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.

Sharing my learning on You Tube


This is a video of my first attempt at learning the tune ‘In the Tap Room’ by ear. I have posted this on my new You Tube channel. (Edit 27 August – Please note: I just realised that my ‘second attempt’ video comes up. You need to go to the top left hand corner and click ‘playlist’ and select the other video to watch first. The other video is my ‘first attempt’ at the tune and is the one that I am writing about in this blog. Sorry for the confusion, I am still getting my head around how running a you tube channel actually works!!)

I’ll admit, I’ve already had a bit of a go at it (about 10 minutes) before I clicked the record button. What I’ve done, is found another video on You Tube of someone practicing the tune (Tap Room (Reel) – fiddle practice) that is slightly slower than most of the Irish tunes are usually played. In the video I’m trying to listen to bits of it over and over to pick it up by ear – the traditional method of learning Irish Music.

You will see in the video, I get through about half of the tune ok, but then really struggle with the second part. You’ll see at the end of the video that I ‘sigh’ quite audibly, which shows you just how frustrated I was!

I decided to share my learning experience (based on what I have learnt  about ‘sharing’ learning so far in this course) to assist others out there who are trying to learn Irish music or the fiddle.  I hope that they can benefit or learn something from my experience – even if it is just how frustrating and slow learning a new tune can be, and how it can be quite a repetitive process.

I have also recorded my second attempt on my you tube channel, if you want to take a look.

CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel


In the week 4 readings, our course convenor David Jones introduced the group to the CLEM approach to learning and teaching. CLEM refers to Community, Literature, Examples and Model. In my position ‘as a learner’ trying to pick up a new Irish tune, these four components are intended to help me think more deeply about this process of learning. I will outline my thoughts, experiences and understanding against each of these components in the following posts, starting with….

  1. Community.

I have spent the last couple of weeks scouring the online world (part of my ‘seek’ stage, as outlined in my personal knowledge management routine) using range of tools and strategies to identify useful learning communities that I could be part of to assist with meeting my learning goal.

I will discuss broadly three types of communities that I have discovered:

  1. The twitter/Blog communities – broad range of individuals and groups providing links and information on happenings in the Irish music world, as well as details about where to find a teacher or session in your location e.g.

I have started following a bunch of these (for example: here, here and here), however have found that while these communities are fairly active, with lots of general information on Irish music and regular updates, it has not been particularly useful for me trying to learn to play certain Irish tunes online.

  1. The Session online forum – This online community has a range of useful features to support a learner of Irish tunes, including – swathes of sheet music, recordings, and discussions on all a broad range of topics. I signed up for the site and have been loving the discussion board. So many of the questions I had about learning music by ear and on fiddle technique have already been asked by other learners, and I have found the responses my other members of the community to have been really valuable. I was also able to listen to some basic midi files of a range of different versions of ‘In the Tap Room’ to give me some ideas of different variations I could play. A great resource!clarejoinsthesession
  2. You Tube – By far the best online community I have discovered for learning Irish music is You Tube. I just typed in name of the tune I wanted to play into the search and was able to easily find a range of videos of people playing the tune, from beginners through to accomplished players, and recordings of the great players of our time. I subscribed to a number of different channels of Irish musicians and this has been, by far, the most useful resource. I have been listening to the videos over and over, and watching the player’s technique, and then using this knowledge to try and play the tune.

In line with the idea of ‘sharing’ my knowledge and making my learning experience public – as I have discussed in previous posts – I have decided to create my own YouTube channel, to start documenting my learning of the tune ‘In the Tap Room’. Check out my new videos here.

my you tube channel

More to come on this soon…