TEL Communities

Helen Caldwell and Anna Cox | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
TEL Communities
Definitions: Theoretical background relevant to technology facilitated social learning
Research evidence: Systematic literature reviews on the theme of technology facilitated social learning

Transfer to practice within the MOOC

Virtual sculptures image‘I'm going to develop this idea to use on the trip next week to give a far more interactive experience. If we use ID apps for plant life and the native birds I think it will be less passive than such visits can be.’ 

‘I was also really intrigued by the photocollage work; I'm planning on using this to explore colour and texture in our forest in the future.’

‘This week I have really felt inspired by Unit 5: The Island of Science.  I think a video, perhaps using Tellagami or Puppet Pals to present the character of the Professor, would be a good way of introducing this series of challenges to the children.’

‘I've found some teaching opportunities today. Had a couple of post school play lessons which leant themselves to flexibility. So first up was an opportunity to explore Art Vocabulary.’

‘I will be sharing the work you have done with the rest of the staff during INSET in the Autumn term so thank you all for the great ideas.'

‘In order to try out this kind of activity myself, I went to the local park and walked for ten minutes, observing every minute in order to write a rhyming couplet for the scene.’

‘I really enjoyed this week and would like to do some Ephemeral Art with my students. Here in Singapore the connection between nature and child is not as strong as in Europe. This will be a project I will be doing in the coming weeks and we will report in our online magazine about it.’

‘It was difficult to know which to focus on for my reflection this week. Three units have given me ideas I want to try and develop into writing experiences – unit 2 secret life outdoors, unit 3 walking a line, unit 4 dream travel.’Museum quote image

‘I have already really enjoyed looking at the range of case studies and have been thinking about how I can introduce these with my primary trainees next year’

‘I'm a little behind but I'm determined to catch up because I found the Northampton University MOOC so inspiring last year.’

‘This MOOC has been supremely stimulating and many ideas from the course and its participants have inspired me and will work their way into next year’s curriculum.’

Making Trails video link

Here are some examples of course participants developing ideas from the units: virtual sculptures and creating trails ideas are used in maths, and an interactive image translates museum labels into English.

There is evidence in the comments here of the intention to pass ideas on through professional development to other teachers, of planning to use the ideas in practice, of building on ideas from the MOOC to take them further and try them out in different contexts, and also a sense of belonging to a community with common goals. This ties in with theories of connectivist learning which describe a process of making connections with people and resources, of co-creating ideas and making personal choices within an environment mediated by technology (Saadatmand, M., & Kumpulainen, K., 2014)

We can also see a process of cognitive apprenticeship at work: the ability for participants to see real life examples produced by more experienced teachers. (Collins, Brown and Newman,1989).


Collins, A., Brown, J. s. & Newman, se (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the crafts of reading, writing, and mathematics. Knowing, learning, and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser, pp.453-494.

Saadatmand, M., & Kumpulainen, K. (2014). Participants' perceptions of learning and networking in connectivist MOOCs. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 16-30.