The Social Workshop as PLE: Lessons from Hacklabs
Hunsinger, Jeremy (2011) The Social Workshop as PLE: Lessons from Hacklabs. pp. 1-10. In: Proceedings of the The PLE Conference 2011, 10th - 12th July 2011, Southampton, UK.
Hacklabs and Hackerspaces are a global, transnational, perhaps social-movement in which people come together and pool resources to create workshops and labs in which they pursue their own interests in science and technology. These 'social workshops' have both a physical and internet locations through which the members collaborate. In this paper, I present an analysis of hacklab websites, wikis, and blogs including their multimodal content such as video and pictures as a way of understanding the ways that people who want to learn together and collaborate construct and manage their shared learning environments. Basing this analysis on 220 archived websites that I have been working with and analyzing for several years, I review the tools and techniques these groups use and argue that the 'social workshop' is intrinsic to their personal learning environment, which is necessarily social. In understanding the social interactions of their personal learning environments through the way they represent them on the web, I hope to show that not only is the personal learning environment social, but it is also for this group transnational, and perhaps even cosmopolitan in its outlook and its norms. In considering how learning may modulate between these valences, from personal, to social, to transnational, to cosmopolitan, I then argue that we might be able to reconsider how we understand the embeddedness of personal learning environments generally conceived.
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