Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Futurelab - Resources - Publications, reports & articles - Opening Education reports - 2020 and beyond


This is the last reading in the course on connectivism I have been taking this fall. Could be of interest in the visions of the future topic, but probably more so in in terms of our own C3 project.

The main focuses of the paper are:

  • To what extent are we prepared, as a society and as educators, for the massive changes in human capabilities that digital technologies are likely to enable in the next 13 years?
  • To what extent are our future visions for education based upon assumptions about humanity, society and technology that are no longer valid?
  • To what extent can we, as educators, help to shape the developments of technology in order to enhance human development?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Tower and The Cloud | EDUCAUSE

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Complexity and Information Overload in Society

Monday, October 06, 2008

Harold Jarche » The social aspect of bookmarks

This is a posting from an on-line course that covers many of the C3 plan tools and also connects to the course on Connectivity I am following this term.  Social bookmarking has a lot of potential, but as this posting points out, it can be improved on. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

PDF on how to organize networks

Monday, September 29, 2008

JALT 2008 is coming up

This post is just a reminder that the JALT conference is coming up soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Work Literacy

  • Another free online course that just focusses on learning to use Web 2.0 tools for educators.

    tags: elpc3

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Knowledge is (no)thing

This week's Connectivism course topic is "Rethinking Knowledge" and after doing some reading and looking at forum postings, I added this comment:

One of the most common aspects of the meaning of knowledge traditionally is that it is imagined to exist in forms similar to physical objects. It can be created, transferred, shared, stored, altered, measured, etc. Even those who view knowledge as made up of neural connections in the brain tend to apply the same predicates that perpetuate the analogy of knowledge as a thing. This quasi-physical-entity view of knowledge has strongly influenced how learning is perceived to take place -- the classical empty vessel (Student) who is "filled" with stuff (knowledge) by having that stuff "transferred" from someone who "possesses" it in the first place.

To me, one of the appealing premises of Connectivism is an opportunity to break free of this "knowledge as stuff" analogy and replace it with something different. However, in Connectivism there is still a danger that we will fall into the old view by imagining connections once again as quasi-physical things. My hope is that we can avoid this tendency and redefine knowledge as something more dynamic. It may be useful to conceive of knowledge as a manifestation of constantly shifting systemic connections or relationships, something we experience rather than get or have. In this view, the experiencing of knowledge is continuous, dynamic, and can be both conscious and unconscious.

Ultimately, "Knowledge" is just a human construct. It is an abstracted notion that has value only in so far as we can use it in communication (with others or ourselves) to represent some part of our experience/perception of the world. We can be as idiosyncratic as we want in using the word (like Alice in Wonderland where knowledge means "exactly what I want it to mean") , but the less idiosyncratic is is, the more useful it becomes in forming connections with others that produce desired outcomes. So, typically there is pressure to adopt the most commonly held definition. The trick is to step back every once in a while and to remember that other definitions are always possible.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Summary of my first thoughts on Connectivism

This has been an interesting first week in the Connectivism and Connected Knowledge course. Here are some of my preliminary conclusions from what has been presented and discussed so far:

Connectivism is a legitimate theory and not a fraud or front for "technocommunism" as some have claimed.

Connectivism seems to be an extension of other theories of knowledge and learning rather than a repudiation of them. It recognises something - the fact that we don't learn or know things in isolation - that has always been there, but was not emphasized until recent changes in technology brought it into dramatic focus.

There is some difficulty in defining connectivism, but definitions of abstract concepts are always problematic. One quote that I thinks applies here is about defining communication: "To define something as communication, something must be 'not communication', but to draw a line is to make a mistake, for reality is seamless." Basically, connectivism is about everything, but it only has practical value to the extent that we can break it down into more manageable (albeit artificial) concepts. Getting everyone to agree on how that breaking down should be done is not an easy task.

One aspect of connectivism that we will be examining later in the course seems to me to be the most significant element in the theory -- the acceptance of learning as a complex, non-linear system. That aspect, for me, has the greatest potential to improve our understanding of learning and how to promote it.

Whether knowledge is connection or connection creates knowledge is a less important distinction than whether learning is understood as linear or non-linear. Behavioral, cognitive and to a lesser extent constructivism, have all been predicated on a linear view of learning. Connectivism challenges that assumption.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Connectivism comparison chart

This posting by George Siemens gives a very handy overview of how Connectivism compares with behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism as learning theories. It's a bit rough as he admits, but it is helpful in approaching this topic.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Is connectivism only about knowledge?

In reading the posted material for week one of the course on Connectivism and Connected Knowledge, I was struck by the singular focus on knowledge, even though the larger context of this subject involves learning theory and related pedagogical implications.

One paradigm that has always been useful to me views learning anything as involving a rather complex combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Therefore, I am interested in what Connectivism offers in terms of how skills are learned and attitudes are formed as well as how/whether knowledge is obtained, constructed or distributed. Are skills and attitudes treated the same as knowledge in Connectivism or are they somehow different? and if so, how are they different?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

CCK08: Beginning a course in Connectivism

This fall I will join over 1,000 other interested people from around the world in taking an on-line course organized by George Siemens and Steven Downes through the University of Manitoba.

The title of the course is Connectivism and Connective Knowledge.

One of the elements of the course is to have participants post comments and reactions on a personal blog. Therefore, I will be using this blog for that purpose over the course of the next few weeks.

I hope that what I will learn from the course can be applied to enhance what we do in the ELP.

If you are interested in more details of the course, please click on the link above.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Clive on Learning: Learning styles don't exist


Interesting debate on learning styles.  For me, even if learning styles are individual preferences influenced by situational factors rather than hard wired brain attributes, the important point is still that educators need to provide for variety in the learning experience of students. 

Monday, June 02, 2008

Below are possible changes to the ELP program structure reform and related curricular matters that we discussed in our ELP Reform Commitee meeting on 5-28-08. 1. Keep or change weekly schedule? Reduce number of hours and/or workload. Provide more variation in when SE and TW are scheduled. See if we can make ARW and RCA hours more regular in order to allow for more flexibility in program or section changes for students. Clarify need for no classes on Thursdays -- primary reasons is the need to create a coherent time for all teachers to be able to work on research and other professional development activities. Doing this on the same day is necessary in order to avoid further complications to and already complicated scheduling system, and to ensure that all teachers are available on the same day for meetings. 2. Keep or change current courses and units? Eliminate NP and or EV. Shift hours from CS to Core or Core to CS. Use NP or EV hours differently. Consider SE + TW and/or SE + Vocab or Listening or speaking, etc. 3. Keep or change distribution of ELP over fist and second years? Move more content to Sophomore year or add more content to sophomore year for lowest students only. Offer SE and/or TW to programs 1 and 2 in first year. Open up winter term to more options such as SE-like course, CLA seminar, Expanded winter project. Note: We determined that if we consider any changes to ELP distribution, it should be based on what is best for the ELP students (such as workload reduction), not just to accommodate a possible new CLA first year element like a seminar. 4. Integrate ELP with some new first year CLA element? Have all first year ELP students do a project/portfolio that would be presented to CLA faculty in some way. (e.g. part of submission of request for admission to a major, or presented to their adviser.) Invite CLA faculty to give NP lectures. 5. Other ideas: Reconsider a Writing Center and/or Independent Learning Center for English. Create the option of indepent study in English using on-line course materials for CLA credit for students in 2nd, 3rd or 4th years. Offer more Advanced English courses, eg. vocabulary. These options might lessen our need for CS courses in the first year. 6. We also discussed what to do next. Generally, we seem to support the idea of work going on in the ELP to development a curriculum chart that would at this point not have specific courses in mind. Later we plan to combine the curriculum chart information with whatever program structure changes appear feasible. We need to provide a framework for the curriculum chart and a way to delegate the work of filling it in. We have a rough draft of the chart we can work on.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Language Learning 2.0

Here Comes Everybody » Blog Archive » Re-thinking language instruction

Interestingly, one of our current ELP students has just emailed me asking if there are ways he can use new Web-based tools to continue his English language learning.  As resources continue to grow, it will be interesting to see how a pedagogy evolves to take advantage of them.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Edublog Directory

International Edubloggers Directory

tags: elpc3

This is a directory of people around the world who have blogs related to education.  Good site to browse through if you are looking for blogs.