CCK08: Coming to Know

George Siemens has produced this summary of the first six weeks of CCK08 online course (I was alerted to this by OLDaily). I have been sharing the course with many of my colleagues and I am posting George’s video here as an important marker for me in the course.
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I have found this course an enormously exciting and powerful catalyst for reflection on, in and about education. George’s mid-course summary triggered my memories of Olive Banks and Phillida Salmon (and recalled Lisa’s post about Networks of Dead People). Olive and Phillida were wayfinders for me and helped me make sense of my emerging thoughts about teaching and learning (I was interested to read Robin’ reflection on Wayfinding on Mount Manadnock). Tom Whyte’s post about Swampy Ground exemplified for me the powerful reflection that can go on about education as did Dave Pollard’s post.
Olive helped me understand the implications of undertaking research at first, second, third and fourth hand. She wrote at a time before the digital connections we are discussing in the CCK08 but her insights pervade my involvement in CCK08.
Phillida wrote passionately about Coming to Know and helped me understand that “we all learn and develop through experiencing jointly with others the possibility that we could develop”. Her use of stories and storying emboldened me to explore the role of narrative in sharing experience.
In reading the CCK08 blogs this week I have been reminded about the quote in the film Shadowlands:

We all read to know that we are not alone.

I visited Mike Bogle’s blog for the first time and read this post. This encouraged me to follow up on Mike’s professional background. George, Olive, Phillida and Mike were joined and I knew I was not alone! I had accessed Mike’s blog through Jenny Mackness‘ post about connective defeat. Olive would be pointing out to me that I am using Jenny at three removes from the action. Jenny and Mike offer great insights into (un)connectedness. Phillida would affirm, I think, that my coming to know was about an interconnectedness with others albeit vicarious and empathetic. (Even more so after this more recent post from Jenny and this post from Sia.)
Google alerts brought me to Tom Whyte’s post about course design and I was delighted to watch his video link. Lisa resurrected some more dead people this week and sent me scurrying for my copy of Locke and my memories of Rousseau. Olive would assure me that I had gone to a prime source (Locke), read at two removes (Lisa’s summary chart) and then at three removes blogged about it! Kenkat reappeared and as usual made me work hard to deal with the theorising perspective adopted. I read Jason’s musings on Design and he helped me think more about social objects and permanence. Ariel continued his prodigious output and through him I was led to Morse’s post on social objects and on to Gina‘s post on social objects. She added to my interest in the ‘social’ in connected networks, groups and communities.
I read Ariel’s conjecture about the non-appearance of teachers and commented on his post. Bits n Bites took me back to Valdis Krebs. Adrian Hill’s post encouraged me to find and read my copy of The Inner Game of Tennis and re-peruse The Act of Creation and in doing so encouraged me to make my own bisociative leap. In the process I recalled my reading of the Hegelian dialectic and historical materialism. This led me on to Matthias Melcher’s post on Humboldt and created a real desire to disentangle the semantics and meanings of rich German language. This is Matthias’s concept map and his Synonymen-“Landkarte”.
Thinking out Loud had a fascinating post on Complexity 101. Phillida would have approved of the experiential focus of the story presented. Wendy’s post and her graphic on Instructional Design encouraged me to revisit personal learning environments (this is becoming an important quest for me). Just as George was posting his midcourse summary, Shel22 posted a first post about the course. I am looking forward to Shel’s ‘Diary of a wanna-be Connectivist’. I think Anne’s post from the woodlands would be of great interest to Shel. (I did not see Pat’s seascape model until after posting the first Coming to Know post. I am fascinated by cartography and wondered if Pat would be another companion for Shel.) Once again I think Phillida would have enjoyed Anne’s story and her openness. I liked her final sentence “I still have so much to learn but one thing I will keep doing is thinking about the possibilities”. I am an optimist by nature and I believed that Sisyphus would reach the top of the mountain! I think Anne voiced the relief of many participants that week 7 had seen a turn in the course content. George notes this turn in his video presentation.
I finished my reading this week with Jocene’s post. I feel very strongly that we can support each other in changing our contexts. (I realise that whilst I have a long engagement with Action Research I do need to address agency in approaches such as Actor-Network Theory and look at the impact the theory has on the stories we tell.) This feeling became even stronger after participation in the second Elluminate session (Thursday morning Australian time). This session turned into a talkfest. I was delighted that even though the session recording ended the talking continued.
I am profoundly attracted to Stephen’s arguments and perspectives and George’s synoptic vision. I do feel excited by what is emerging in the course. I have an absolutely naive belief in the role of the educator and the possibilities that change can bring. However I do not have to teach daily to standards or a core curriculum.
I sense that the pragmatic turn in the course will be of great interest to course participants. (I noted Bradleyshoebottom’s post shortly after posting Coming to Know and Inez’s post too.) I am conscious that I must now deal with the gaps in my practice … Moodle, Pageflakes, Second Life, Twitter and then on to infinity and beyond. I think I owe this to Olive and Phillida.
Postscript: I missed Rodd’s post on 18 October about his review of the first six weeks of the course. I have been an occasional visitor to his blog (via Stephen) and my oversight is a good example of how selective connections work and as Jason points out in his post “…we need a connection” (Seth Goodwin). (I missed too Dave’s post about social networks bridging communities and generations.) Viplav has provided a summary review of connectivism and design.  Frances’ post came to me via Google and The Daily (I have forsaken The Daily Prophet) and prompted me to think about practice (verb) and practices (noun) and their connection with praxis. John Mak’s post added to my interest in meta-reflection and co-learning. Jcrom wrote about ‘connectivism ecology‘ and the transition to social learning and provided another perspective on connectivism and design. Ruth’s post makes a very interesting point about course participation and Ed (via a link in Sia’s post) makes a strong point about the rich network remaining with whom to discuss and explore ideas.


  1. Wow Keith – you have been busy! This is a great post, in which you have shared all the work you have done and your thoughts so freely. Many thanks. I’m going to come back to your post later on and follow up your links – so how many removes will that make me from your original links.
    Thanks too for your supportive comment re my failure to connect with the Elluminate session yesterday – very kind!

  2. Thanks Keith for pointing me to Anne’s post from the woodlands. I’m completely on the same page as Anne re. sifting through the content and am still trying to crystallise what I believe. Trouble is, sometimes conflicting ideas, and I’m thinking about George and Stephen’s exchange yesterday in the Wednesday discussion, appeal at different levels. Perhaps as we translate or talk more concrete learning examples, maybe the beliefs will settle somewhere.
    All of these links you offer are fabulous and I too intend to revisit and explore them all.
    Cheers, Shel

  3. I think your post is exemplary of what connectivism is all about…
    You’ve pulled many loose threads from the participation of select peers, tidily weaving relationships among their ideas. The resulting tapestry highlights the evolution of your own thinking through the first 6 weeks of the course.
    Nicely done!

  4. You have crystallised the insights of fellow participants and co-learners, that’s a fantastic summary. I enjoy reading your posts, and would like to continue in sharing my thoughts with you, with reflection, practice (noun) and praxis.
    Renewed thanks for this great post.

  5. Hi Keith.
    If you hadn’t left a reply on my post I would not have known about this. I was feeling that other work matters had taken priority over the Connectivism project. You have made it so easy for me to catch up.


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