CCK08: Week 10 Wild Flower Garden

I have been working in the garden this week. Part of the garden has wild flowers (mainly oxeye daisies, Lecanthemum vulgare) in it during the Summer and I noticed that one of the wild flowers was growing (strongly) away from the other flowers. I missed Howard Rheingold in the first Elluminate session and have not participated in the Ustream discussions so me and the wild flower have a lot in common this week. There is action going on somewhere but we are away from it!
This is my review of this week’s action in CCK08. (The parts I saw read and heard!)
I read Stephen’s 2004 paper on Reusable Media, Social Software and Openness in Education and his 2006 article on Sustainable Open Education Resources. I watched Stephen’s Seven Questions video (I hope it was recorded at 4 p.m.) and followed up the Daily link to Stephen’s presentation on Open Educational Resources and his Blip TV video on Openness in Education (Bradley wrote a detailed response to this presentation). I went back to read the Seeley Brown and Adler paper.
For some inexplicable reason (perhaps the subliminal qualities of too much Blip TV and the occassional mention of neurons) I went away and read about the Minority Game. (Perhaps it was the sustainability arguments and a recent post about economic behaviour that took me there.) Joe Wakeling and Per Bak (2002) explore:

… the effects of changing agent characteristics, demonstrating that crowding behavior takes place among agents of similar memory, and show how this allows unique `rogue’ agents with higher memory values to take advantage of a majority population.

This week’s Daily led me to:
Carmen‘s comprehensive discussion of the travel impulse and the excitement of discovery. News of Dave Cormier’s presentaton to an Emerging Monday’s seminar on MOOCS and Connectivism hosted by Graham Attwell. (Jorgen came to Graham Attwell’s post by a different route.) Wendy‘s discussion of teachers as researchers who “teach the research process, how to find and filter information”. I really enjoyed her subsequent post about a teacher in a connectivist framework and was delighted to read that:

I’m about to embark on a 6-week connectivism project with my Contemporary Issues class. They will build a personal learning environment based on a topic for which they have great interest. I will take on a number of new roles including that of modeler, network administrator, curator, concierge, community leader, technology steward, information filter, Sherpa, researcher, change agent, learning entrepreneur, and evaluator. Some of these roles will be foreign and uncomfortable. But, I’m open minded, confident, ready to experiment, and prepared to learn from my mistakes.

I read Ailsa‘a contemplation of appreciative and iterative change (inspired by Nancy White) and her discussion of agile development. (Dave Cormier wrote this week about communities and linked to Nancy too.) Rita wrote about groups, networks and collectives and shared news of the ECEL conference in Cyprus. Ariel has been visiting a virtual worlds in education conference and his notes are here. Ken posted this week on analogies and followed up with a second post.
Jenny had a busy week of posts: changing teachers; intervention in students’ learning; and community, networks, reciprocity and responsibility. In her most recent post, Jenny asks:

What makes one person take (this) responsibility more seriously than another? Is it in order to fulfil a personal need rather than to benefit the community?  And how do notions of responsibility to a network of learners fit with ‘connectivism’?

Elsewhere a number of course members have completed Paper 2, including Tom’s serialisation, Maru (and her delightful context paper), Grant, Jon, Jcrom, Steve, Jorgan and Shel

Frances‘s detailed discussion of connectivism as a learning network stopped me in my tracks. I have mentioned before that I must look carefully at ANT and her post is a very good reason why I must accelerate my reading. I had thought that connectivism is open to its own revision. Three thinkers from my network of dead people, Marx (withering away of the state), Weber (science open to on-going change) and Kelly (there are infinite alternative constructions of reality) gave me good reason to think this.
Just when I was recovering from Frances’ post up comes The Revolution will be Syndicated. Mike Bogle has made an enormous impact on me in the last ten weeks and his post exemplifies for me just what a connected person is and does. (Mike has a poll running at the moment about tools used to engage with CCK08.)
I looked at John Mak’s alphabet post and admired his writing productivity over the last few weeks (this week a response to Bradley‘s book review and this post on connectivism, for examples). I noticed Andreas‘s post about optional assignments and am finding myself more and more interested in his approach to learning (later in the week he posted about frustrated students and assignment 2). I look forward to Lisa’s posts and this week she discussed the ontological turn. I noticed her mention of John Holt. Bradley discussed a different kind of ontology later in the week.
The Daily linked me to Howard Rheingold’s TED talk (I noticed that Eyal Sivan had posted a comment there linking to this detailed post about “enlightened self interest”), to the review of Smart Mobs and a link to the online book the Virtual Community. Lori posted a link to the Social Media Classroom at the start of the Elluminate session.
I did listen with great interest to the recording of Howard’s Elluminate session and noticed a number of comments on the chat board at the end that participants were going to re-listen. This first session takes place early in the morning In Australia so I have been a second-session-Elluminate-kind-of-person. I was interested to see who participated in the first session and noticed that there were 45 wildflowers in the list of participants (Howard, George, Stephen, Adrian, Alan, Anachorete, Bee, Bill, Bradley, Ctscho, DebbyK, Dendari, Derbaum, Dolors, Emcdef, Frank, Gabi, Grant, Iamarf, Jabiz, Jcrom, Jennymack, Joel, Jon K, Jorgen, Juliana, Lindaleea, Lisa, Lori, Lynn, Marc, Maru, Mary, Matthias, Mic, RCJones, RNolan, Roland, Romi, Sasa, Sharon, Silvia, Steve, Sylvia, Teresa, Todd, Wendy). It was great to hear Howard talk about his work and to hear the voices of other CCK08 participants. Listening in lapsed-time gave me the opportunity to pause and follow up some points in more detail. There seemed to be an early exchange about wiki formats and blogging going on on the chat board and Alan posted a link to this excellent Common Craft explanation of a wiki (there is a video too). (Subsequently I found this post on CogDogBlog.) Steve posted a link to his Connectivism pbwiki and to an SL Experiments wiki.
Other themes in the discussion:

  • Inducting students into Web 2.0 tools and establishing a disciplined approach to practice
  • Sustainability
  • Reflection
  • Critical thinking and creative thinking (Bee posted this link to Open Spaces For Dialogue and Enquiry)
  • Stage craft

I was delighted when Howard indicated some of the influences on his development (Postman and Weingartner, Freire, Dewey and Goffman). Bee (and others) have some tweets about this session.
The Daily linked to a number of reflective pieces later in the week. Mrs Durff looked at learning, chunking and reflecting. (I noticed her Voki, I am wondering how to change mine.) This paper discussed Latin characteristics of education and training. Adrian brought another perspective to educare. Matthias looked at openness here. Lisa explored resistance, reassessment and retooling. (Later in the week she posted on Openness.)
Earlier this week “Linker Taylor” posted that “I have always been comfortable as the connector – someone who notices all sorts of odd bits of information, then finds opportunities to pass along the information in the most unlike situations.” This week has seen me trying to connect despite the appeal of early Summer In Australia and a wild flower garden. I should let Lani know that it is a real and virtual organic garden … and perhaps George will appreciate life in a rural society given his connectedness challenges this week.
I revisit my posts after first posting to include other posts that come my way from alerts. Today I lost my postscript! I had written about a post by Frances and her walled garden discussion of social software in schools. I liked her observation that:

Good teachers inspire their students to learn away from the classroom as well as in it – thinking is the first mobile technology – the question is how do institutions learn about what is appropriate support for learners and teachers using social software.

It has been a busy time in the backyard for Jenni too. Her post shares her interest in VoiceThread as an introduction tool for an on-line course. Linarmstrong has post about dyslexia and theories. Linarmstrong and Matthias have posted their short paper three. Eduardo‘s post on the lifecyscles of communities and networks was a timely reminder about egocentric and object centric networks discussed earlier in CCK08. In doing so it prompted me to read more of Michele Martin‘s work. WordPress Tag Surfer brought me Mark’s Wordle post, Ariel‘s discussion of Openness and Twitter, two posts by ulop (one on freedom and one on connectivism), and John Mak‘s post on individual development, networks and communities (and linked to his earlier post).


  1. Hi Keith,
    I was just thinking about how CCK08 might “live on” in digital history (or infamy:-)) as both a model and as an artifact/ collection of artifacts. In research, I have always greatly appreciated those wise people of the past who managed to, with a great deal of time and attention, collate dispersed bits of information and provide overviews, like the local historians who self-published smudgy, mimeographed town histories and those pre-digital folks who paged through local newspapers, taking notes in crabbed handwriting on little cards to create indices. It seems to me that in addition to giving us a sense of connectivism in action, your posts will serve that “archival” purpose for the researchers of the future. (And just think, our CCK work might someday be considered quaint:-))

  2. Hi Keith,
    Thank you so much for sharing the photos from your beautiful garden! I enjoyed them so much especially since our gardens have been put to bed for the winter, the leaves are all down and we’re expecting up to 10 inches of snow by Monday.
    And thank you also for your walk through this week in cck008; your connections, despite the lure of the summer days, were so inclusive and helpful. My aggregator had technical difficulties for two days and I came looking for your post and found all the others I had missed too.

  3. Keith,
    Thanks so much – I loved your post for two reasons. First, that is so good at weaving together the contributions of others (highlighting to me a few that I had missed).
    And secondly, that it used the metaphor of gardens and wildflowers. Gardens and gardeners are diverse in their existence and approaches. A well-known UK gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, defined a weed as a plant that is growing in the wrong place so some gardeners would see your lone ox-eye daisy as a weed, others as a delight. Here is one of my posts with my use of that metaphor (and a piccie of my garden)
    I am guessing that you are a plantsman Keith who uses serendipity and nudging as a means of ‘designing’ your garden as opposed to a top-down, structure first designer. Maybe I am projecting my own ‘plants first’ approach onto you – do tell!

  4. Hello Keith,
    I have been meaning to come back to this post since last week. I echo all the comments that have gone before and I particularly like your photos of your beautiful wild flower garden.
    Gardening is such a good metaphor for teaching and learning, as a gardener only fools himself if he thinks he can control what happens in his garden. Thanks for pulling everything together for us.

  5. Hi Keith
    Your garden is beautiful. I live in the city (Perth) so my garden is very small…but my front yard is predominently natives – which I love.
    I haven’t been into the course for the past 4 weeks as we’ve given our backyard a total makeover. So your blog led me to read some really interesting struff. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers Jenni


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