Connecting 131008

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It has been a busy few days.

I am delighted with the response to Darrell Cobner’s guest post.

I have been thinking a great deal about the “disciplinary gaze” issues raised by Darrell and by Chris Carling and his colleagues (2013).

I believe profoundly that this gaze has agnostic qualities … it occurs in a variety of contexts and at different tempos.

Digital sharing is transforming scholarship and I hope that by connecting through a range of media we enable thick descriptions to emerge and be shared openly. I keep returning to the concept of CommentPress:

CommentPress is an open source theme and plugin for the WordPress blogging engine that allows readers to comment paragraph-by-paragraph, line-by-line or block-by-block in the margins of a text. Annotate, gloss, workshop, debate: with CommentPress you can do all of these things on a finer-grained level, turning a document into a conversation.

Whilst installing the CommentPress Core plugin for WordPress, I managed to remove all my customisations for Clyde Street! I am going to set up a new blog space to share the functionality of the plugin and explore the possibilities for co-authorship.

As I open up these opportunities, thanks to Jenny Mackness, I am mindful of the growing discussion of connectivism.

George Couros has reminded me that Isolation is now a choice educators make. He notes:

Personally, blogging has made me really think about what I do in my role as an administrator, and I would say that the process has really clarified a lot of my thinking.  The other aspect of writing for an audience and getting their feedback has made a huge difference on my learning as being challenged has made me really think about my work.  In fact, I am writing this because someone read my blog post, challenged it, and I came back to revisit my thinking.  That wouldn’t have happened if I wrote it in a journal that I tuck away at home.

When my daily feeds enable me to read about James Grayson’s work and contemplate data shared by Ted Knutson, I am excited think about what co-production might achieve.

Propsects of co-production returned me to a Dan Pontefract post from 2011. I have been thinking about how our personal learning journeys and environments move us through his Digital Learning Quadrants.

DP1

I do think gaze is transformed by the opportunities to collaborate and cooperate. It might lead us to engage in the kind of discussion about data  Annette Markham proposes.

Data is, as research terminology goes, a deceptively easy word to toss around. It’s easily accessible for most of us, fills in as a better descriptor than the term ‘stuff,’ and adds instant credibility to that which it describes. The term ‘data’ does far more than describe units of information used in the course of one’s study. It functions as a powerful frame for discourse about knowledge — both where it comes from and how it is derived; privileges certain ways of knowing over others; and through its ambiguity, can foster a self–perpetuating sensibility that it is incontrovertible, something to question the meaning of, or the veracity of, but not the existence of.

 Photo Credit

Busy District Line (2) (Owen Blacker, CC BY-NC 2.0)

c-ness

6016461865_4d0415581a_bI have not written many posts in the past two months. I have been a peripheral participant in many conversations and have admired from afar the insights and wisdom being shared.

This week a post from Stephen Downes was a catalyst for this post about c-ness.

Stephen linked to Dan Pontefract’s post The Organisation as a Cycling Peloton. Dan suggested “Maybe if we were to act like a peloton in our organizations, we might see higher levels of employee engagement”. Dan liked the idea that a peloton (particularly in recreational cycling): shared the load; communicated proactively; encouraged and recognised effort.

For some reason, I am not sure why, I started thinking about discussions of the forms MOOCs take. If there are cMOOCs, I wondered if there were cPelotons. The c-ness of both activities seems to promote cooperation and reciprocal altruism. I liked Gordon Lockhart‘s discussion of the c-ness of MOOCs. In a post earlier this year, Gordon observed:

cMOOCs are very peculiar beasts. I was first thrown by one in 2011 (CCK11) when it dawned on me that, contrary to what was on the tin, a cMOOC wasn’t a ‘course’ at all. Instead, a heady amalgam of ‘massive’, ‘open’ and ‘online’ was leading to a quite extraordinary place where the normal rules of learning engagement just didn’t apply. There were a couple of facilitators but no teachers. Participants were encouraged to create and maintain their own blogs. Social media was used for discussion and sharing resources. Topics were explored together, connections made and groups were formed and maintained long after the MOOC was over. cMOOCs never die – I still check out the CCK11 page on Facebook.

2186106604_78dd38ebb8_bI am particularly interested in cSOOCs. I think of the courses as Small rather than Massive. In the last two months, I have been delighted to have participated in an Introduction to Box’Tag cSOOC. I have been wondering if the C might be a community rather than a course. When I explored this idea, Stephen Downes responded with this observation:

courses have start and end dates, and communities don’t. So if your thing has a start and end date, it’s a course. It may foster and support community, but it’s something different. (Stephen’s emphasis)

Thanks to Stephen’s clarification, I do think this blending of courses and communities is part of the transformation Terry Heick discussed recently and is linked to the reflection Debbie Morrison discussed in regard to MOOCs. I think this blend is nourished by c-ness.

As a result of Stephen’s point, I realise when I discuss cSOOCs, I should specify that these are available after the ‘end’ of moments of concentration of collaborative or cooperative activity. They remain as resources in the dispersed communities they were designed to foster and support. Their c-ness includes: content creation, open and free sharing and personal responsibility for learning.

OopsI went missing in the discussion of accreditation in Performance Analysis too. I have been meaning to respond to the conversation around accreditation and the debate about unpaid internships. My tardiness meant that I could not find the unpaid intern position at Wigan Athletic advertised on the UK Sport website nor a position at Reading. But I did find Intern Aware and their discussion of the ethical issues related to unpaid internships and their illegality. There was coverage of the unpaid internship at Reading (including this Huffington Post UK post).

I thought Dave Willoughby provided an excellent discussion of internships in his post Unpaid Internships in Performance Analysis: My View. I liked his concluding statement:

I’m not asking for the earth, I don’t expect to be paid as much as Yaya Toure or Wayne Rooney, but if I’m doing a job that is valued I would at least expect to be paid enough to live on. I want to make a difference and help a team excel and achieve their potential, the sooner clubs realise the talent pool they are missing out on the better.

My involvement in the accreditation discussions about Performance Analysis are driven by a desire to infuse the process with c-ness. I would like to be part of a group that is able to form a consensus about standards and equivalence. Doug Belshaw‘s discussion of Mozilla’s Web Literacy Standard has focussed my attention this week. I am mindful that I need to support more effectively the advocacy lead by Jason Lear, Darrell Cobner and Josh Bryan amongst others.

I was around at the time the International Society of Performance Analysis in Sport (ISPAS) was founded and have followed the society’s development with interest. I note that ISPAS has shared its membership model on its Facebook page. I am hopeful that as an industry stakeholder, ISPAS might engage in accreditation discussions that have c-ness dispositions. I wondered if the sport technology hardware and software suppliers might do the same.

Together we could have a mutually assured system of accreditation that involves recognition of prior learning. The system could have many entry and exit points and could be mapped against tertiary education award schemes.

This leads me to a final point in this post.

I wonder if we can have an open accreditation system (cAccreditation) that has a modest fee for service (xAccreditation) that sets an open standard to assure the quality of performance analysts and to support the employment aspirations of generations of analysts.

Martin Lugton raises a very interesting point about cMOOCs and about c-ness:

cMOOCs are not proscriptive, and participants set their own learning goals and type of engagement. They won’t necessarily walk away with a fixed and tested set of specific skills or competencies, or knowledge of a set body of content. This makes cMOOCs tricky to grade or assess or certify. This, combined with the fact that the platform is totally open, means that they probably aren’t very easy to make any money from.

4337007744_70e6e21022_bWe are a very small industry and I am hopeful that we could develop an inclusive model that is sufficiently invitational that participating in it is ‘natural’ for our community of practice. We could share openly our practices and experiences to curate the most remarkable continuing professional development resources. We would be a great crowdsourcing professional organisation that might be sustainable by offering our shared energies in service of the common good. We could make c-ness work for us by anchoring our diversity in some fundamental principles.

We would be a cPeloton: sharing the load; communicating proactively; encouraging and recognising effort. Even on the hors catégorie climbs we could be a flat organisation.

Photo Credits

DSC_5645 (Roger Nilsson, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Rainbow Over Innovation Park (Yorkali Walters CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Page not Found (UK Sport, accessed 27 April 2013)

No Safety Net Project 365(2) Day 5 (Keith Williamson, CC BY 2.0)