#coachlearninginsport: self-organising networks

Last month, I was invited to join a group of coaches in an online forum.

I was delighted to be asked but I have spent much of the time as a peripheral participant … enjoying the open sharing but not contributing.

I thought listening might be a good way to start in a group of online acquaintances.

Yesterday, I responded to this message from one of the group:

Hi everyone. I’m early in the process of setting up new CPD events. I’ve been slightly dissatisfied with recent experiences and groups like this show the value of sharing and exploring new ideas.

They won’t be linked to NGB/club/County – more of a ‘by coaches, for coaches’ approach focusing on interaction, conceptualisation of ideas and discussion, building a network etc.

From your recent CPD experiences, what have been the best elements? If there was one thing you want, or would want, from a CPD experience then what would it be?

Any ideas and feedback welcome.

It seemed a great opportunity for me to discuss my thoughts about #coachlearninginsport.

It coincided too with my participation in an open online course, Connectivism and Learning. Stephen Downes is the facilitator of this course and he has this to say about connectivism:

At its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks. (My emphasis)

Elsewhere, Stephen (2012) has discussed course design. He notes that in  a connectivist course “the content does not define the course”.

By navigating the content environment, and selecting content that is relevant to your own personal preferences and context, you are creating an individual view or perspective. So you are first creating connections between contents with each other and with your own background and experience. And working with content in a connectivist course does not involve learning or remembering the content. Rather, it is to engage in a process of creation and sharing. Each person in the course, speaking from his or her unique perspective, participates in a conversation that brings these perspectives together. (My emphasis)

I am hopeful that our online group might discuss these issues … if they are of interest.

For the time being, I look forward to engaging in a conversation on the platform that explores whether we might move from CPD to CPL and to celebrate the sense each of us makes of our self-organising networks.

Connected by shared interests.

Photo Credits

At Coogee (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

Some visualisation advice … from 1891

I glimpsed a tweet two days ago. I have tried to find it since to no avail.

It started me on a treasure hunt.

The trigger? A sentence that talked about “extracting sunbeams from cucumbers”.

The source of the sentence is Arthur Farquhar and Henry Farquhar’s Economic and Industrial Delusions: A Discussion of the Case for Protection published in New York 1891. The book is available in its entirety (460 pages) on the Internet Archive.

The quote is on page 55:

This is the chart (on page ii) that prompted these observations:

This is a magnified part of the chart:

The Farquhars discuss the chart on page 61 of their book:

There is a second chart in the book (page 75):

There is this brief guide to the chart:

I am grateful to the now lost tweet that started my journey. The cucumbers arrived as I was reflecting on Edward Shortliffe and his colleagues’ (1975) exposition of how a program can “explain its recommendations when queried”. More recently, Pat Langley, Ben Meadows, Mohan Sridharan & Dongkyu Choi (2017) have discussed the importance of ‘explainable agency’.

Both resonate, I think, with the 1891 attempt to share how data are visualised.

Photo Credit

Cucumber (cthoyes, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Charts and text sections are frame grabs from the Internet Archive.

Arthur Farquhar

Exploring GitHub: Blue Skies and Stormy Seas

The alternative title for this post is ‘When Amber met Stephen … at Kogarah‘.

I am in Kogarah at the moment and have some time to read and contemplate.

Amber is Amber Thomas. I met her work whilst looking for analyses of open source bike data. Amber has a delightful, detailed discussion about Seattle bike data.

By accident, I noticed Amber’s post about making a website using GitHub pages. This is where the blue sky came into my thinking. I was fascinated by her combination of Blogdown (an RStudio package) that runs using “Hugo” on the GitHub platform.

This is the site she created.

As I was exploring Amber’s creative journey, I received an alert to Stephen Downes’ keynote at SUNY on 9 March. Stephen shared his presentation on Open Learning, Open Networks and I found my way to slide 13. This has a link to a presentation he made last year, Disruptive Innovations in Learning.

Slide 39 in the appropriately named ‘Disruptive’ presentation is where Stephen met Amber at Kogarah. This is the slide freshly clipped:

Today, I have spent much of the day connecting Stephen and Amber’s ideas in GitHub. My aim is to share, contribute and co-create.

What started as a blue sky day, has felt in some very powerful learning moments like this:

There is some calm in the ocean pool at Coogee (not far from Kogarah) but there are some big waves out in the ocean.

I have five repositories in GitHub. The focus of my attention today has been my Portfolio repository. I am hopeful this will become my place to share my digital presence.

It is a very long way from Amber’s creativity. It is also an unsuccessful attempt to use Dean Attali’s insights too.

As ever, I am hopeful that my learning journey becomes a resource for others should they (you) choose to share, contribute and co-create.

It has been that kind of day at Kogarah.

Photo Credits

Sky and Sea (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

Slide 39 Disruptive Innovations in Learning (Stephen Downes, CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License)