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.

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.

Unpopular Culture

Program 2 of the ABC’s Not Quite Art program was broadcast on Tuesday 21 October.

This is a link to a Creative Commons Australia post about the program.

“This included footage from CCau’s conference and ccSalon in June, interviews with two of our featured commoners, Yunyu and Chris Denaro (don’t miss his exhibition at Metro Arts!), and a great bit from friend of CCau, Mark Pesce.”

This is a link to the download of the program.

This is a link to the MP4 Vodcast subscription to the program

CCK08: Week 7 Affordance, Trialing, Improving…Mashing?

With all our wedding guests departed I have left the garden for a few days!

I have been looking forward to thinking about design and pedagogy.

I started Week 7 CCK08 readings and listenings with Gráinne Conole‘s

Social Networks and Learning Design and followed up with her New Schemas for Mapping Pedagogies and Technologies. The key messages for me in her papers are:

  • Affordance (Conjecture: I noticed in the New Schemas paper a reference to trial-and-error learning. I wondered if affordance was better supported by trial and improvement and dynamic evaluation pedagogy?)

(Diversion: Affordance, afford, James Gibson, Donald Norman, perceived affordance, neuro-esthetics)

  • Effective application of web 2.0 principles can provide a means of addressing the lack of uptake and sharing of learning and teaching ideas and design.
  • The fundamental gap between the rhetoric of the potential of technologies and actual practice is a central challenge in current learning design research.
  • Understand, visualise, guide, share are important verbs in the design process.

(Diversion: Jyri Engeström, social objects, sacred objects, Martin Weller, “The most important word on the internet is “Share””)

  • Cloudworks is designed to apply the best in web 2.0 principles to encouraging sharing and reuse of designs, so that the site can have critical mass and be sustainable through end-user engagement and contribution. The site is made up of a range of ‘social objects’ associated with learning design – which includes learning designs but also tools and resources associated with the design process and creating learning activities and profiles of individual users and communities.

(Diversion: Fred Stutzman, ego-centric networks, object-centric networks)

  • Find mechanisms to connect communities, so that the drive and momentum is around the communities and the technology is a seamless interface.

(Gráinne’s presentation from the Elluminate session this week is here on SlideShare.)

I followed up Gráinne’s papers by listening to George’s

Instructional Design and Connectivism presentation. His train analogy provided a journey for me that encouraged me to think about attributes of learners, interconnectedness, ecological validity and viability, context, effort and distributed approaches. I spent some time thinking about patterns, wayfinding and sense making whilst contemplating Slide 16.

(Diversion: Martin Weller’s PWLLE. Leigh Blackall’s Digital Network Literacy, Eliot Eisner, Artistry in Teaching)

My thinking about this week’s readings is focusing on time. George includes this in part in Domain 1 in Slide 16. I think Gráinne alludes to this throughout her papers but explicitly in the drive required to build learning communities. The diversions I refer to in this post have helped me ground my thoughts about time and the role designers have in distributed approaches.

My thinking is that affordance, trial and improvement are essential ingredients of dynamic learning environments. I realise that I am strangely attracted (in a chaos sense) to making time to mash social objects to create my own personal learning environment that might enrich the learning experiences of others. This week’s readings have encouraged me to think how I develop a wiki for a sporting community that embeds social objects for those who have teachable moments and are ready to learn.

I am looking forward to Thursday’s (Australian time) Elluminate session with Gráinne. Australian time is a good context for thinking about time. The collected readings in Gadi Mirrabooka point out that:

The Dreaming stories are not specifically related to time, as time was not important for the story to become part of the oral tradition. The important issue is the event, which occurred and affected the people, the land and the culture.