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Week 1: Connectivism?
Week 2: Patterns
Week 3: Knowledge
Week 4: Unique?
Week 5: Groups, Networks
Week 6: PLENK
Week 7: Adaptive Systems
Week 8: Power & Authority
Week 9: Openness
Week 10: Net Pedagogy
Week 11: Research & Analytics
Week 12: Changing views
What a great, diverse, interesting group! Hi, I'm Leah, and I'm in Ohio, USA, where I work in educational publishing after teaching writing for many years. At my Day Job, the management is not asking the right questions of our industry, questions that should be along these lines: If schools are changing, will textbooks even exist in a decade or two? How do we change now so the company exists then? Or (my radical nature appears here) should we exist?
I came in late for PLENK, liked it so much I signed up for the certificate program. I am taking my brain out of mothballs and will dive into this class feet first! [Comment]
Re: How do you read through it all and keep up with everything? #cck11
LeahGrrl, , January 19, 2011.
The concept of "tagging" is somewhat new to me--well, not the idea of identifying what you see but exactly what tools do this and more importantly what tools I use to go find what's tagged. And what if there's a whole bunch of stuff out there that I'm missing because I don't know the tag wording someone used to describe it?
These are the thoughts that fuel my Good Student anxiety! [Comment]
I find the chat distracting from the speaker, too; that's why I'm glad the recordings are there to go back to, and I'm glad for the MP3s I could load onto the Droid to take to the gym.
I enjoyed Weller's talk and I also am going to go back and re-listen. I would also be curious about the facilitator's responsibility--not only theoretical, but also nuts and bolts practical in relation to how the learners interact, what responsibilities facilitators agree to (e.g., timely responses to learners, vetting of materials, and so on), how institutions reward good facilitation, etc. What do you show your institution that demonstrates your skills as a facilitator? How do you measure yourself? [Comment]
Anas, I can't seem to post a comment on your blog (maybe that's why you feel you aren't receiving much feedback?), so I will say here that I like the way you have strung together the analogies to try to identify the uniqueness of connectivism. You gave me a lot to think about with the "switch" analogy in particular. It might be taking it too far, but I need a "favorites" list tied to my switches so I access a memory of at least a link (a node?) to find something that interested me at one point. :)
Sure, there are electronic ways to do this, some apps that let you tag and organize things. But as more and more information flies at me, even those don't seem up to the task.
I was going to wonder whether "feedback" wasn't basically the same thing as "learning" in connectivism? If it is a "method" as Stephen suggests here, what are other methods?
Those Facilitator Nodes that basically brought the CCK2011 network together have to have *some* agency. CCK2011 isn't a network because a bunch of people all over world stumbled upon the same reading materials at the same time. Ditto to those of us diligently trying to keep up with them, create other materials, and respond to each other. The language used is some of Stephen's articles about connections waiting to be "discovered" (as though they are "natural" and intrinsic: essentialism) bothers me for similar reasons. He will say, "You are just a constructivist so that's how you see things," and so I'm "guilty" as charged. But I do think people have agency and can create knowledge. Feedback--response--is how that happens. Putting things together(Hmm, what happens when I examine soap operas using psycholinguistic feminist theory?) is how that happens. It's what makes life fun, isn't it? [Comment]
I understand the examples that you provide here as receiving feedback without an agent to "give" it. But isn't there agency, say, in the design of that bike? And the creation of that baby?
This has been a really interesting thread. Thank you all for contributing.
If "learning" is a "success verb," as Stephen says here, what's happening when I have those "a ha!" moments of clarity? It feels qualitatively different from "practicing." It feels to me like turning a corner or entering a well-lit room from a dark one.
Having just had my first stained glass class [now hold the class record for times cutting my own fingers] at age 46, I had a couple of those moments along the way.
I keep getting stuck when you say things like this, Stephen. Maybe I'm misreading, but sometimes (in one of our earliest readings, What Constructivism Is, for example in response 2 to Bill Kerr), you write that learning is about "recognizing patterns"--in a way that I think you're saying everything is already there waiting to be discovered. Similarly, in that same article but in the 4th or 5th paragraph, you say "connections form naturally."
Everything else makes sense to me about connectivism, except that I keep finding these moments of a sort of essentialism. Am I misreading? If so, could you explain or point me in a direction?
Thank you--I very much appreciate the feedback. Postivie or negative. :) [Comment]
Essentialism is the idea that things "are what they are" intrinsically and somewhat automatically and regardless of the context they're in. The idea that I even if I was born in another place and time, to another family, and had wildly different experiences than I have had, I would be the same person I am now--that's essentialism.
I'm coming at the discussion from a standpoint more like, our culture, history, family, etc., make us who we are. We would be different in a different set of circumstances.
So it has seemed to me that connectivism as a theory based on networks has that social aspect to it. But sometimes there are points in the writings that seem contradictory to this.
Does that make sense? I love your "fumbling around..trying to make sense." Most days I feel exactly like that. ;) [Comment]
Stephen, I think this works really well. Once I was used to the form and function, I haven't had any major issues with gRSShopper.
The only one I have had with functionality, which is not a big one, is that WordPress blogs don't get posted in their entirety, only the first sentence or two. I have checked all the boxes to make that happen from my WordPress end, but it doesn't. The only reason I think I worry about this is because my sense/theory is that posts showing in full on the blog list here get read and commented on more than posts you have to click a link to read. That might be an interesting data project. Do you collect clicks here?
Maybe I'm just not very interesting. I'm willing to accept that, too, as a reason I receive few comments on my posts.
Stephen, I hope you'll be able to pick up on Friday in the Elluminate session with "the learning mechisms [that] form those connections, and we know we don't somehow directly create connections, but rather form them through one of various forms of associationist mechanisms: hebbian, back-propagtion, boltzmann." I think that might answer my formless questions about agency.
I can't get finished with my assigned paper--due today--if you people insist on providing me with fascinating discussions and links to interesting readings!
Feeling happy about the feedback loops in particular today,
Leah :D [Comment]
I have really enjoyed doing a blog for the first time in order to participate more fully in the course (Twitter for the first time, too, but that's not been as interesting to me. And how do you deal with 1000s of "retweets" of the same thing? I digress.), and I don't necessarily mind having a central starting point or a repository for a course such as this one. I set up a netvibes page for those of us seeking institutional credit, but only a few people told me to include their blogs and it seems like it's fizzled out.
If I had my own pet gRSShopper, could I customize it to include not only the course participant blogs but also an algorithm that highlights where an interesting (quantified by number of posts/comments or by my own keywords) conversation is happening? Or perhaps set it to include a post from a non-participant's blog that I wanted to draw into my experience of the class and make available to others? How would gRSShopper show me the cool things that Lars, keith, etc., find on their journeys?
That's just daydreaming; I think gRSShopper is a great step in the right direction.
Carol, you're successful at getting your blog in the blogroll. :) I will check out your blog; I know how you feel, sometimes it's like caroling down the street by yourself.
Fair questions, and I think the answers are about context. When I am at the Day Job (ironically, educational publishing), I do feel differently connected. My sense is that I'm a very small, rather unimportant cog in a machine--in that way, undifferentiated from the colleagues around me, who are busy being coggish. I learn nothing there. I believe I could be a lot more helpful in Editorial, where editors, who print out Excel spreadsheets so they can type them into Word, who are making decisions about the "technology" we package with our books. (Wow, and wasn't that a value judgment.)
When something makes all the lights in my brain start to twinkle and glow, when I'm actually challenged by a new idea or learning how a new piece of software works, even the frustration is somewhat fun. In this course, grappling with the materials and the personalities (as written) involved, and knowing hundreds of others are grappling, too, is just enlivening to me. I feel more alive when the connections are meaningful. I can't help but think that that is part of learning, which is what we're talking about. Can connections, in context, be strong ties based on these responses and weak ties if based on simply needing a job?
Thanks, Stephen, for your response. [Comment]
This overview of Twitter is pretty helpful to me; thank you for posting it. I signed up for Twitter and have been using it for the CCK2011 postings, but I'm not quite seeing its value. For instance, it seems that for every tweet, there are a dozen re-tweets that show up and clog my Droid. It's kind of frustrating to see that endless repetition. Also, usually the tweets are just links with no commentary, so I don't have a good idea what might be in my areas of particular interest.
I'm going to use some of the links you have here to try to use it better. Thank you!
Being in the textbook industry, I don't want to talk myself out of earning a living--but the reality is that textbooks are written to address state standards (i.e., to be marketable as a commodity) and not to enhance learning. Textbooks are written mostly by corporations called "development houses" who hire freelance writers (that may or may not be subject experts), and more and more often that piece is going to countries where those writers work for ridiculously low wages.
I love Cable Green's model of RFP processes designed to elicit the best possible instructional materials. If publishers get left behind because their/our business model is outdated and their products are subpar...well, then, all the better for students.
However, in an age in the U.S. of relentless testing, *no* instructional materials are going to help motivate and engage students. [Comment]
Will the Wednesday Elluminate session with Cable Green be available in the Recordings section? I keep checking back. Thank you for all you do.
I've had a bad experience with Facebook, which is why I closed my account last year and probably will not open a new one, even with your encouraging and optimistic ideas here. I do wish sometimes I could participate in the CCK group on Facebook, it seems active and engaged and I would like that. Yet it's quite unlikely I'll ever go back, even if it would be good in some ways.
The difference between Facebook and a coffeehouse is that a coffeehouse doesn't constantly bombard you with silly surveys or offensive polls, steal and then sell your information, and then lock the door with you inside. It's extremely hard to actually leave the FB "cafe": last year it took me a week and I'm still not convinced I've done every one of the dozens of steps it takes to eliminate "me" there.
I agree that FB can be an opportunity to connect, but when I weigh the true costs of the free service to me, it's not worth it. I think it's way more dangerous than a moodle-type LMS.
That's just my two cents, though. That and $5 will get you a soy latte. :)
As you know, I've commented in my Assignment #1 about the reason/emotion dichotomy. To me as both a teacher and learner, it's a false dichotomy. Certainly we could even prove it on a biochemical level.
For your overstock Ts, if you have any colorful ones left at the end of the sale, donate them to a quilting club.
Have a good week,
Alan, thank you for posting this for those of us not in the Facebook group. It was great to read something embodied and real. [Comment]
When I was in graduate school, there was no "web" yet, just Gopher and so on. But to study for doctoral exams we formed a group with paper-based summaries, tools, ideas, and so on. That was so successful that we kept meeting through the writing of our dissertations, and I suspect that's why so many of us completed our work as opposed to many doctoral candidates who do not. I can only imagine how much more helpful it would have been to have Google Docs. Great idea! [Comment]