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Showing posts with label connectivism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label connectivism. Show all posts

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stephen Downes, connectivism and second life





I am in overload -- I listened to Stephen Downes today. He used analogies to teach, making me think that networks are modeled in everything from river tributaries to the human mind to the networks built over the Internet. Some connections are explainable and logical, but many are the product of chaos theory at work.

He makes a lot of sense and I think that curriculum directors everywhere should listen to the audio file of his presentation today and look at his Powerpoints.

Then, I spent time in Second Life, learning and thinking (and taking pictures (see them to the right.) I made connections with many new teachers who are now my "friends" in second life. I learned so much. (The best tour guide is Beth Ritter-Guth -- she is helpful and outstanding - a perfect person to take a group in. If you have a group going in soon, please mention it to me so I can share it with those who want to try it out!)

I really want us to figure out a way to have teacher / student areas away from the teen and the adult areas. Not sure how that could happen, but it is needed. I have some ideas as do many others.

I can't help but think that I touched the train hanging off the future bride of education. (Or something like her.)

Bottom line is that learning in second life is truly first person learning but when dealing with students it is sans one very important thing -- stereotypes. (There is no such thing as second person learning. )


So perhaps second life isn't a second life at all but a real life. Just a new way of living it.

I am so overwhelmed that as I have perused my youtube and build the channels I subscribe to over there, I came across this video. The beginning of this video is from an American perspective and I tend to not like the fear aspect of it. (We should all reform education because its the right thing to do, not necessarily because we're fearful.)

However, once you get into the video, the points made in this video are throughout the entire connectivism conference. Video is a powerful tool!



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How I started in wikis, the Flat Classroom and Second Life



I'd like to share a transcript of an interview I did with Stephen Hogg today. For many new readers who wonder how I started in wikis and how beginners get started, it includes a lot of great information.

(Note: Interesting thing about campfire, it shows the time of the host -- So, this was 2 hours later my time -- just a note b/c I have a rule that I don't blog at school.)


Stephen H.
Where do you teach and what grades/classes do you teach?
Vicki D.
I teach at Westwood Schools in Camilla GA
Vicki D.
I teach one semester of keyboarding to 8th grade and 8 weeks to 5th grade.
Vicki D.
I teach Computer Fundamentals to 9th, Computer Science to 10th
Stephen H.
So is your school K-12?
Vicki D.
and electives to juniors and seniors including computer graphic design (1 semester) and accounting (1 semester)
Vicki D.
K3-12th grade -- private school with 350 students.
Stephen H.
Wow, that is a lot of preps you have!
Vicki D.
Before coming here I taught professional development courses for teachers for aobut 10 years -- teachers in all types of schools.
Feb 8
3:15 PM
Vicki D.
Public and private.
Vicki D.
I have no more than 5 classes at a time.
Vicki D.
2 planning periods.
Stephen H.
Oh, ok.
Stephen H.
How did you first begin using wikis in the classroom?
Vicki D.
After going to GAETC(Georgia Association of Educators) in November 2005, I heard DAvid Warlick speak and bought his book about blogs in the classroom.
Vicki D.
Had been going through a lot of professional development training about project based learning, cooperative learning, and genuine assessment
Vicki D.
We focus here on research based best practices and I have to do a certain amount of genuine assessment and cooperative learning.
Vicki D.
I blog, but felt that wikis would work well in a collaborative / cooperative environemtn
Vicki D.
Because of how well that they mark and denote the exact contribution of students.
Vicki D.
It also documents very well the discussions that take place between students to arrive at a certain place of knowledge and their agreement on fact.
Vicki D.
Sometimes the discussion tabs are more helpful than the page itself.
Stephen H.
I hadn't thought about how they show who does what, that's a great point.
Vicki D.
So, I found it as a way to cooperatively compile information and to link all the digital artifacts we were creating in one place.
Vicki D.
It just fit the research well, I thought as did our curriculum director and so we started using them in December 2005.
Stephen H.
Great. What wiki software have you used most often or found to work the best?
Vicki D.
I use wikispaces because I prefer things that I do not host on site.
Vicki D.
Stephen H.
I'm sorry if I interrupt you and you still have more to say. One bad thing about Campfire is I can't tell when you're typing.
Vicki D.
They allow you to have private pages, public pages and also members only editing and even members only viewing -- so I can create a private wiki for younger kids and have a public for older ones but only allow my students to edit.
Vicki D.
Done.
Vicki D.
How about when I'm done, I"ll type a *
Stephen H.
I have been using wikispaces as well.
Stephen H.
That would be awesome
Vicki D.
Very easy to use.
Vicki D.
*
Stephen H.
I have read a little bit about your project the "Flat Classroom Wiki." Could you explain the basics of this project?
Feb 8
3:20 PM
Vicki D.
It is a cooperative project between my 10th grade computer science class and an 11th grade class at the International School in Dhaka Bangladesh with an amazing teacher, Julie Lindsey.
Vicki D.
Julie and I started sharing e-mails about our student views on the World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
Vicki D.
and we wanted our students to have the opportunity not only to learn about the concepts but to experience them as well
Vicki D.
So, they would have academic factual information they would compile but also would experience the flatteners as well as they worked collaboratively with one another.
Vicki D.
We paired up the students with one in her classroom and one in mine although we had a few larger groups due to absences.*
Stephen H.
That is something I would love to do with my students and students from Spain or Mexico or any Spanish-speaking country.
Vicki D.
Yes, it is called tandem learning in foreign language circles and I haven't heard it used in regular academic subjects but expect that it will be.
Vicki D.
The tough thing with different time zones is that they are never in class at the same time -- that is the struggle with an asynchronous project like this.
Vicki D.
Just a moment - I will step away 1 minute while you type.*
Stephen H.
I could see how that would be a problem.
Stephen H.
Ok, no problem
Stephen H.
Ok, besides the "Flat Classroom Wiki," can you give me a specific example or two of other ways you have used wikis in your classes? and in what ways have they been most effective?
Feb 8
3:25 PM
Vicki D.
At the Westwood Wiki - http://westwood.wikispaces.com -- I really have 7 pedagogical uses of the wiki that I've identified.
Vicki D.
I wrote a paper on it and posted it at the k12 online conference.
Vicki D.
Note taking / sharing and compiling
Vicki D.
Exploratory projects where you introduce a subject and allow them to explore and post fact about a subject that they know nothing about.
Vicki D.
Those are two big ones.
Vicki D.
I will go get the hyperlink to the paper. You can type a question while I do if you like. *
Stephen H.
Ok, that would be awesome.
Stephen H.
Next questions . . .
Stephen H.
Do you have any plans to use wikis in different ways in the future than you have in the past
Stephen H.
?
Vicki D.
ACtually it is in my k12 presentation -- show notes -- there is also a video on there as well -- http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=38
Vicki D.
My process is always evolving. After hearing feedback from the flat classroom judges Terry Freedman, Jo McCleay, Jeff Utecht, and Darren Kuropatwa -- four amazing innovators -- I am working to include more peer review.
Vicki D.
With peer review (they look at each other and post on the discussion tabs) they can also determine some interlinks that need to occur.
Vicki D.
I am working towards a wiki project with a few more classrooms in April and also somehow integrating it with Second Life.
Vicki D.
I'd like to screen the movies and perhaps have judging occur in second life with feedback from other classrooms. Still some technical issues to work out there, though.
Feb 8
3:30 PM
Vicki D.
I get better at it (as do my students) every time we "wiki."
Vicki D.
Have to work to make sure that they include hyperlinks. AS they get more confident, they tend to just write - which is good but wikis innately need backup in order to be credible and a hyperlink is an essential citation of fact.
Vicki D.
*
Stephen H.
That must be great to have the freedom to be able to use great stuff like Second Life in an educational setting. I can't even get my Tech Coordinator to let me use YouTube on my blog.
Vicki D.
I control but am held accountable for my own content filter.
Vicki D.
I spent some time on an edutour today as a part of George Siemen's conectivism conference.
Vicki D.
There is teen SL but they don't let adults in there -- I've got to contact Linden Labs and see if I can get approval.
Vicki D.
The adult SL has a button, for example, to take off all of your clothes!
Stephen H.
That would not be good.
Vicki D.
Never never never could be used high school - so the answer is to get the adult educators into the teen version which has controls in those areas.
Vicki D.
And they cannot do such things.
Vicki D.
That is really the only answer right now for teens.
Vicki D.
But it has great potential -- I'm just now learning about it.
Vicki D.
*
Stephen H.
Ok, the last question I have for you is do you have any suggestions for non-technologically savvy teachers who are interested in incorporating wikis into their lessons.
Vicki D.
The great thing about wikis is that it is wonderful for beginners.
Vicki D.
The way to start is to have the teachers create a wiki among themselves to share information.
Feb 8
3:35 PM
Vicki D.
We did this with the k12 online conference wiki project - http://k12wiki.wikispaces.com
Vicki D.
We had several teams of teachers around the world by subject area.
Vicki D.
The teachers compiled information on their assignment and many of them still edit the wiki. I'd love for you to join, it is open to any educator.
Stephen H.
I am checking it out right now.
Vicki D.
For example, there is a great math wiki area about videos for use in math -- I recommend that it be shown to those who think youtube has no valid use in the classroom.
Vicki D.
When teachers see how easy it is to edit, they scratch their heads and say "OH, wow!"
Vicki D.
And then they start thinking of the many uses.
Vicki D.
A great way to start is to watch the video I made at the K12 online conference. Many teachers have burned it on CD and pass it around to learn how to wiki.
Vicki D.
I go through the steps and you may also use the show notes as well.
Vicki D.
*
Vicki D.
When there is change there are two types of people: victims and victors. That is it.
Stephen H.
Well said.
Vicki D.
Most teachers want to do a great job and reach their students. Wikis do that.
Vicki D.
So, once they know they don't have to program, they're usually fine with it.
Vicki D.
*
Vicki D.
May I have a link to your blog?
Stephen H.
I would agree. It just seems they want to keep on doing the same thing they've always done.
Stephen H.
Of course
Vicki D.
WE are all human and we like to stay comfortable, however, just as the book "Who Moved My Cheese" discusses -- people are forced to move when their room runs out of cheese.
Stephen H.
My classroom blog is more of a classroom management/organization blog where I post assignments, worksheets and a link every once in a while and it's URI is hogg.wordpress.com
Vicki D.
The current model of teaching is "out of cheese" and students who are entertained and allowed to customize everything outside of school, rebel and say "there has got to be more to education that this!"
Feb 8
3:40 PM
Stephen H.
I also have a teach blog that I update as much as possible at http://freehogg.wordpress.com
Vicki D.
I have one blog for each class plus class blogmeister.
Vicki D.
I'll cite you when I share our conversation.
Stephen H.
I definitely need to look more into blogmeister
Stephen H.
Ok
Vicki D.
*
Vicki D.
OK, tell me about you a little so I have it. Where do you teach? Where are you in school?
Stephen H.
I teach Spanish 1-2 and 3-4 at Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, AZ
Vicki D.
Have you met up with Sylvia Tolisano in Florida -- she has the Langwitches blog.
Vicki D.
She is doing some great things.
Vicki D.
She teaches spanish also.
Stephen H.
I'm taking this Education Technology Leadership masters degree in hopes of becoming a tech coordinator some day
Vicki D.
Wow!
Vicki D.
You'll be ready to be a great teacher and then move out of the classroom -- that is great and not so great.
Stephen H.
I have very briefly visited her blog but haven't dived in to it too much yet
Vicki D.
I believe that using these tools has allowed me to connect with my students in ways I have never been able to do before.
Vicki D.
I have a closeness with many of my students that other teachers wonder about.
Stephen H.
True. But hopefully instead of one great teacher I can share the wealth and have a district full of teachers using technology to its fullest potential
Vicki D.
It is because I get past the facade where they think and IM.
Vicki D.
That is true.
Vicki D.
But being a leader is tough -- it is important to find those other teachers who are going to be leaders.
Vicki D.
You'll have more credibility because you have taught in a real classroom.
Vicki D.
You should look at the use of Skype for tandem learning.
Vicki D.
That has incredible potential.
Stephen H.
I just don't know if I'll be able to leave the classroom behind
Vicki D.
I have a video on Google video about that -- search for skype in the classroom.
Vicki D.
I'll let you know a secret
Stephen H.
I totally agree. As soon as I am able to teach the higher levels I am going to get Skype going.
Feb 8
3:45 PM
Vicki D.
I am not only a teacher but I am the network administrator -- 85 computers and 3 servers.
Feb 8
3:45 PM
Vicki D.
We are finally brining in people from the outside to help us but tomorrow is the first day I"ll have someone's help.
Stephen H.
Wow, you must be busy
Vicki D.
I have had to raise the money and build the whole thing from scratch with my own hands -- every router and every server.
Vicki D.
A little too busy sometimes, especially now that I am a blogger too.
Stephen H.
Maybe some other time I can talk to you about some resources for grants and other fund raisers
Vicki D.
I have been blessed with a great network of teachers and educators that inspire me and keep me going -- and now you're part of that network too!
Vicki D.
I've gotten a few grants -- Ink jet cartrige recycling gives me a bit of money.
Vicki D.
I also have to sit on the street corner begging a lot -- Ha Ha!
Vicki D.
;-)

MOre connections! I have a lot to share about from today's time at the connectivism conference. Today would rank up there as one of my best professional development days of my life. I had to work and listen but I learned a lot.

I will be sharing some over the weekend. I actually have to spend 3-4 hours working on my day job tonight!

Monday, February 05, 2007

No more connect the dots: Connect the students!



It is very late and I've had a long day, however I want you to have a copy of the great presentation by Will Richardson today.

He challenges teachers to look for ways to connect our students. This is quite appropriate for me in that tomorrow, my students have a great opportunity to interview a nanotechnology expert, Earl Boysen, author of Nanotechnology for Dummies and www.understandingnano.com - he is also a columnist for Nanotechnology. He is a fascinating person and I am very grateful for his willingness to share.

We will record the discussion and I'll post it on my Cool Cat Teacher podcast this week.

Why are we looking at nanotechnology?

The reason that we are having this discussion is that our computer science book covers hardware very well, but has absolutely nothing on nanotechnology. Nanotech is an essential area of understanding for any classroom looking at science or technology and the impacts are going to be far reaching.

So, I had my students elect a project manager who then divided up the questions they had about nanotechnology and they created a wiki and questions for our presenter for tomorrow.

I have many other things to share about Will's presentation but it is going to have to wait.

Your Essential question of the day!
Until then -- think about this. How are you connecting your classroom? How are you getting connected? Are you connecting so that you can learn? Are you modeling the kind of person that they will need to be?

The Gift of Connection

Teachers, during the most stressful period of teaching probably in the history of mankind, we have been given a gift -- a gift of connections with one another.

No teacher is an island -- we are a growing continent of hope in an education system lost in the last century.

Encourage others to join in but remember this ---
we all have our different learning curves and the arrogant and proud never win converts -- it is the humble and willing TEACHER who can encourage others to move ahead into this new world at their own pace and their own comfort level and who never says "I told you so" but only says, "Yes! I'm so proud of you! You can do it!"

Teacher -- remember why you teach! Let that love of teaching spur you to become better and venture unafraid into what has turned out to be, for me, a very good place -- the edublogosphere.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Connectivism in the Classroom



Some of you participating in the connectivism conference can go into the connectivism Moodle, however some of you haven't been able to participate since the conference is closed.

I have been watching with interest the phenomenal discussion that Jason Hando started about bringing connectivism to the classroom. I'd like to share with you two comments that got me thinking tonight!

Practical ways to facilitate connectivism in a school classroom?
by Jason Hando - Friday, 2 February 2007, 12:19 PM
I am interested in finding out practical ways to adopt connectivism in the classroom [particularly under 18 year old education]. I can imagine that incorporating global projects, where students collaborate with other schools and experts in subject areas, would be one way. Are there other ideas?
Re: Practical ways to facilitate connectivism in a school classroom?
by Peter Clitheroe - Friday, 2 February 2007, 12:28 PM
I wonder whether there is some fundamental work to be done with learners to help them get used to the connected environment and to develop the skills of creative and critical thinking through which that environment can help them learn.
OK, I'm largely working with adult learners but I'm seeing lots of them taking a very tentative look then retreating back into wanting a return to safe comfortable modes of teacher-led instruction.
It's almost a question of "Don't make me think, just give me the knowledge".


My response:


In my own classroom, I saw that at the beginning of using what some would classify as a more connectivist learning structure (for those who agree that connectivism is a theory) there was a definite initial hurdle to overcome. You do have to shift students to a more exploratory learning format where they seek information and read and use their discernment to determine the facts. (Mine then post via wiki, blog, google video, or youtube or whatever tool we are using at the time.)

Fresh or Delivered!

I guess it is like having to go to a garden and look for the ripe vegetables versus going to a grocery store. It is harder to find the produce in the garden, but it means more and is much better for you when you find it in its natural state.

It takes more class time initially to push students out there to non-teacher-led instruction, however after the initial learning curve of teaching my students to collect and share information, they now "take over" when I give them a project.

A place where the project manager is fired up not fired!

I now give the class an assignment and allow them to elect a "project manager" to create the wiki for a project. The project manager creates the teams and holds groups accountable. I facilitate and make sure everything is working smoothly and keep people searching in the right direction when there is a question. I assess and handle things that get off track. But I saw such a great learning opportunity in managing projects -- I already know how to manage and delegate and they do not!

Thus, it is a much more student-centric model of learning -- however I am still very necessary as the teacher because I keep the focus and accountability. It also requires my knowledge to create the projects and determine the appropriate next step. (Something that changes from class to class depending on the sources of information and class interest in a particular angle.)

Yes -- it is easy to go back to a teacher-led model of instruction and sometimes we do have a more lecture style discussion.

Do teacher-led classrooms REALLY teach more or just "cover" more?

I see how a teacher could also "claim" that they cover more material because they just charge through content without assessing student understanding and effectiveness of the delivery method. But teaching is about not showing how much the teacher knows but about producing students that will eventually surpass the teacher because they become self-learners and passionate about the topic.

It is a much more exciting method of learning.

A classroom where learning is fun

My five year old told me yesterday -- "Mom we can't take toys to school because we're not supposed to have too much fun there."

Let them have fun and let them learn. Let them make connections and let them connect to the things that they are passionate about to instruct them on the topic at hand. Harness the power of student passions to teach.

We have a great gap between the majority of students and their teachers. It is time for such teachers (who harness passions and allow students to connect via a network of other students) to become the norm and not be so extraordinary that the few who do it have a movie made about them.

Teachers, shed your fear and join in the conversation!


It is also time for teachers to become engaged in discussions with theorists and administrators.

The difference between reading about a kiss and kissing!

I look at it this way -- I can read all day about how to kiss but a thousand books won't teach me as much as thirty seconds of my first french kiss.

Likewise, theorists can pontificate all day, however, the process of teaching is often best understood and expressed by those who teach. We have a valid perspective!

I must say that I've been nervous about participating at all in such a conference and a lot of the discussion and terminology has required me to do research just to understand a snippet of conversation between the mega-theorists.

However, I am a teacher and it is time for us as teachers to accept what I think should be included in the new definition of professional ethics of teachers: that we contribute to the theoretical discussions in our profession.

How to fight useless workshops!

Have you ever sat in a workshop and whispered to another teacher, "I don't think that consultant has ever been in a classroom?"

Well, it is time for you to give feedback BEFORE such things come to your doorstep. (I am very fortunate in that I love workshops! I have so much to learn!)

And if you don't, you have no right to mumble. You have the opportunity to have a voice. Use it. Comment on blogs of the "experts," blog, listen, learn, share.

But most of all, join in the conversation. Stop just reading and get out there and communicate your viewpoint. It is important! You are important! Most of us teach because we want to leave a legacy -- your legacy grows when you contribute in such ways!

You are the one's out there teaching, for goodness sakes, you do it every day. You do it in your sleep. You know what you're talking about.

Do not let the rhetoric you do not understand deter you from communicating the truth you know. (And if theorists and educators look down on us and belittle us for asking "dumb" questions then they can no longer call themselves a teacher, can they? Good teachers can always teach beginners. Thankfully, many of these people who are kind to those who know less theory and have more practical knowledge like me are participating in this conference!)

Also, don't let the fact that many people afraid of this new teacher empowerment are often blocking the greatest professional development tools created in the history of teaching! Go home and read the blogs of those you respect! Read and give your input!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

On being connected: George Siemen's presentation today.



I am so fortunate that today my planning period allowed me to attend George Siemen's Connectivism online conference where 197 people from around the world listened and chatted through George's presentation about his connectivism theories and how they relate to education.

I am one of the context filters for K12 education. I am reflecting on the moodle and on my blog here on the discussions and presentation today. Here are my primary thoughts from my notes on his presentation.

George gave an overview of the connectivist theory. What I got out of the discussion was many other items of discussion:
  • The infrastructure of dreams is growing up around our feet.

    Visionaries have been talking about what can be done and suddenly have woken up and realized it can be done today.

  • The institutional level has not responded to the change in infrastructure.

    George talked about how business has changed (somewhat) but that education has not. I would argue that businesses have a litmus test that directly shows how they are doing -- profit. That one mutually agreed upon litmus test measures effectively the current operations of a business (although as anyone in business knows long term profit can be sacrificed for short term so an overemphasis of current profit can cause long term problems.

    I think that the litmus tests being used in education are making it difficult to change education. Testing is important but it is not all encompassing. Any good thing can be harmful -- even something like water -- too much water can be poison (its called hypoxia)-- too much testing can also be poison. If you listen to the NCLB expert interviewed by John Merrow on his podcast, you'll hear that the research is showing that No Child Left Behind (an act in America to improve education that funds based on school-wide test results) does bring up the lower performing students ( a good thing) but at the expense of the higher performing students (a bad thing) which move down to the mean.

    I am fascinated by the fact that the expected product influences the process that creates the product. Beware wheat you ask for, you might get it!

  • We cannot make ourselves more intelligent (yet) with technology but we can use technology to augment our understanding.

    George used the example of tag clouds as a method that technology does our analysis "grunt work" enabling us to more rapidly assess trends and respond. (Basically the technology has become our secretary or filing cabinet!)

    Many people criticize the use of tag clouds and the fact that they make us err into Group think. I disagree. I believe that the use of tag clouds and other visual graphic organizers such as Newsmap allow us to more quickly analyze trends so that we may then draw conclusions and express our opinions. Researchers can more quickly post primary questions because the anecdotal data is summarized on even a daily basis.

    No, I think the risk in group think is not because of the data that is aggregated for us, it lies in who we aggregate FROM. If we surround ourselves with people too much like ourselves. If we never listen to the people who disagree with us. If we do not read what others say.

    I'll never forget the first week of the WOW2 podcast, I was listening to another group of teachers and their podcast. One person mentioned the Women of Web 2 and how we were starting a show - one of the people on the podcast stated: "There is nothing I can learn from them."

    That kind of thinking is dangerous. Even the "village idiot" is right sometimes and even Einstein was wrong sometimes. We can learn from others even if it is only how they feel because their feelings are valid to them.

    I call this intentional diversification. I intentionally read people out of my field at least twice a week. I have several other folders (a lot from the business world) that I read continually besides my educational peers and mentors. Sometimes I learn things from photography websites. Sometimes I glean something from the news. Sometimes somebody is a real jerk to me about something I said, but I go on a bunny trail that takes me to new knowledge. The world is a stage.

    As a teacher, it is vital for me to impart a willingness to learn from others. The arrogant will be the first to fall in this newly connected society because they are concerned mostly about being self-connected. One must be humble and willing to learn from a person who began blogging last week.

  • My bunny trail - An improved assessment for schools!

    I began thinking about measurement and assessment of schools. What if we began measuring schools like this. Four years after a graduating class graduated from high school, conduct a survey or a series of telephone interviews. Ask them: "Did your high school career prepare you well for college? for life? for the workplace? What are the gaps in high school that you wish had been filled? What can we do to be better? Who are the best teachers?"

    A simple self-assessment by asking the product (enough time after they graduated to be a little more objective) would go a long way to improving the core of what we're doing!

  • Learning Theories

    Many details on learning theories were discussed in the chats. This is an area where I sit back and learn. I've learned that I know just enough to be dangerous. I've also learned that sometimes people get so hung up on debating the beauty of the Mona Lisa that they never look at the painting! Likewise, I am concerned with teaching my students on a daily basis and I know when they learn.

    I did love what George says about his theory of connectivism, "it is a description of what is going on as well as a prescription of what we need to do."

  • "Roads no longer merely lead to places, they are places." John Brickenhoff Jackson (sp?

    I love this -- what a great quotation! We teach students how to drive automobiles. We need driving lessons for making effective connections. Isn't that why kids are connecting with predators instead of their buddies -- faulty connectivity skills?

    I'm really thinking about this driving lesson analogy and its got me pondering!

  • "If a person isn't connected to knowledge is the information really there?

    This was said in the chat room and reminds me of the quote -- "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear the sound -- is there still sound?"

    Well, of course there is sound and of course knowledge is there even if you don't know it! What was evident to me is this -- connections are the great leveler. George's conference is free -- the people who got into the conference got in because of their connections not because of their budgets.

    I have a very limited budget for conferences and yet I am able to attend and learn from some of the best technology-centric learning theorists in the world. I blogged about it and so many of my readers heard about it. However, the conference is now closed and cannot be enrolled in.

    Disconnected teachers and administrators are harming their students and not being good stewards of the task assigned to them. Period.

    We connect because it is the right thing to do. Because we can learn from anyone!

  • Learning is Messy, the World is Spiky

    Words about learning included messy, chaotic, emergent, and social were used. Learning is messy! George talked about the "mass reconceptualization of learning and education." So, after the industrial revolution -- are we in the information revolution or rather in the connection revolution. I would say the latter.

    Additionally, as I saw people in the chat complaining about lost connections, etc. I have to think about what Julie Lindsey said in our flat classroom judging podcast, "the world isn't flat its really spiky" with some connections here and others not.

    Not everyone has ubiquitous access. Yes, we have a lot of infrastructure, but lack of access can almost be as harmful as a classroom's roof caving in -- both render a classroom somewhat useless in my opinion.
So, needless to say, I learned a lot. I have lot to think on and these are just a few of my thoughts. I hope you'll share yours here and if you're in the conference that you'll use the Moodle.

The question I posted on the Moodle (feel free to answer here as well)

There was a lot of discussion (and frustration) exhibited in the chat of this presentation concerning assessment in an interconnected world.

Whether the theorists agree on connectivism as a theory, as a reality, connectivism exists in that our students will be required to make connections, use their discernment to accept and assimilate knowledge, and work effectively with others. Most agree that writing is a vital element in all subject areas. Is this emerging Information Literacy or we may say -- Connection Literacy an essential element as well?

How must assessment evolve in the classroom? How should the activities in the classroom change? How will teachers change?

Please include real world examples here. I am looking at this entire conference in the specific context of the classroom -- I am a teacher, not a learning theorist. But I am a teacher who has participated in some projects and uses a wiki on a daily basis to allow my students to learn, share, and learn more and I have a better more highly effective classroom.

Anecdotal evidence is welcome here as is research. I know that as we evaluated the flat classroom project, we had a frustration with the traditional assessment rubrics and feel a need to push to a new method of looking at these interconnected projects. You can listen to the judges of this project discuss their frustrations. If you know nothing about this sort of connected project, you may want to listen to this podcast as a starting point.

If you choose to participate here, I believe we will have measurable, usable ideas that will affect my future projects as well as yours.

FYI, I am an advocate of project based learning, genuine assessment, and cooperative learning which I feel go hand in hand with these tools. I have included the winning video from the flat classroom project as a great resource that not only explains what is happening but shows what is happening because two students with 11 hours time difference created it!

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