Friday, October 24, 2014

A Human OER

A Human OER.....amazing piece by @mdvfunes


Design Patterns and the Coming Revolution

Mike Caufield gave the keynote presentation at the  NW eLearning Conference this year.      

Here's a key quote that shook me up, 'We are moving to a future where every minute of every day of a grade school teacher is precisely scripted by a textbook company in collaboration with a district. I have zero doubt that unless something changes this will be the fate of much of higher education as well.'

And, 'We are in dark days. Everywhere I look I see the exuberance of the mid-aughts being crushed by processes and requirements and specs that don’t fit. And where I see signs of hope, it’s all cowboys and mavericks, stuff that will never mesh with our institutions, that sets itself up as in conflict with the very institutions in which it is trying to root.'

The Connected Courses conversations are bringing light to those dark days.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Unit 3 - Nuggets

There were so many nuggets, inspirations and threshold concepts that arose from the two keynote videos/hangouts from Unit 3 - Connected Courses that I’ll develop my nugget from those, rather than from the readings.

Besides, I’m reading E.B White, and Bill Bryson, and a John Brockman compilation, ( I know, lots of white guys), plus this community read right now as well as this from the same group of high school students. There’s a lot of reading material with active bookmarks on my end table, so the provocations will come from the videos.

First off, recognizing the difference between the internet and the web and the acknowledgement that living on the internet is something that all of us do carries profound implications for educators and learners.  Laura’s imperative of community, the creation of opportunity to connect with many of share a common interest, in a many-to-many community is intriguing.  The attempts that I’ve seen to do just that have been both clunky and fruitful, and worth exploring further.  Kim Jaxon’s comments  about the huge potential to connect students to communities of practice in the world resonated particularly well, given her classroom experience both as a connected teacher and learner.  And Gardner’s impassioned ‘rant’ (at the beginning of the first video) about the web as a distributed publishing system owned and operated by its users, plus the importance of digital community, and our responsibilities as archivists and curators as educators and citizens, was inspiring.   

These other threshold concepts resonated:Network effects and the power of the network, coupled with the core competencies of reading, writing and participating on the network.  We need to teach and promote web literacy, really citizenship in the digital age.   What does it mean to be a member of an open, digital, rip and remix culture?  

The more we use open platforms and resources that don’t look like school, the greater the opportunity to reshape what teaching and learning really looks like.  Kim raises the big fear that without a change in teaching practices (what takes place on a daily basis in the classroom, among students, between students and teachers and organizations), open courses, indeed using the Web to teach, will be just another ‘solution.’  As educators, we buy into solutionism, purchasing turnkey content, platforms and assessments from vendors, and by doing so, miss the opportunity to create our own in collaboration with others across the Web.

Networks are complex ecosystems, and how learning works in a complex organism is different from the linear fashion in which courses, programs and colleges are designed and assessed. Do you have to learn by steps?   Is there developmental work to teaching and learning how to use the Web?  Probably,  but Gardner posits that teaching and learning, building community on the web just may be a way of being that you learn by doing it.   I’m struggling now to figure out how to support faculty to move beyond learning little steps, beyond how to just use hardware and applications, and toward how to use judgment and talent to engage and empower students, and to connect them with stronger bonds in a wider network than just the classroom.

How many and why not?

How many English Comp classes started at schools, colleges, universities, academies etc across North America this fall?  How many Pre-Calculus, Intro to Psychology, Intro to Business, Intro to Whatever Studies did the same?   How many world-wide?

Answer:  A lot did.

How many of the students and teachers in those classes would benefit from communicating with each other, sharing content, objectives, activities, examples, ideas?  Would not those be truly Connected Courses?

Why isn't there at least an informal network of students who have enrolled and those who are teaching these courses to do so?  What's getting in the way of that forming?  Who would benefit?  Who would be threatened?  

Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Connected Courses Link-worthies

Kim Jaxon - -Digital Is -

Gardner Campbell -

Laura Hilliger -

Howard Rheingold

Follow these folks!

What is Web Literacy, and Playing Catch-Up....

Playing catch-up here with the Connected Courses flow.... 

Unit 3 delves into the questions, What is this thing called the World Wide Web? What are the values and ambitions that gave rise to its design?

Some big-time serious delving going on here.  But, as I watch my attention refocus to the day-to-day of fall quarter and organization-specific tasks, mundane and bureaucratic, working within the limitations,  constraints and barriers of resources, interests, talent and time at the organizationally-specific level, the benefit of being connected to a larger community of educators, world-wide, networked, technologically savvy, and firing on all the synapses, becomes more and more obvious.

It keeps me coming back here, even just to participate on a marginal level.

Trust and Network Fluency

Unit #2 of Connected Courses starts here.

Building trust and promoting information literacy means being engaged with curriculum, strategic planning, technology and academic integrity on an organizational level, as well as throughout your personal learning network.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Robbie Melton on Globalization of Learning through Mobile Devices

Here's the link to the Tennessee Board of Regents' site on Mobile and Emerging Technologies....

Robbie Melton drags some us kicking and screaming into the 21st Century...

Russian Dolls

"Of the obstacles to building new models, we can note 'habitus' of teachers, the 'classroom discourse', we can mention 'standardised assessment' amongst others.
  • The real question is what are these boundaries obstacles to?  
  • Who or what is protected by boundaries which have been built physically or virtually? 
  • Who stands to gain from crumbling frontiers, from blurring of boundaries between work and play?"

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why We Need a Why

Really Excellent Sheep

Four radical ideas for reinventing college.....

 "At issue is how institutions long wedded to a rigid teacher-classroom format can better prepare students to become what Sarah Stein Greenberg of the Stanford University d.School calls “daring, creative, and resilient problem solvers."

And two more....

But, in the sort of institution where I work, there are more fundamental challenges, including passing Math 96.