Net neutrality is one of the biggest issues that faces a free and democratic (knowledge) society. Here is a new video that details some of what is at stake.
Net neutrality is one of the biggest issues that faces a free and democratic (knowledge) society. Here is a new video that details some of what is at stake.
Dr. Richard Schwier was our guest in my open course, EC&I 831, on September 22, 2009. Rick’s presentation, similar to the talk that he gave at Ed-Media in Honolulu this past June, raised some incredibly important questions regarding the role of informal learning as it pertains to those teaching (and learning) in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. And if you’ve never seen Rick present, you certainly owe it to yourself to do so. He has been a great teacher, mentor, and friend to me, and I learn something new with him every time we connect.
Greater detail of the presentation within the context of the course can be found at the EC&I 831 wiki. The presentation was facilitated via Elluminate and the recording of that session, including the chat, can be found at this location. Slidedeck, video, and MP3 versions are also available below. Enjoy!
I will be the guest editor of an upcoming issue of in education journal. Please consider submitting an article or feel free to pass on this call to others.
Editorial Call for issue 15/2 of in education (formerly know as Policy and Practice in Education)
In late 2007 the editorial board of Policy & Practice in Education made the decision to move the journal into a digital format. The rationale being,
in publishing research the intent is to reach as wide an audience as possible, publication costs have become insupportable, and competition is growing. We considered using the management and distribution services of a commercial publishing house, … however the notion of making knowledge more easily and broadly accessible suggested we look at open access publishing (Lewis & McNinch, 2007, p. 5)
To that end, from our current pdf print-based format, we are continuing to evolve the journal and with this forthcoming issue we will move more broadly into and across the digital landscape. However, that does not mean we will disregard the previous work of the journal from the past 15 years, but rather build upon and transcend those discussions, ideas and iterations. As we stated in our initial move to the digital format, the journal will continue to address issues, research and practice in the education of teachers, however we intend to augment the latitude and significance of the notion of education. As a result, we are inviting articles and reviews of works that not only explore ideas in teacher education, but also a broader and more inclusive discussion in education. We envision a discussion that also utilizes the ubiquitous growth of the digital arts and sciences in the everyday practice of living and how that (in)forms both formal and informal education.
With this forthcoming issue we are fortunate to have Dr. Alec Couros as guest editor and background coordinator. Dr. Couros will be launching this latest iteration of the journal as we continue and grow the conversation in education. Watch for the journal’s digital space to be launched in November of 2009.
Special Issue: Technology & Social Media – in education
To mark this important transition of the journal, a special issue will focus on technology & social media in education. Submitted articles should focus upon current theories, practice, or emerging trends and understandings within the context of teaching & learning, learning environments, or informal learning.
Some suggested topics are listed below:
– Online communities as formal and/or informal learning environments.
– Openness and/or networks in teaching & learning.
– Changing views & frameworks of knowledge and implications for education.
– Personal learning networks (PLNs), personal learning environments (PLEs) or related frameworks.
– Other topics related to social media, technology, and education.
Length: Manuscripts, including references, tables, charts, & media, should range between 10-20 pages (2500-5000 words). As the journal will be primarily web-based, we encourage articles that leverage digital forms of expression and dissemination.
Style: For writing and editorial style, follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001, 5th ed.). References should also follow APA style.
Review Process: Authors are informed when manuscripts are received. Each manuscript is previewed prior to distribution to appropriate reviewers. Manuscripts are anonymously reviewed. Once all reviews are returned, a decision is made and the author is notified. Manuscripts should consist of original material, and not currently under consideration by other journals.
Copyright: Accepted material will be distributed under an appropriate Creative Commons license (non-commercial, attribution)
Cover Page (for review purposes): Include title of manuscript, date of submission, author’s name, title, mailing address, business and home phone number, and email address. Please provide a brief biographical sketch and acknowledge if the article was presented as a paper or if it reports a funded research project.
Abstract: Please include a 50-100 word abstract that describes the essence of your manuscript.
Software Format: Submit in Word (.doc), Rich Text (.rtf), or Open Document Format (.odf). Other media welcome through prior consultation
Deadlines: Abstracts should be submitted by July 31, 2009. Once reviewed, if your abstract is approved, you will be asked to submit a completed manuscript by October 1, 2009.
For all inquiries or submission information, please contact Dr. Alec Couros via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (306) 585-4739.
Update: The call for this issue is now closed. Thank you to all of those who have contributed abstracts or who have passed this call on to others.
I recently posted a developing framework for open/networked teaching. In the post, I introduced a working definition for open teaching, and two diagrams; analogies to inform the open classroom and the emerging role of the educator. This ‘revisited’ post provides revisions to these preliminary ideas, reflections on what was learned, and insight into why developing thoughts ‘in the open’ is an important process for (personal) learning.
Knowledge is both a process and product. Improvements to my framework were fostered by the conversation around the previous post.
Working Definition of Open Teaching:
First, as I have thought for some time now, and as Dave Cormier challenges, the term ‘teaching’ in ‘open teaching’ is problematic. This problem was also voiced by Sui Fai John Mak in the comments of the previous post. I have lamented that I would rather use the term ‘open education’ (to include those that do not regard themselves as ‘teachers’), but that term has already a distinct meaning. For now, the problem remains unsolved. Does anyone have suggestions for an appropriate ‘catch-all’ term for educators (teachers, professors, instructors, lecturers) who increasingly use and advocate for open and networked forms of teaching and learning in educational environments. Or, is ‘open teaching’ good enough for now? Do we need to get hung up on a term? I look forward to the day when we do not have to distinguish among educators who facilitate learning this way; when ‘open education’ is simply ‘education’.
That note, leads me right into the next big observation regarding my thoughts on the subject so far. It was observed by both Richard Schwier & Silvia Straka that my ideas on open teaching were intensely value-laden. While these comments did not seem written as distinct criticisms, it really did alert me (as I often forget) the basic assumptions regarding teaching, learning, and society that ‘openness’ encompasses. A few of the most prominent assumptions in my work include:
While this latter point may seem radical, I found that my thoughts on the subject were not nearly as radical as others would have liked. Commenters Minhaaj Rehman, Steve Foerster, and Charles Evans (collectively) argued for a position beyond Creative Commons licensing and to advocate for public domain dedication (no restrictions to users/consumers). I do not oppose public domain dedication at all, in fact, I believe it to be a pure form of gifting within the knowledge economy. However, my support for Creative Commons licensing is based on these important premises.
It is also important to know that a true Public Domain designation is not legally possible in many nations. The new Creative Commons Zero license (CC0) is about as close as creators can get in some jurisdictions (here are the details).
From these critiques, and others, I will continue to improve the working definition of ‘open teaching’ (or whatever it may be designated as in the future).
Thinning The Walls (Diagram):
The “Thinning the Walls” diagram was fairly well received. This diagram represents my experiences in facilitating the EC&I 831 graduate course where students went from a (somewhat) traditional learning configuration to an increasingly networked learning context. The walls of the “classroom” where slowly thinned as students developed their personal learning networks (PLNs).
The most important feedback on this diagram was that it failed to represent the continuous learning of the teacher and it failed to recognize the knowledge of the students (special tks to Kristina Hoeppner & Maryanne Burgos). These aspects were always meant to be within the overall model, but I believe it is important to make these pieces more explicit (as attempted below).
Network Sherpa (Diagram):
I also put forth one possible analogy for the role of a teacher, that of the ‘network sherpa. At the time of the post, I could not recall where I had heard this term. I have since remembered that it was included in Wendy Drexler’s Networked Student video (recommended viewing), although I do not believe this is the original source. While the diagram was generally well-received, critique included:
I stand by the analogy as a potentially powerful way to view a method or view of open/networked teaching. However, for those that dislike the metaphor, I now provide you with an alternative.
“Publish Then Filter” & The Importance of Analogy:
A week from today, this blog will be five years old. While this space serves a number of purposes (resource sharing, announcements, advocacy), the most important activity to me is that it helps me think. Not only is it a giant storehouse of my ideas, it is a place where my thoughts are vetted, beaten around, and transformed. It is an extension of my brain and one of the entry ways into my personal learning network. It is where, as Shirky describes, I “publish then filter“.
The most popular of my posts, not surprisingly, have included visualizations, rich media, metaphors, or analogies. The latter two devices played an important part in these discussions as the diagrams provided the context to resonate, to disagree, to extend, and negotiate understandings as well as to project future visions for teaching and learning. As Root-Bernstein & Root-Bernstein (1999) point out “it is the inexact, imperfect nature of the analogy that allows it to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown.” So while the analogies may not be perfect, this is quite intentional, unavoidable, and (I believe) forgivable. It will take many of these imperfect models and raw conversations to create and shape the future of education. Believe in the conversation, throw out your ideas, engage with others, and teach and learn with the passion that this process breeds. This is openness at its very best.
We were very lucky to have had a conversation with Stephen Downes last night as he took us through his vision of the next 10 years in online learning. The presentation was based on Stephen’s insightful post from last November.
For the presentation, we used Elluminate as the “front row”. As well, I hijacked the Elluminate video/audio out to Ustream.tv for those that preferred a pure back channel. Even with this provision, the majority of the conversation remained in Elluminate (the front row).
The Elluminate recording is available here, and the Ustream recording is here. Previous sessions from this course (with various other presenters) are available in the course archive.
Thanks to Stephen for an excellent presentation, and one that will keep us thinking for some time to come.
It was our great pleasure to have had George Siemens as our guest in EC&I 831 on January 20, 2009. As requested, George gave us an overview of the changing views of knowledge in society, talked about Connectivism, and described the recent CCK08 experience.
The full Elluminate session was recorded and is available here. However, I have extracted George’s session (minus some of the course-specific conversation) into both a video file, and an audio only version. See below.
I want to take this opportunity to thank George for once again offering his time and expertise on these very challenging topics, and for engaging us in this presentation.
James Howard Kunstler, social critic and author of The Long Emergency, has got me thinking. Here are a few passages from Kunstler’s essay, Virtual is No Refuge for the Real.
One of the extremely painful lessons of our time, I’m convinced, will be that the virtual is not an adequate substitute for the real. It will be painful because the notion of virtuality has become a psychological crutch for a culture that is recklessly destructive of real places, real experiences, real relationships with real people, and real notions of purposeful, decent behavior….
One of the most popular beliefs of the computer era has been that virtual places are every bit as okay as real places….
For adults the result has been an amazing amount of pervasive situational loneliness. Despite the fact that so many Americans own a car there is no place to go, at least no places of casual socializing unrelated to chain store commerce. So the chat rooms and listservs of the Internet are supposed to take the place of actually being somewhere.
What do you think? Have you given these ideas much thought?
These are important problems and concepts that have weighed on me for the past several years as my time in virtual spaces certainly has increased. And I will be thinking of these issues as I explore Connectivism with many of you as CCK08 starts (officially) kicks off tomorrow.
Can you relate?
Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.
I certainly can. Read this article, that is, if your attention span allows it.
George Siemens delivered an excellent, information-packed presentation to the students of EC & I 831 this past Tuesday.
I also streamed a portion of my screen through uStream to a backchannel audience. Many tweeters came out to participate in the session.
Beyond the quality of the presentation, this was a neat experiment in video/presentation delivery/facilitation. Around 20 participants engaged in the conversation in Elluminate. More than 20 watched our class participate and engage in the material as George presented. A few of the more adventurous students (and their numbers are increasing) participated in both the Elluminate session, the ustream chat while posting thoughts to Twitter.
George spoke about connected knowledge. My students actively engaged in its creation.
Can anyone out there offer some advice? (boy I’m needy lately)
My undergraduate students are blogging, and while I am getting them all to use a Bloglines account to track each other, I thought it would also be nice to have one html page that would track all of the feeds.
I thought Suprglu might do the job, although I quickly realized I couldn’t upload an OPML file to the service and had to add each of about 40 feeds one-by-one.
So, without any other option that I could find, I went through the process of trying to add these feeds to a Suprglu account. I soon realized after adding only 11 feeds that Suprglu has a limit on the number you can add. I couldn’t add anymore than 11.
So … any ideas out there? Is there any simple way of getting all of these feeds onto a central page?
Update: Thanks for all of the great ideas and support everyone. We ended up using Stephen’s MyGlu script. Here is the result:
Lace Brogden and I wrote this report a couple of months ago, but I never got a chance to post it here. Here’s the executive summary:
This report was written at the request of the Keewatin Career Development Corporation (KCDC) and in follow up to A Comparative Assessment of Four Online Learning Programs (Bale, 2005). This document reports on the findings of the Phase 2 Feasibility Study. The foci of Phase 2 of the research were to identify (a) factorsrelevant to the development and implementation of an online, interinstitutional partnership for virtual resource centre alternatives within and between specific First Nations educational communities, and (b) how such interinstitutional partnerships might be beneficial to a
broad constituency of collaborating education agencies.
The report is divided into four main sections. First, a description of the context, including a review of literature relevant to technology and to First Nations communities, a discussion of proprietary and open cultures, and an examination of several existing learning object repositories and their characteristics. The second section describes the research methodology and presents an analysis of the research data. The third section includes recommendations for the establishment of a First Nations learning object repository. The fourth and final section proposes areas for further research.
The highlight of the report for me was working once again with Lace. I feel that we work and write very well as a team, and I have learned more about writing and research in the few hours I spent with her than through all of the other formalized venues in my experience.
I hope that this report may be of use to someone out there. I also thank the rich discussions in the blogging community for much of the information found here.
ServerAtSchool 1.0, a free, Linux-based server product designed for elementary schools, is now available.
The ServerAtSchool project is a Linux network server designed to work together with Windows workstations, offering features that were developed especially for use in primary schools.
Services include a web server, a website content management system, a mail server, a flexible user management tool, a chroot jail for users, hourly backups of user documents, nightly (off-site) backups, spam control, a name server, DHCP, a printer server, web mail, virus scanning, a firewall, a database server, a file server for Windows clients, a time server, and a secure shell.
This looks like something I’ll have to explore next year with my preservice teachers, in a demo environment. It looks promising from what I see on the site and may be ideal for those looking for a good approach to serving and managing documents, and developing a web-presence in elementary schools.
Find out more at: http://serveratschool.net/