Thursday, November 27, 2008

CCK08 - it's not the end, it's just the beginning

In the final week of the CCK08 course I read Mike Bogle's blog CCK08: Course Evaluation and Feedback at TechTicker. This prompted me to think about my own experience with the course (as any good educator/trainer should). :)

Why did I join the course?
For a number of reasons....(eg: expected learning outcomes!)

  • to find out more about Connectivism

  • to make new connections with other educators

  • to learn from others and share ideas

Did I think the course was successful (for me)?
An overall YES, because...

  • I did find out more about Connectivism, which wouldn't have been hard, as I had no prior knowledge about it. Whether it is a new "learning theory" or a new "approach" - I don't know. I find the distinction between these terms is often blurred / mixed. I do think that a Connectivist approach (?) is a great way of learning, however I tend to agree with ..tv's comment at learning online
    I am very concerned by my students' apparent inability or unwillingness to engage in learning beyond what is explicitly codified. Giving them permission and encouragement to explore and develop their own connections has not been met with the wild enthusiasm that I expected. This is going to be challenging.

    I expect I will tackle this challenge in small stages and initially adopt a Connectivist approach for specific tasks rather than the entire course.

  • Yes, I made new "connections" with a number of other educators through a variety of different avenues. The main tools I used to connect were the Moodle Forums(my initial starting point), The Daily, OLDaily and Google Alerts for CCK08 blogs. I did join the facebook group but didn't visit very often so didn't connect to anyone here. Ididn't get around to looking at Second Life and only fleetingly at twitter (which I found confusing). Many of the people I connected with indicated they like twitter...so I'll probably look at a tutorial and visit it again to find out more about it.

    As a result of participating in CCK08 I am now connected through








  • Yes definitely. I learnt heaps from lots of things from different areas and looked at lots of different viewpoints. The course readings, videos and presentations provided heaps of information...however I must admit I only completed the readings for the first 3 weeks I do intend to go back & read some other the others after the course). In the following weeks due to other commitments I was not able to spend as much time as I would have liked on the course. My learning focus then moved onto reading the blogs of people who had caught my interest during the first few weeks. I didn't "participate" to a great extent, which is unlike me, however I did respond occasionally on the Moodle discussion forum and added comments to a number of blogs. Through the connections I have made I am learning (and will continue to do so) and also sharing my ideas and skills (eg: added a voiceThread and Frappr map to the Australian Edubloggers directory, created a top tools wiki that I invite others to contribute to and will create a free learning resource for the WikiEducators project.

Results
Meeting my objectives - I got more than I expected from the course and my only regret was "so much to discover and too little time".
Meeting the course objectives - I did not complete any of the assignments so if I was doing the course for accreditation I would have failed!

However it's not over yet, for me it's just the beginning of my journey and I hope to get time to complete the readings and maybe some of the assessment tasks!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Top Tools

Today I started off reading Stephen's OLDaily for 17/11/2008 which took me on a very interesting journey. My first stop was the Corporate Learning Trends and Innovation 2008 - a free online conference. I am familiar with a number of the conference speakers, and I look forward to participating in some of the online events.   After discovering that no online events would happen until about midnight Perth time (groan), as the conference is running on Pacific Standard Time (GMT - 8hrs) I decided to explore the discussion forums. I popped into the discussion by Jay Cross on Should we host special online sessions for folks on other continents and discovered others had obviously groaned earlier and louder than me. I added my 2 cents worth to encourage additional sessions at more convenient times for those of us living downunder. I then wandered into the discussion Jane Hart - 25 Free Tools every learning professional should have
  • One of the posts led me to Jane's web site and a list of the 25 tools. 
  • A comment posted by Alan Levine led me to his wikispace CogDogRoo which also had lists and ideas about web 2.0 tools. 
  • A link on his site then led me to a number of sites containing web 2.0 laundry lists
...and the rest of my day was spent discovering new tools; slideshare, jing, PBwiki, polldaddy and others, many of which I have not had time to look at yet!

Here some examples of some that I did experiement with....
Example wiki on PBwiki
Example poll on Polldaddy

As usual my journey had me meandering all over the place, and again through my connections I have learnt.  I am currently researching web 2.0 tools that I could use in an online course I am writing (& delivering) for university students. There are heaps out there it's just a matter of finding the time to try them out and deciding which ones are most appropriate. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

VoiceThread

I haven't participated much in the CCK08 course as we have been spending 20hrs a day renovating our backyard. However I have accepted a job to write an online course and am now back at my computer. Today I have been researching and investigating web 2.0 tools that may be useful for my online course.

One of the tools I have been experimenting with is voiceThread - I love it.

I think I will use it as an introduction tool...so that the students can introduce themselves ro each other. I think hearing their voices will broaden the learners experience and assist them to connect with their peers. 

So what is VoiceThread - have a look!

Monday, September 29, 2008

CCK08 Week 3 - Keep on Blogging

Blogs & web pages I read...
Read Valdis Krebs blog "The Network Thinker"

Moodle Forums I read and posted to...
  • Is this class a good example of connectivism?
  • Concept Maps by Mike Bogle.  Romi Rancken provided some tips on using CMAP & a link to a PowerPoint presentation by Ian Kinchin about 3 different types of concept maps 1/ spoke, 2/ chain & 3/ nets (mesh).  Downloaded
  • BlogRovR - another Blog Aggregator with some neat features! by Steve Tuffill
Blogs & web pages I read...(via Google alerts)
Blogs & web pages I read...(via The Daily)

Resources & Links I'd like to investigate...

People I connected with...
  • Nellie Deutsch (Israel)- blog comment
  • Marina Petrovic (Montenegro) - Connecting Online NING friend request
  • Clesio DaGama (Brazil) - ipeace NING friend request 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

CCK08 Week 3 - Words, words, words

Week 3: Properties of Networks (September 22-28)

Word words words...

For the past couple of days I have spent my time reading some of the Moodle Forum posts and participant blogs. I now have hundreds (or more/) words floating around in my mind. I am so connected to the words, that I am even dreaming about them!

However, I note that most of the information I have read (which is very interesting) is not very focused on this weeks topic. My goal tomorrow is to read some articles which focus more on the properties of networks.

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Moodle Forums I read or posted comments to...
I am a very visual person (& learner) and a wordle attracts my attention (as all images do) however I don't feel that it assists me to "learn".

Wordle created at wordle.net from my blog post My small world
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My thoughts about the Moodle Forum postings...
I find the posts to be a great place to get an overview of a number of different view points on a range of topics. They also lead me to some very interesting sites where I am discovering lots of new information, ideas and tools. However, I agree with Jayne Little's comment"Catherine, you are teaching many individuals the limits of their tolerance & how to do selective engagement in threads."
and I now skip most of Catherine's comments (and the replies from others). I would love to post my agreement to many of the posts that suggest that Catherine's "personal attacks" and "mud-slinging" are not critical discussion, but I am too "thin-skinned" and do not want to risk a personal attack in return.

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Facebook posts I read....
Blogs/Webs I read or posted comments to....
Quote: "In closing, I guess I am asking all those people who are thinking of redeveloping curriculum using this approach to teaching and learning to consider the barriers that their students will face. Test your processes thoroughly with your target audience to ensure that the tech barrier is not too high. Also, you may want to hedge your bets and also present some or all of the curriculum using more traditional approaches to account for participants who have difficulty with the “social” aspect of social networking."

A possible topic for my Masters Project - Create an online course using a Connectivism approach and explore (research) some of the barriers Rosalyn has highlighted in her blog.
Quote: "I order to see where I have been active and to reflect on my sparse activity during the week, I collected all Moodle and blog posts as well as tweets connected to the the course and put them in the infamous Wordle."

A wordle of my week 2 posts

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People I connected with...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

CCK08 Week 3 - Connections with Adult Learning

Week 3: Properties of Networks (September 22-28)

Elluminate Session 2: Thurs 25/9  at 8am 
I finally managed to attend a live session. I found it quite difficult to listen to what was being said and read the text comments on the chat at the same time. I also found a side conversation about the Banking Crisis in the USA between Stephen & Catherine quite distracting. Maybe there should be a seperate session for "sparring" so the rest of us can focus on the main topics of discussion. I also found when people responded to previous comments, that I had to scroll back to the original question to try & make sense of their response. There was so much going on at once, I found it difficult to take it all in. Being overwhelmed with information I found that I became a lurker and did not contribute to the discussion - which is usually not like me!
People I connected with...
  • Neil, Carol, Kerry, Cathy, Richard, Mike, Allen, Stephen (F2F via TADA)
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Blogs/web pages I read or posted comments to....
Smith, M. K. (1997, 2004) 'Eduard Lindeman and the Meaning of Adult Education', the encyclopaedia of informal education. (Sourced via F2F connection with a friend at a TADA event). He commented (with amazement) that much of what Lindeman expressed in 1926 was still true today.
From my initial reading, Connectivism appears to me to be an extension of Lindeman's view of adult education. However with globalisation and access to the Internet the "smaller collective units" can now be extended to include a much wider group with increased diversity.

Quote: "Adult education specifically aims to train individuals for a more fruitful participation in those smaller collective units which do so much to mold significant experience. "(Lindeman 1926a: 38)..."This means giving more attention to small groups; it means as much decentralization, diversity and local autonomy as is consistent with order. Indeed, we may well sacrifice order, if enforced externally, for valid difference. Our hopes flow from the simple conviction that diversity is more likely to make life interesting than is conformity, and from the further conviction that active participation in interesting affairs furnishes proper stimulations for intellectual growth." (Lindeman 1926a: 89)

Another parallel with Connectivism, he does not provide a tight definition of the theory.
Quote: "In his search for a fresh understanding of adult education and Lindeman avoided presenting us with a tight definition. He considered that it might be too constraining for enquiry – a position he held throughout the rest of his life.
However, we can get a glimpse of thinking in a paper also written in 1926 where he describes adult education as: A cooperative venture in non-authoritarian, informal learning, the chief purpose of which is to discover the meaning of experience; a quest of the mind which digs down to the roots of the preconceptions which formulate our conduct; a technique of learning for adults which makes education coterminous with life and hence elevates living itself to the level of adventurous experiment.
(Lindeman 1926b quoted by Stewart 1987: 12-13).

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Resources I am interested in investigating...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CCK08 Week 3 - Learning Wiziq & more

Week 3: Properties of Networks (September 22-28)

I have not looked at all of the links below, but I have skimmed through them and will come back to them again when I have more time...off to lay the first footings for our new retaining wall, so we can bring some order to the chaos of our garden.

OLDaily links that interested me...
Moodle Forums I read or posted comments to...
  • The Net Nanny Strikes. Enjoyed Ken's humour: "To your rooms! Or your blogs! And don't return until you can play nicely with your teammates!".
  • Skeptic by John Harman. I agree with his comment: "...your language seemed to get more vitriolic and spiteful". I think people can be critical without being spiteful.

Wiziq session I participated in....
People I connected with today...
  • Sarvinder Sandhu (wiziq session). Teacher - audio & text chat.
  • Kajal Sengupta (Wiziq session). Participant - text chat. Agree to be a "student" so we can play around with Wiziq and learn more about the features & practice facilitating online.
Resources I'm interested in investigating...