Sunday, September 21, 2008

Week 2 - UStream Weekly Chat

Friday 19/9/2008 - UStream chat with Dave Cormier, George Seimens & Stephen Downs (40 people in the chat room)

What did you find interesting & compelling this week? 
Stephen - The Forrest analogy and the Truth discussion (religious comparison). 
George - The discussion around concept. Complex concepts are not understood by one person. Different people have different experiences. Good to gather together to share experiences. The notion of knowledge. There is a practical dimension to knowledge (eg: programming is based on philosophy). Discussions are an expansion of our understanding. This week has been more focused. We are starting to see concept maps that show how people see the world. 
Stephen - The theory of concept maps and how to create them. Tom Whyte's blog and the person analysing the Moodle Forums. 

Is all knowledge Connectivist? 
Stephen (?) - 3 levels (types) of knowledge 1/ Qualitative 2/ Quantitative 3/ Connectivist 
George - Yes. At it's core, in one sense or another. 
Stephen - No. 

Why does it matter if knowledge is Connectivism? 
George - Everything built on how we view knowledge. Assumption that knowledge is being distributed across networks. Learning is our ability to build those networks. Different theories have a different view of knowledge. 
Stephen - Quantitative & qualitative knowledge is based on Connected knowledge. 

Power Laws (networks) 80/20 rule 
George - Next weeks topic. Moodle Power Law - who contributed the most. Technically it should be democratic but in reality it is not as not everyone uses it. 
Stephen - Radio & Newspaper are examples of extreme Power Law. Moodle is a tree network. It grows from a single message and there is only one way from point A to point B. A blog is a mesh network. There are many ways to get from point A to point B and there is no way for 1 person to dominate. 
George - Responses influenced by motivation and capacity. Blogs depend on who links to who. Moodle is more controlled and people have different roles. 

Rizomatic or Connected is it Qualitative or Quantitative knowledge? 
Stephen - Pattern recognition is not qual or quant. It's different. That's what we are capturing with Connectivism. 
George - Qual & Quant are more advanced aspects of knowledge. Connectivism accepts that connected underlies knowledge, then build on it to be either qual or quant knowledge. 
Stephen - Underlying logic of associations is the foundation of knowledge. 

What are your thoughts about Lisa's quirky comment about Dead Connections? The distinction between people in the web and people who are not. 
George - learning now - knowing things - to being a certain type of person. Dead people's concepts we are standing on. We use them as illustrations to start discussions. When connecting concepys we can build on other people's ideas. 
Stephen - a lot of people we know through their artifacts. You don't need to be online to be involved in network learning. 
George - people have been learning through their connections throughout history eg: fathers teaching their children how to farm, stories between generations, explores and their reports. Connectivism makes being connect more explicit because 1/ overwhelming explosion of knowledge and 2/ technology is now more global. 
Stephen - Not: learning thru connections (participation i social networks). Learning: viewing the community as a whole perceiving the entire pattern. Not what but who. How you look at it, not where you get it from. 
George - biological sense (brains) neuro networks. eg: representation of a face. Recognition of dimantled pieces. Social sense (external) connections we form to people (RSS) feed allows us to learn; to develop knowledge. Who I mix with I become. Choose your friends, nature of people we associate with. We need to understand where we get our knowledge from. Aggregation of peices (neuron discussion). Priviledged sources of information (Power law). Neurons learn from neurons. Parts of the brain can take over the roles of other parts. People... 

This is never going to work with kids 
a comment by an Italian participant "...before school kids are connected, school beats it out of them. "
Stephen - Connectivism is not a theory to tell kids what to do. We need to seperate learning from authoriarism. 
George - K to 12 education has always been a heated debate. It gets back to context. 
Stephen - we teach our children by taking them out of society and putting them in little rooms. I think we should integrate learning into society, take kids out of the classroom. 

Can you give us a simple program design for fostering connected learning? 
George - Connecting classrooms with people around the world. Did they learn? Ask yourself - Did they truely connect with individuals at a peer level? Did they recognise the complexity of cultural distinctions? 
Stephen - 1/ ? Conference. For the past 2 years students have created the conference newsletter. They are out of the classroom working on a real task in a real place for real people and people at the conference are reading the paper. 2/ Community mapping - get students to map some aspect that becomes part of a map produced by the community (eg: tourist map) 3/ Environmental survey - feed back statistics gathered by students to environmental scientists so that they become part of the historical data (eg: weather readings). What we know and how we know are fundamental to what we learn and how we learn.

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