September 29, 2009

Connect HERE (via Elluminate) at 7 p.m. Saskatchewan Time (click to convert to your timezone)

Introductory Announcements:
1) Begin thinking about final projects. There are many ideas to be found in the previous student directories. See Winter 2008 and Winter 2009. Also, next week, we will have one more previous students from the class to speak about their project.

2) There were many excellent posts last week from students and I do hope that you have been reading each other, writing, and commenting. The complete list of blogs from for-credit students can be found below. If yours does not appear here, please let me know asap.

3) Be sure to pay attention to some of the relevant information flows from the course, such as:
  • Twitter search of the #eci831 tag (much of this information may feel out of context, but there is a lot of useful information here)
  • Delicious tag - eci831readings (there are many excellent resources and readings here, lots to take in and critique if you are looking for your next blog post) - also consider becoming a contributor i you are not already.
  • Delicious tag - eci831tools (there are some excellent tools here updated daily that will help you out throughout the course or your final project)
  • Google Alerts (some of you have been searching Google, but consider setting a Google Alert, that will allow a search of 'eci831' be sent to your email daily, weekly, etc.)

Meeting Topic - Introduction to Connectivism (guest George Siemens)

Slide deck:

Relevant Links:
- eLearnSpace (George's main blog)
- CCK09 (a Massive Open Online Course)
- Twitter (George is @gsiemens on Twitter)
- Situating Connectivism (detailed transcript of a connectivism presentation)

Weekly Tasks:

These tasks are assigned to for-credit students, but we'd love participation from non-credit students! Use the appropriate tag (eci831, eci831readings, eci831tools) to become part of our conversation & learning.

Last Week (September 22-28/09)
  • Media response - respond to the following question in a digital medium of your choice (e.g., blog post, Youtube post, audio etc.). Be sure to tag the artefact with 'eci831'.
    • So we know that social learning matters. We know that people form communities in formal and informal environments. How far should we go, as educators, to support non-formal and informal learning? How do we deal with the fact that we are part of a formal system when we know that a heck of a lot of learning (many say, most) happens outside of our formal learning systems? Where do we fit into this? Or in summary, the key question to consider is "what is our role in non-formal learning?"
  • Suggested reading - "Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age" by George Siemens. He is our guest presenter next week. George will also share a new article for review, and I will post it in this space once available.
  • Suggested viewing - (on teenagers who are) Living and Learning with Social Media by danah boyd.

This Week (September 29-October 5/09)
  • Key Question of the Week from George Siemens (Please Respond): Learning in networks is not new. But, given the growth of the internet and more recently, media used for socialization, networks are now explicit. Unfortunately, too often learning networks are discussed as contagion - i.e. learning occurs simply through contact. Reflect on the discussion during today's session and consider in what way learning is networked (beyond social contact). Specifically, what are the implications for educators? How do we "teach differently" in networks than we do in a classroom? How should our priorities change in skill development? And, as the field of networked learning grows, where do we turn for guidance and direction? (if you say Tapscott, Shirky, or Prensky, you lose two points :)).
  • (Optional) Media response - Watch "The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler. What are you thoughts on the concept of the networked learner? Potential for school transformation? Existing supports and barriers from your experience? What does this mean for teachers and our relationships with students (note the quote below from Will Richardson).

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Other Readings and Media**

The Elluminate Recording is available here.