Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Network, connections and learning concerns ...

We are a smaller number of active participants than in other time spans of this MOOC and this has created some challenges, asking for some serious CPS (creative problem solving ... as outlined and discussed in several weekly sessions and pages of CMC11).

A few credit seeking folks have been very active in attempting to generate some interest on topics and engagement of others ... duly noted and we appreciate your engagement. A few long term participants have also weighed in from time to time.  I suspect you are learning more about engagement and self directed learning than you are about basic content ... this is the intent, as you can also shape the content as you wish to use it ... as long as you use it :)

Critical thinking (knowing how to access, assess and best implement the processes of learning information) and more creative ways of learning and implementing what we know and what we need to know are two of the underlying concepts in this learning journey.  Additionally, developing your own methods for learning and knowing and sharing is the other important, very important element. How are you doing in these arenas?

As A Toffler wrote (back in the dark ages of the 1980's) regarding the illterate of the 21st century " they will not be those who cannot read and write, they will be those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn" ... we are now in the 21st century!

WARNING: this is gong to be a long post, as it is in the interests of openness, and that is also a hallmark of this sort of learning endeavor.  I received an e mail from a participant who is engaged for credit in this MOOC .... massive, open, online, course (although I refer to it more as a learning journey than course).  MOOC is the meme of 2012, along with GIF in the current list of most popular new usage.

I sent the following e mail as a reply, and now realize that it opens a number of areas you may wish to investigate further ... perhaps it will help you in your further navigation of this journey, and ... perhaps it may encourage some to start thinking and writing a response, or a community of response, to an earlier posting I made about how you might design your own "academic institution" ...
"invites" refers to the Google + Hangout invitations.

I am sorry you have not been receiving the invites.  I have sent them to wolfinthenight13@yahoo.com.  It may be possible that Yahoo reads them as spam and blocks them, unless you tell them to let invites from me @ google.com come through.
One of the purposes of this course is to encourage you to searh and discover answers on your own and not to rely on being told what to do and how.  In addition, the session on transliteracy/multiliteracy discusses the multitude of methods of communication that have and are continuing to develop.  Additionally, the personal learning network concept encourages folks to connect and build on learning ... I know it is difficult when others do not connect and I am thrilled that you wrote your blog post today!!! Hopefully, some enhanced participation will occur.

As for activities ... there are so many you can develop on your own and share ... you may have noticed that my blog posts always include a photograph of some sort ... visual communication is a powerful tool for learning and reflecting.  There are some small activities suggested at the bottom of each weeks' run down ... perhaps you missed them?  Not every week has one, and there are always more to be found.  Research and discovery are also a part of this learning journey.  As you indicated in your blog post, you have learned great deal already ... and I suspect you have learning more than you realize now ... over time, more and more will become more obvious.  Each of your blog posts is a reflection of something that has piqued your interest and may even have been something new to think about.

Life is not linear and we learn as we go along, depending upon the people and events and circumstances we encounter.  Te definition of creativity is one where something new and useful is created ... this is not limited to art or crafts ... it is also thinking, products, ideas, research ... scientists use the basic creative problem solving process as they work on research and discovery.

Yes, it does seem that we are in a vaccuum and nobody is playing in the sandbox.  And yes, there are some broken links ... it is another part of that research, discovery and connecting to tell others what you have learned.  I am not a teacher in this learning journey.  I set up guideposts and many different types of possible journeys for folks to make.  Each person needs to make their own, unique journey and the intent is to share what you find and how you feel about what you find .... and you have done that ... and continue to contribute despite no connection from others.  Kudos to you for your perseverance, and thank you for hanging in there, venting your frustrations and making your observations!

As for not knowing about Blackboard or Google + Hangouts, the usefulness of Twitter and tweets, Facebook and many, many new and changing methods of communication ... research and reflection and implementation are the best ways to learn about them.  The tools and means of communication are changing so rapidly, it is difficult to get a good grasp on all by oneself ... this is where a Gogle, Bing or (and I just learned about this yesterday ....) duckduckgo.com can heolp you learn about new "stuff" as well as discovering "old" stuff ... like where to find parts for old machinery, or where to go to learn about the latest solar developments.

Yes, there is a lot of stuff out there and it is hard to know where to go and when.  And so, as Dave Cormier said in the early video ... declare (blog or discuss ... in the MOOC, Second Life, a Google doc ...), cluster (gather ideas from others and other places) and focus (decide what is of interest to you) and then explore some more.

By the way, you are so on target about the grade thing.  ESC did not give grades until a few years ago.  We wrote detailed narratives about the learning we observed (or not) for each and every student in each and every study.  I am very sad that we no longer do that.  Why do we no longer do that?  Bottom line ... other academic institutions and work/career entities do not wish to take the time to think (my analysis).  Folks always want the easiest way to make a decision and grades give them a way to say, it looked good (or bad) from the GPA ...and to me, that means nothing.  It is how you implement, integrate and continue to build on what you know that counts ... not a number or letter that says you have reached the end of your learning at that point on that topic.

I had best stop here ...  Blackboard is the LMS (Learning Management System) that the weekly sessions (recordings now) are held in.  Several people have already given me an idea of what they would like to do for the final presentation. Do you have any ideas of what creativity, communication, education, CPS, risk taking, your feelings about formal education ... anything that you might have found interesting and informative for you and your future in any of the 13 sessions?  If not, then develop something around the fact that you are unhappy about this particular learning journey and share that with us in some sort of creative presentation.

I hope I have addressed most, if not all of your concerns here.  Feel free to let me know how, other than telling you exactly what to do, I can help you. :)  Trust me, I can see and understand that you are learning ... and will continue to do so here and beyond.  Just the frustration of writing a blog that gets no response spurs you to write one that should get some feedback.  You have found a creative way to try and solve your frustration !!!!! Good show ... :-)

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know CMC used Blackboard or even an LMS outside open distributed networks... no wonder I've been missing out on information and on notification for seeing (or however appreciating and consuming) projects at the end of the last session.

    I commented on Wolf's post that designing and presenting an alternative might make a good project.

    Perhaps a brief LMS recap would be useful... not by you but a project for enrolled students. Remember Dave Cormier's wonderful catch up posts in PLENK2010? My 1st MOOC and two weeks in when I started it. (Thanks, Vance) If it had not been for Dave's posts, I might have given up on MOOCs then and there.