Change 11 – catching up

We’ve had five speakers of change11 and i thought it might be a nice time to try and pull some reflections together and maybe offer a point of departure for someone taking the course a little late. I myself haven’t had the time to devote to the course that I’d hoped in the beginning, and am trying to recommit myself now that the rest of my life has slowed down a bit.

Don’t know what the Change MOOC is?
If you’re just getting to the course now, and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, the change MOOC is a 35 week journey through a particular cross section of educational and technology. All of the topics/people covered in this course are suggesting or pointing to some kind of development or change in learning. The course is an attempt at pulling the people responsible for those ideas together in the hopes that between the 2000 or so of us, we can create new connections and ideas. Each week a different speaker will come in to talk about their ideas.

Sound like a nice idea? Not sure what to do about it? Watch this video

The first five.
We’ve had five speakers so far. We’ve talked about mobile technologies, academic research going digital, collective learning, open content and practical approaches to technology implementation for better teaching. If that sounds interesting to you, you can go and check out the weeks that have passed, on the main course site at http://change.mooc.ca or, if you like, you can follow along with our ebook creation at http://change11.info.

What have we learned so far
We’ve definitely seen a willingness of participants to engage with the ideas of the speaker. As you can see from the group response (in the ebook) for the week hosted by Zoraini Wait Abas, there was significant critical response. I think this is one of the most interesting results of the kind of openness represented by a MOOC… people feel like they’re engaging directly with the ideas.

I think the most eye opening week for me was the career description that we got from David Wiley during his week. I have had the pleasure of meeting David at several conferences, but was not familiar with his earlier work. There’s something nice about getting the context for someone’s career that can round out your understanding of their perspective. He’s been ‘iterating towards openness’ for a long time now. His pragmatic approach has been very influential to me, and, clearly, to lots of others.

I was a little disappointed with the lack of response to the activities presented by some of the weeks. It’s a strange balance, i guess, to try and suggest some activities to provide structure and i wonder if it somehow conflicts with the self-regulation that we are suggesting as core to the MOOC model. I’ve also had a difficult time trying to track the responses to the given weeks. It may be that I have missed on an easy way to do that, if someone knows how, let me know.

I’m going to have to take some serious time to think about how “the collective” suggested by Allison Littlejohn interacts with my own work. It seems like a natural fit, i suppose, but its always a struggle trying to nail down how the language works. Her description “By ‘collective learning’ we mean how people learn through sourcing, using and making sense of the collective knowledge – the knowledge stored in people, resources, computers, networks etc.” rings familiar, but i’m a little concerned about ‘knowledge’ being ‘stored’. I’ve been thinking lately that ‘memory’ is what’s stored and that knowledge is something that needs to be negotiated…

I found Tony Bates talk rang very true for me as well. He discussed various ways in which they have researched the impact of really bringing real technologies into real classrooms. We did similar (if not as broad based or as thorough) research at my university with similar results. Administration is very supportive of the incorporation of technologies, but we’re not as far along in terms of figuring out how to use them to positively impact teaching (whatever that might mean). Really, the disagreement about what a ‘positive outcome’ might be has a great deal of influence on the reluctance or inability for institutions to address this issue.

I was fortunate to actually be at the discussion Martin Weller had re: digital research. I’m probably most familiar with Martin’s work of the five presenters and still found lots to learn from his presentation. I find myself nodding in agreement on most of this things that he says, so I’ll spare you the ‘wow, he’s so right’ in this review and just link to his presentation :)

How to find stuff
This may seem like very simple advice, but simply putting an author’s name into google followed by ‘change11′ is enough to find pretty much anything you need if you’re looking to catch up on the last five weeks.

Join the ebook team!
We are still pluggin away on the ebook. It’s something we’re all doing off the side of our desk, but I’d love to have more people involved. If you want to be on the team, just let me know in the comments of this post. No pressure, but if you do want to, I’ll send you a username and password and you can just pickup work from the worklist on the homepage.

11 thoughts on “Change 11 – catching up

  1. ebook ~ yes please. and thank you very much for that catching up post ~ Dave to the rescue again ~ and elegantly simple how to find tip. it even works tracking posted comments.

  2. Would love to contribute to this great collaborative effort in some small way.
    Count me in.. somehow?

  3. I am one of those people who has really struggled with doing the activities suggested by the presenters. I can really recognise the usefulness and have heaps of good intentions however a week is a pretty short time frame when you are new to the ideas and trying to get your head around the key ideas.

    I had to make a conscious decision about what I felt I could realistically achieve each week- I was really at risk of suffering from a severe dose of ‘ overload- itus;

    One strategy I am finding useful is to do some ‘ preparatory work’ so I am not going into the new week cold and have some background on the next presenter.

    My suggestion would be for presenters to run with 1-2 collaborative activities for those that appreciate a bit of structure..

    Thanks for the summary- has helped to consolidate

  4. Hey Dave, I heard about your project at UPEI introducing first time entrants to the University experience watching the week 5 wrap up. That’s really cool! I was inspired by Zoraini Wati Abas in the first week of Change MOOC to get a small mobile pilot of the ground for much the same purpose. That’s where the learning is happening, in applying the knowledge.

  5. I really like your comment that you’re a little concerned about ‘knowledge’ being ‘stored’ [ and that you've] been thinking lately that ‘memory’ is what’s stored and that knowledge is something that needs to be negotiated.

    Negotiated knowledge strikes me as the heart of the nomad’s journey through the rhizome. We are constantly negotiating with our environment (other nomads, landscapes, landmarks, symbol systems, and memories—sounds like a MOOC) to create the knowledge we need for the moment. Our memories are the precipitate of previous negotiations, and they become part of our value-add (both high value and low value), the stuff that we bring to the negotiations. The stuff that other nomads bring to the negotiations. The stuff that plants, animals, and stones bring to the negotiations. Yes, stones have memories. Longer than ours, fortunately.

    The danger, of course, is focusing on our memories and forgetting the negotiations. This defines, I think, the differences between conservatives and liberals. The arch-conservative can never forget her memories, the arch-liberal can never remember his. For the conservative, truth lies only behind—for the liberal, truth lies only ahead. For the nomad, truth lies neither behind nor ahead, but is to be negotiated, worked out for the moment as best as she can, used, and then brought to the next negotiation as a starting point, a continuation of the truth behind her, but not sacrosanct. Rather, a good, useful, reliable starting point.

    Maybe it’s the fine Merlot that was in my glass, but that’s what I think just now.

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