February 27, 2012
Knowledge, Learning and Community
Half an Hour, February 27, 2012.
My contribution to #Change11 online course, February 27. Though I have recently become better known because of my contributions to connectivism and to the concept of the massive open online course, these are reflective of a wider philosophy that has characterized my work as a whole much more generally. In the early 2000s I took to characterizing it under the heading of knowledge, learning and community – I even
posted an eBook with that title. I’d like to return to that framework in order to describe my contributions to the field today.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Traditional and Online Courses]
Great Title, Flawed Post – Khan Academy Enables Out-of-the-Box Approaches
e-Literate, February 27, 2012.
I had just unsubscribed from TechDirt in my RSS Reader - eventually, you get tired of reading the same thing over and over again - when I encountered this post in (the always fresh) e-literate weblog. Phil Hill cites Keith Devlin's Huffington Post article to the effect that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs "fail to recognize the equal importance of domain expertise in education." For example, one such executive was quoted in TechCrunch offering the Khan Academy as an example of innovation. But, says Devlin, "'all' Sal Khan has done is take the traditional textbook instruction and put it up on YouTube." Hill objects: "did I mention that the instruction is provided free, without typical boundaries of classroom, institution or software / publishing license? Not only that, but Khan Academy encourages its usages as components of online or face-to-face courses, combined with the appropriate pedagogical model." All very well, but there's so much more to the world of Ed Tech than Sal Khan.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: YouTube, Books, Video, Web Logs, Silicon Valley, RSS]
Manifesto for teaching online
University of Edinburgh, February 27, 2012.
An interesting manifesto for teaching online (and - oddly - not a manifestofor learning online) has been posted by "teachers and researchers in online education. University of Edinburgh MSc in E-learning 2011." There's a video that goes with it. Jim Shimabukuro comments, "The basic assumption is that onground and online are fundamentally different and that whereas approaches to one are well established, approaches to the other aren’t precisely because little or no effort is being made to fully understand the differences." Harry Keller, meanwhile, points to what he calls "a disturbing subtext": "The statements suggest an active and strong group of people opposing online distance learning in a variety of ways." Yes, there shouldn't be such opposition - but there is.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Scotland, Video, Research, Online Learning, Teaching Online]
What’s your working memory capacity, and other tests
Mission to Learn, February 27, 2012.
My main criticism of the working memory hypothesis is that it considers memory to made up of discrete entities, like digits in a number. It's fun to play with the test - though I think I could have done better than the 9 or 10 digits I was remembering had I not been listening to Ed Tech Talk at the same time. But the main thing here is that neither our knowledge nor our experience is composed on discrete entities. Our knowledge of one thing cross-crosses over our knowledge of other things. So... is working memory a "more important factor than deliberate practice in achieving greatness (or at least as important a factor)." ? I say no. p.s. Just for the record, here's my data.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Experience, Assessment]
The Scientific Method is wrong: Scientists don’t test hypotheses, but build models
Computing Education Blog, February 27, 2012.
This post makes a good point. Many educators (and education theorists) labour under the illusion that scientists create and then test hypotheses. Modern science does not work that way, and has not for some time. "Rather than test hypotheses, scientists do experiments to influence their models of how the world works. The hypotheses they test come out of those models, and a 'failed' experiment doesn't disprove the hypotheses as much as it feeds more information into developing a more correct model."
[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]
The Chronicle Twelve
CogDogBlog, February 27, 2012.
I'll just file this Chronicle item under the heading 'yellow journalism' and leave it at that. For as Alan Levine mentions, when you ask people to submit names for a 'top 12' list, and then proceed to list 11 of 12 people who were not even mentioned in the submissions, something is going on in the back rooms. "Chronicle, I love thee, for you continue to bring fodder to toss darts at. It’s as old as snake oil."
[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]
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