Here are Steve Hargadon's responses to a questionnaire submited to speak at a TEDx event about the "learning revolution." It's pretty funny, but at the same time, somewhat sobering. "The culture we've created with schooling has allowed many of us to feel OK about our positions of privilege, to no longer really believe in the value of the common man or woman, and to look away when millions are killed in overseas engagements that have nothing to do with making the world safe for democracy." Something to think about.
How do Online Learning Networks Emerge? A Review Study of Self-Organizing Network Effects in the Field of Networked Learning
Bieke Schreurs, Frank Cornelissen, Maarten de Laat, Education Sciences, 2019/12/06
This is a very nice study looking at the literature on self-organizing networks in online and networked learning. Starting from the (apparently correct) presumption that there is no comprehensive understanding of the subject, they look at literature on major forms of self-organization (preferential attachment, reciprocity, and transitivity) and ask "how these network effects can be enhanced or frustrated by the design elements of different networked learning environments." The authors observe that in the literature "self-organizing or endogenous network effects are never explicitly described as self-organizing or emergent." But they a present, and the authors "found factors related to the people, the physical environment and the task of the learning networks (illustrated)."
As an aside, I found myself thinking of the different systems of modal logic - S4, S5, K - while reading this article, as these are also defined by such things as reciprocity and transitivity (of a sort). Relevant? I don't know. I offer only the idea that there may be a relation between systems of modal logic and self-organizing networks; smarter minds than mine will have to determine whether such a relation exists (the closest I could find was connectionist modal reasoning, p. 273 here, but this isn't really what I'm suggesting here; my idea would make self-organization inherently modal, without the need for symbolic representation - that would be something).
The point being made in this article is that " Conversations on surveillance tend to be problematic because much of the canon encourages readers to believe in two false premises—that all surveillance is equal and that surveillance is inescapable." An ethics of care, argues the author, requires that this perspective be challenged. "Failing to address the harms of surveillance in our communities only exacerbates their effects by encouraging their continuation and intensification. Modern surveillance tools make it challenging, if not impossible, to pinpoint the characteristic(s) against which the tool has been programmed to discriminate."
This is a terrific article digging into an insight that is notoriously difficult to grasp. Here it is: "The meaning is underdetermined by the data." Text alone cannot tell us the author's intent. Data alone does not contain its own interpretation. It is only from a point of view that we can extract meaning from data. In this article, Michael Feldstein defines that point of view as 'pedagogical intent', which is one way of doing it. But of course, there are many other players in the system than just the teachers. Most notably, there are the students, who will (no matter what the pedagogical intent) perceive, recognize, and interpret the data in their own way. Feldstein draws a number of other insights out of this one basic fact - for example, that "interoperability without intent creates chaos," and "the 'semantic web' is all about intent." There's more - but this is enough for now.
There has been a lot of coverage of the idea that blockchain will disrupt education. Martin Weller (for some reason) picks a paywalled article as his foil to make the case that blockchain will not be disruptive. "How will blockchain do it better? How will it overcome the problems that over a decade of eportfolio work has not quite managed to address?" Fair enough, but other (more open) work has addressed those questions. In the current post, D'Arcy Norman picks up on Weller's critique, finding the right path forward. "Will it disrupt higher ed? I don't think so. Will it transform how some services are run? Absolutely."
Yet another post on learner-managed learning (aka 'personal learning'). "There is a long tradition of face-to-face learning environments that don’t use any or most of those traditional schooling technologies. While many people don’t know about the long history of higher education experimentation with learner-driven education, it is still flourishing, even if in small pockets... There will always be human interest in more teacher-directed and prescribed learning pathways, but these other learner-driven communities continue to play an important role in society. They foster a different type of learning, thinking, and being. They honor, support, and celebrate the goals, values, priorities, experiences, and voices of learners in ways that are rarely accomplished in legacy school environments." P.S. to Bernard Bull - put your name on your blog).
This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.
Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.
Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.