Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Sage at the Side

Clark Quinn, Learnlets, Nov 02, 2011

Clark Quinn has come up with a diagram and phrasing which characterizes at least part of what I take to be connectivist pedagogy: sage at the side. "As you traverse the ‘rocky road’ of life," he writes, "imagine having a personal coach who would observe the situation, understand the context of the task and the desired goal, and could provide some aid (from some sack of resources) that could assist you in immediate performance." I think it's an interesting concept - though I would envision less 'coachy' and more 'sagey' (though individual styles no doubt vary). A typical learning, as well, could and should take advantage of multiple 'sages at the side', as the situation warrants. And of course the 'sage' may indeed turn out to be a computer persona that accesses resources and mentors for you as needed. "Individual mentors don’t scale very well. But here’s the twist: we can build this. We can have curricula, learning objects, and build a sage via rules that can do this... Imagine going through your workday with a device (e.g. an app phone or a small tablet) that knows what you’re doing (from your calendar), which triggers content to be served up before, during, and after tasks, that develops you over time. We can build the tutor, develop and access the curricula and content, deliver it, track it." This, oif course, is the much-discussed Personal Learning Environment.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 12:20 p.m.