Showing posts with label collaboration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label collaboration. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Are you a connected learner?

A quick-reference list of the qualities and actions of a connected learner:

  1. Mindful of others’ beliefs and interests

  1. Able to step back from conflict and reposition debate

  1. Share what you find useful

  1. Adopts essential technical and hardware skills for interactivity and participation

  1. Updates knowledge of appropriate software and other interfaces

  1. Distinguishes between more and less relevant or reliable sources

  1. Builds networks

  1. Increases valued connections

  1. Foster community development

  1. Joins and connects in order to make meaning

  1. Filters and selects information

  1. Asks difficult questions

  1. Explores the opportunity to rethink

  1. Pushes solutions beyond initial proposal

  1. Fosters appreciative inquiry

  1. Open to new ideas rather than aloof and disengaged

  1. Takes delight in having a responsibility for the direction of your learning

  1. Values learning with and through others

  1. Enjoys the shared activity of creation

  1. Thrives on a healthy culture of collaborative critique

  1. Explores opportunities for distributed or shared leadership roles

  1. Discontented with the traditional status quo

  1. Constantly re-shaping and up-grading his or her skills base

  1. Thoughtfully reads and listens

  2. Suspends judgment in order to ponder paradox and contradiction

Dr Ian McCormick is the author of The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences
(Quibble Academic, 2013)

Further Reading

Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design 

Anderson, Terry, and Jon Dron. "Three generations of distance education pedagogy." The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 12.3 (2010): 80-97.

Bell, Frances "Connectivism: Its Place in Theory-Informed Research and Innovation in Technology-Enabled Learning", International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Volume 12, Number 3, 2011,

Carson, Stephen and Jan Philipp Schmidt. The Massive Open Online Professor. Academic Matters: The Journal of Higher Education, May 2012.

Dawley, Lisa. "Social network knowledge construction: emerging virtual world pedagogy." On the Horizon 17.2 (2009): 109-121.

Downes, Stephen "'Connectivism' and Connective Knowledge", Huffpost Education

Downes, Stephen. "Learning networks and connective knowledge", Instructional Technology Forum, 2006

Kop, Rita, and Adrian Hill. "Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past?." The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 9.3 (2008).

Kop, Rita "The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: Learning experiences during a massive open online course", International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Volume 12, Number 3, 2011

McLoughlin, Catherine, and Mark JW Lee. "Future Learning Landscapes: Transforming Pedagogy through Social Software." Innovate: Journal of Online Education 4.5 (2008): n5.
McLoughlin, Catherine, and Mark JW Lee. "Mapping the digital terrain: New media and social software as catalysts for pedagogical change." Ascilite Melbourne (2008).

McLoughlin, Catherine, and Mark JW Lee. "The three p’s of pedagogy for the networked society: Personalization, participation, and productivity." International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 20.1 (2008): 10-27.

Ravenscroft, Andrew. "Dialogue and connectivism: A new approach to understanding and promoting dialogue-rich networked learning." The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 12.3 (2011): 139-160.

Siemens, George. "Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age." International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning 2.1 (2005): 3-10.

Siemens, George. "Connectivism: Learning theory or pastime of the self-amused." Retrieved February 2 (2006): 2008.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The gentle art of reading and writing blogs

Because there are now millions of free blogs we have the opportunity to dip into lots of different kinds of writing and to sample quite different approaches to recurring topics or themes. Doing this kind of reading randomly can have wonderful results. It's called serendipity which involves surprise discoveries and unexpected connections.

Serendipity is, of course, an eighteenth century word (1754). While we may consider that the period of the Enlightenment was obsessed with reason, system, order and process, the variety of different kinds of topical, fictional and journalistic writing offered many opportunities for fluid expression by creative people and mercurial personalities.

Serendipity is also a useful strategy for broadening your interests and for avoiding the so-called writer's block.

I believe that all great writers are also intelligent critical readers. I despair when I hear people saying that they want to write, but then proceed to say that they are not interested in other people's work. Sometimes it's a good idea to imitate or parody writers that you like or dislike. (Imitation is not the same as copying.)

Part of writing is a craft, and it's good to learn the rules before you start to break them creatively. There are plenty of style and grammar manuals on the market.

In order to establish your own voice and style it’s essential to compose regularly. It is also correct to say, in my view, that improvements come slowly over a period of time. In the art of writing there are few miracles that manifest themselves overnight. And genius is 90% effort and training. Learning to write fluently and effectively can be as difficult as learning to play an instrument such as the piano, violin, or guitar,

It is crucial to be self-critical, but you should avoid becoming self-destructive. Think about how you would the improve blogs that you wrote 6 months ago. Reviewing past material should also build your confidence by giving you a sense of progression.

Also, ask yourself how you are responding to an issue, and think about the kind of reader that you have in mind - this is also something that you can research. These days, writers tend to know who they are writing for.

I would also say that blogging is a genre in itself. This means that you will need to write differently when you turn your blogs into a larger article, essay, or book. Typically, the most popular blogs are very personal, or they offer lots of tips in bullet points. That said, there are REALLY no fixed rules or expectations for this genre. My own blogs have a variety of styles, and I see them sometimes as experiments, and as work-in-progress.

Another positive aspect of blogging is that you can break a larger project down into smaller components, or event fragments that do not fit together as you compose them. After a period of time you start to see links between the pieces, and new patterns of significance are established.

Finally, one of the most valued aspects of blogging is the opportunity for dialogue and what we have come to term interactivity.

In our time, writing is a bit more collaborative and a little less solitary.

Quote from Wiki:

"Although not a must, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via GUI widgets on the blogs, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers."

Dr Ian McCormick is the author of The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences (2013) ... 
also available on Kindle, or to download