Archive for the ‘Assignments’ Category

CCK08: Final Assignment: Connectivist Comix

December 13, 2008

Well, this assignment took far longer than you might imagine, which is why it is not as in-depth as it might have been. But I had a lot of fun working on it, and I think I am leaving CCK08 on a positive note. Thank you all for a wonderful course. I have learned even more than I can possibly realize, I’m sure…connectivist-comix4

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CCK08: Concept Map

November 24, 2008

 

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I enjoyed this one much more than the last one 🙂

CCK08: Assignment 3

November 17, 2008

Who are the real voices of resistance?

Ordinarily, we consider anti-establishment perspectives the voices of resistance. Who, however, are the voices that are resisting change most vehemently? They are largely the instititutions whose stakeholders desire that the mechanisms of accountability, order and control persist over time. The most powerful agent of social engineering is that of education.

I believe that there are systemically dysfunctional attributes in the education system, largely because those same dysfunctional attributes are core values that inform how we as individuals lead our lives. Speaking in general terms, we are molded at an early age in a world where desirable behaviours are praised, and undesirable behaviours are punished. Risk is discouraged, and making mistakes is frowned upon. We learn to feel good about ourselves on the basis of external valuations, and take this as the only de facto means by which self-satisfaction can to be realized. The tradition is reinforced in schools through coercion in the form of praise, stickers, useless dollar store trinkets, sweets, free time, field trips, movies and marks (Kohn, 1999). (more…)

CCK08: Assignment 2

November 10, 2008

“Conducting” Instructional Design

The origins of the word educate hearken back to the Latin root of the word, educare, meaning “to bring forward.” Instructional design (ID) is typically defined along the lines of “the systematic process of developing effective instructional materials.” Web-based technologies are transforming the educational landscape in both formal and informal learning environments. If the courses that instructional designers build are to remain relevant to learners’ needs, then the instructional designer must assume the role of conductor, allowing for the bringing forth of knowledge and learning in addition to the dissemination of information. However, at least in the K-12 system, the realization of this goal remains next to impossible due to the practical constraints placed on distance education teachers. Mandated curricula and the absence of time and support for teachers to gain expertise with new technologies limit the ability of teachers to explore alternatives.

Siemens (2008a) has identified a variety of “networked roles” (1) that educators may assume in the course of instruction: among these “metaphors of educators” are teacher as master artist (15); teacher as network administrator (16); teacher as concierge (16); and teacher as curator (17). In addition, Siemens also suggests that in accordance with these new roles, instructional designers are best described as educators of educators (18), providing technological and pedagogical support and suggestions to teachers. (more…)

CCK08: Concept Map

October 6, 2008

 

A first and incomplete attempt. This was an intriguing and frustrating exercise.

A first and incomplete attempt. This was an intriguing and frustrating exercise.

CCK08: First Assignment

October 6, 2008

Connecting the Dots

Strongly suggested through the readings is the view that information growth, technology, developments in social learning theory, and advancements in our understanding of minds and cognition require a reconsideration of learning theory (Downes and Siemens, 2008).

I do not disagree with this assertion. However, I am less convinced than ever before that this reconsideration requires the replacing or reformulating of existing learning theories with a new one.

Terry Anderson’s presentation for the Online Connectivism Conference includes the following realization:

…Put your thinking caps on for a moment and talk about what educational research has really made a difference for you as an educator or as a learner. I got asked this question in Hong Kong one time when I was on a panel at the International Council of Distance Ed. about what’s the one thing that really education research has contributed. I was blindsided. I thought, here am I, big researcher, and I can hardly even think of one thing that has really made a difference (Anderson, 2007, para. 7).

In my own experience there are many educators who express disdain towards theory in general for its lack of practical, pragmatic applications in the classroom. Formal theory can inform practice, but especially with informal learning, it does not always. (more…)