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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Indian Children

While in Kolkata, we visited the Mahila Sevak Samity, the organization we asked those attending our wedding to support. These are some of the children who stay there. It's a great organization, providing all sorts of assistance to women in need.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Student Presentations

Tonight was the first night of student presentations on creativity. All were very good. Each presenter shared their personal transformation.  What wonderful evidence that the #CMC11 MOOC met its goal!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

#CMC11 My Cognitive Biases

I went to the wikipedia link as directed in preparation for Glen Gatin's session. It is a list of cognitive biases:

And, an impressive list it is!

Here are two I admit to:

planning fallacy: yes, I often underestimate the time it will take to complete a project.

reactance (the urge to do the opposite of what someone tells you): I admit mostly to the urge, since I'm also someone who at least thinks I challenge my urges and step back from the action if the reason is simply to assert my independence. But, I confess to sometimes giving in to that urge to make such an assertion.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reflections on Alicia Arnold #CMC11

I enjoyed Alicia’s presentation on creativity, aging and multiculturalism. Her exercise for us was simple, but powerful She had us first think of ways to improve education. Then, she had us think again of ways to improve education, but with the ideas coming from someone whom we admired.  The mindset for each of us truly shifted and we could see the differences in our postings in the chat area.  Amazing.

There were definite parallels with what Stephen Downes had said about connectivism. The mind is an amazing thing!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Connectivism and Personal Learning Environments

#CMC11 I really enjoyed the sessions with Stephen and George- they give all sorts of things to think about!

I do think that ePortfolios have the potential to provide a workable environment for Personal Learning Environments (PLEs). I'm not talking about ePortfolios that are simply repositories for static text. But, ePortfolios that serve as a "home-base" for a learner may facilitate an environment for the immersion that Steven talks about that is essential for connectivist thinking to flourish.

Here's a pilot model I may try to implement this summer/fall. We have a course called, "Math for the Inquiring Mind." It's built on the ideas of Process Education, which is built on constructivist theory. Students are given a problem solving methodology to use and Excel as a tool. They are then given some open-ended problems to practice with. But, very quickly, they are encouraged to apply the methodology to their own problems.  They also are encouraged to create "critical thinking questions." And, they regularly do self-assessment, called SII (identify Strengths, Areas for Improvement and Insights.)

My idea is to provide each student with an ePortfolio (hopefully Mahara) within a Moodle environment. Students would enter their SIIs and problems (with work on solutions) into their ePortfolios. Other learners and the instructor could provide comments and feedback. The student could also join groups in Moodle to work on problems of common interest that are better solved within a team. Withn Moodle, they can direct comments to their ePortfolio. Throughout, learners are enerating content, an important component of a PLE.

In a way, this is similar to a blog, but I can provide learners with a template that gives them some structure.  And, I can add helpful activities.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Reflecting on Stephen Downe's presentation

#cmc11 I'm still thinking about Stephen Downe's discussion about connectivism. He certainly uses terminology differently than I've sued it previously.  But, what he says makes lots of sense. Think of learning a language- one can memorize words, but, unless someone has made the connections through immersion, one can understand very little from a real conversation.

I mentioned my improving at Scrabble from practicing on my ipad app. I could spend days studying new words with little effect on my score.  That's because studying a dictionary does not provide learning in s connectivist way. 

I do think there are connections bewteen connectivist learning and deep learning.

Here's another example- one of my first jobs was working with hearing impaired students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Is sign language a visualization of connectivism? In a research project I did, we interviewed some students using ASL, not signed English. I was fascinated by how ASL uses space to connect ideas and things in physical space. If I relaxed and immersed myself in their language, I understood!

As I said in the chat box during the session, connectivism has lots of implications for assessment.  I definitely need to reflect more on this aspect of the theory.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

MOOCs for networked learning

#cmc 11 Although I've registered for other MOOCs (PLENK, MobiMOOC, EduMOOC), this is my first time in many ways. I've been reading the DailyPosts and checking out other blogs.  And, I'm participating in the Google group.  I've already found someone interested in using play for learning and have reached out to him.  And, I'm excited to see some participants excited about this model.

I'm listening now to the press release on the Digital Media and Learning  competition on badges. Should we consider badges for participating in a MOOC?