Thank you

The complete list of links to articles and blogs on the calendar.

PDF copy of One Change A Day throughout the year.

WordPress annual report – One Change A Day statistics

Thank you reading this blog, also for all the comments and likes throughout 2012:

Coach Carole, Colonialist , Juandomingofarnos , VanessaVaile, George Veletsianos, Tom Hogers, Weiterbildungsblog, plerudulier, R Lewis Cordell, Amber Thomas, Leslie Poston, AnitaAnswers, Josh, John Mak, BrainySmurf, Liz Renshaw, Jaapsoft, JuergenAlbers, Glory Bea, Jonas Backelin, Josh Chalmers, Jeff Everhart, Teresa Penedo, Jonas Backelin, Jaap Bosman Transmediacamp101, Barnical, Brandon’s Educational blog, Inkblot, 2voices1song, Nellie Deutsch, Nina, Ted Curran, Dr Justin Staub, Jaraad, Henry Tapper, Jackie Regales, WikiQuals, Teochenghang, KenThinksAloud, ScottKotarides, Teahorvatic, CoolTeacherPodcast, JGousseva, Kerry Muste, iGameMom, MauriceABarry, Zac Egs, IdoLanuel, gpicone, Cristian Mihai, gluttrell, abacch03, elketeaches, SydneyFong, bottledworder, kateshrewsday, Simple Politiks, Jan Simson, Lesleycarter, poetrycurator, Jonathan Martin, oneanna65, Pak Liam, Odilets, Teachers Reflect, Keelan Foley, agencynews, starscraper99, tearmatt, clotildajamcracker, moderndaychris, Mazhar, Karen, Creative Donkey, Ashley Jillian, Ana Cristina Pratas, dloitz, MaggieMae, SimplePleasures, Manjree, Serena Turri, audedu, lejam jackson, 7th Heaven, Tuesday2, Nanxiliu, allaboutlemon, Moment Matters, Jeff Nguyen, A Ventography!, thatwritinglady, life of transition, Justin, Sebastian Raschka, Ankur Sharma, Stereotopical, MustardSeedBudget, Karris72

Retweets and mentions:

EugeneNizeyimana, Stefan Popenici, Dean Jenkins, Guven Cagdas, Sheila Stewart, Alvaro Anguix, Inland 2005, Donna Fry, Rita Silimbani, Linn Gustavsson, Allan Quartly, Liz Renshaw,, Marcia Forbes, Jane Mitchinson, Judy Baker, HalHol, Robin Yearsley, Francesca Beltrami, Maria Joao, Vladimir Kukharenko, Elizabeth Heck, Riitta, Suominen, myweb2learn, Virginia Pavlovich, Heli Nurmi, Frances BellVolkmar Langer, Brian S McGowan, Roberta Ranzani, Jenny Ankenbauer, Ora Baumgarten, Whitney Kilgore, 3ksan, Claire Thompson, Rahajeng Tunjung MD, Louise Lee,

And finally some of the search terms that people used to find the blog:

  • strategies of curiosity
  • milk characteristics
  • swan wiki
  • painting girl with ball
  • wings lacrosse team picture
  • painting learners
  • stone with blond hair
  • successful hair solutions
  • child connectivism with animals
  • I sit for 10 hours a day sewing

Building Democratic Learning: The limits of Moocs

Fred Garnett writing from the WikiQuals project, mentions how he has been participating in several MOOCs and working on various open projects for several years. He calls the content-driven MOOCs #edspam which refers to the new range of MOOCs that have emerged after the original connectivist MOOCs. He refers to a discussion where commenters have said that the for students following Coursera MOOCs there is limited navigation opportunities. He reflects on the concept of distributed knowledge:

I don’t see that Connectivism MOOCs are creating distributed knowledge either, although they are distributing new practice and asking new questions about learning. The participants seem to be acting more like Wenger’s’ Technology Stewards within evolving Digital Habitats, (who walk at 45 between hierarchies & networks) revealing new ecologies of learning, or at least new Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks. It is this networked learning potential that is really exciting in the hype-world that MOOCs currently exist in. Sadly the MOOC is becoming a box in which institutions are trying to capture this evolving practice so they can sell it; they are trying to build an e-education service delivery model.

He discusses American educational policies and his own experience teaching in the US, reflecting on Open Access Models and Open Scholarship  and links to a slideshare he created of a recent discussion on education and what is emerging alongside market influences and makes suggestions for how to create participatory democratic education.

The myth of online community

There has been a lot of research looking at real and metaphorical online communities as more and more people have started using the web and interacting with others through their connections and interests. Dr Mark William Johnson examines what is a community and whether online ones really exist (beyond their software definitions)

The conflation of the word ‘community’ to create equivalence between the online community and the ‘face-to-face community’ is particularly suspect. So much more happens when people are together: the life-and-death realities of existence are encountered in direct and practically ineffable ways. Online, and the nature of ‘community’ is reduced to text messages made in a strategic way by individuals seeking to maintain their position within the ‘online’ (and face-to-face) community.
I think it’s a mistake to think of such a thing as an online ‘community’. What happens online is strictly ‘strategic’. My tweeting of this blog entry is a classic example: I seek to gain the attention of those I know, and I wouldn’t be so bothered unless I could see some strategic advantage in it for me. I don’t believe I am alone in this egomania!
A very interesting take on community was provided by Stephen Downes in the #change11 week he led : Knowledge, Learning and Community

#change11 teacher roles and MOOC

By Jaapsoft, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 Non Commercial Share Alike

Who are my teachers in this MOOC?

  • Jenny Mackness does ask “who is the awesome teacher?’ for sharing thoughtful observations.
  • People who comment on my blog and ask questions or add better answers.  (I cannot name you all, I thank you all)
  • People who write blogs in #Change11 (and outside) and tell facts or do make me engage and give me gumption. Some of them are:
  • lucidTranslucent for showing different views.
  • Nancy White because she did not only ‘preach’ but cooperated.
  • Dave Cormier;  because of his intriguing ‘rhizomatic learning’  and his fine answer to my questions.
  • Stephen Downes for the OLDaily,, a source of information for looking sideways.
  • and many others. It is shared ‘teachership’  (compare ‘shared leadership’) and I tried to find some traits of this shared ‘teachership’ in this list of teachers.

Teacher roles:  from “Teaching in Social and Technological Networks” (blog of George Siemens) 1)

The following are roles teachers play in networked learning environments. And all of these roles are played by students too :

1. Amplifying, (drawing attention to signals (content elements) that are particularly important) (italics are mine) All participants in the MOOC facilitators, presenters and active students do a lot of Amplifying, in Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, participants draw attention to content and visual styles. Most of my teachers from the list do amplify. 
2. Curating, ( The curator arranges  elements  in such a manner that learners will “bump into) All participants do curate, maybe not consciously, add new elements, views opinions. Some comments made me ‘bump into’ and most presenters. Serendipitous Discovery.
3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking (aid the wayfinding process) Technology is a great help in wayfinding, receiving automated messages from blogs etc. In a MOOC the leadership aspect of teaching seems to be diminishing.
4. Aggregating (reveal the content and conversation structure) Participants do aggregate and connect information. They make sense and combine information and add new meaning. All of my teachers from the list are aggregating. 
5. Filtering (Filtering resources is an important educator role) Most filtering is done by the student, by choosing connections and messages. Other participants do influence this filtering.
6. Modelling (To teach is to model and to demonstrate) Participants define roles and rules and norms and demonstrate. All of my teachers demonstrate a model or a style of MOOC’ing, being human.
7. Persistent presence (“to make a home, a place to learn”) Participants  do their part to connect and to build “the Place of Change11″.  All of my teachers from the list do connect to build a network. 

In my view these seven roles are roles both of the Change11 Organizers, George, Stephen, and  Dave and  of the other participants: students and  the guest speakers. We could ask if the teacher in a MOOC is still a central node in the network or one of the nodes.

In the discussion around the Lurker in the MOOC these active ‘teacher’ roles of  participants seem to be an argument in favour of a more active role of participants.

1)  I did not find two articles with the same Teacher Roles.  Looks like there are a lot of different descriptions of teacher roles. cf. Changing Teacher Roles, Identities and Professionalism: An Annotated Bibliography Ian Hextall, Sharon Gewirtz, Alan Cribb and Pat Mahon.

image: Schoolmeester met kind, Co Westerik, 1961.

The Emerging Science of Connected Networks

by KFC, Technology Review by MIT

This article looks at the study of networks and how single or individual networks cannot reproduce the emergent behaviour found in networks of networks, looking at models with loosely linked networks such as with the spread of diseases and the challenge for complexity scientists.

In full

See also



Getting to know you: Introducing Jonas Bäckelin

Introducing Jonas Bäckelin, Contributed by Liz Renshaw:

1.    Can you tell us a bit about yourself Jonas?

photo of JonasMy name is Jonas Bäckelin and I’m living in Balchik by the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria.  My professional career started with my qualifications in environmental chemistry and marine biology, followed by working as a teacher with specialization in didactics and ‘Information and Communication Technology’ (ICT). I’m now focusing on my thesis for my Master of Arts and Social Science in ‘Adult Learning and Global Change’ (ALGC), with the working title “Navigating Distributed Knowledge with the use of Web Tools”. My commitment to a new level of teacher training curriculum has involved me in the development of coherent strategies to fully integrate the use of computers as pedagogical tools in the classroom.

In 2012 I’ve started eduToolkit a ‘Grassroots Organization’ promoting ‘Teachers Open Online Learning’ (TOOL) for Professional Development. We investigate the concept of ‘The Networked Teacher’ and find out more about ‘Networked Literacy & Fluency’ in education. I’m developing our first course with the help of WikiEducator called “Certified Networked Teacher – The Use of WebTools” and we will use assessment badges through Peer-2-Peer University (P2PU).

2. Why did you decide to participate in Change11?

A: My fellow students from Canada in ALGC introduced me to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “CCK08-Connectivism and Connective Knowledge”, but it took me until the third offering of  CCK11 facilitated by Stephen Downes, George Siemens and Dave Cormier until I was participating as a for non-credit student.  I got bitten by the MOOC bug, completed the eduMOOC and enrolled as ‘Network Mentor’ in Alec Couros course “EC&I831-Social Media and Open Education”.  Continuing with the MOOC ‘Change – Education, Learning and Technology’ in September was only natural as an ‘early adopter’.

3. What have been a couple of highlights so far in the Mooc?

A:  We are moving several frontiers simultaneously and I’m starting to realize that a single teacher can’t cope with the scope of change in education.  Some of the highlight are Mobile Learning (Zoraini Wati Abas), Collective learning (Allison Littlejohn), Rhizomatic Learning (Dave Cormier), Slow learning (Clark Quinn), Authentic learning (Jan Herrington).  The general trend is that fragmented and distributed knowledge can be managed through teaching, but we need online resources and tools.

4. How do you deal with the abundance of information in the Mooc?

A: I try to pay attention to outlines or key distinctions in order to create my own learning outcomes.  When listening to recordings or reading blog posts and articles I use our traditional tool Pen & Paper to create a concept map.  During CCK11 I created a workflow where I summarized my progress weekly in Insights, Thoughts and Questions.  This model has proven useful for monthly updates in the Change MOOC.  With help of examples and blog posts from other participants I like to make comparisons and find relationships – Remix and Mash-Up.

5. How do you go about building and sustaining your Personal Learning Network?

A: My struggle involves finding the balance between Practice & Reflection (i.e. blogging) and Model & Demonstrate (i.e. facilitating learning) and my main focus is on how I will become a node that creates learning resources for teacher’s open online learning.  The connections with experts in the ‘knowledge domain’ have grown into my ‘Personal Learning Network’, but the self-generating and sustainable networks come from expectations and feedback among peers and friends. NEXT PAGE

If You’re Human, You’re a Slow Learner #change11

By Andrew Neuendorf

Sometimes the Web can make a beautiful, serendipitous nexus. Whilst pursuing two seemingly separate lines of thought in two seemingly separate universes (integral philosophy on Beams and Struts and education theory on the Change MOOC) I discovered a connection that makes me a little less schizophrenic and a little more dialectic.

Here’s my little self-absorbed tale of discovery: Jeremy Johnson commented on my Beams and Struts article (“The Singularity is Near-Sighted”) and recommended William Irwin Thompson’s wonderfully-titled  “The Borg or Borges?” Here Thompson revisits one of his key concepts from Coming Into Being, that consciousness is a delay-space where different inputs from the senses are cross-referenced and their interactions stabilized, giving rise to a unique emergent self-awareness. Time is sort of slowed-down so that some of its components can get to know each other, exchange echoes, and establish a perspective.

In other words, human consciousness is the result of slowing down.

As Thompson so eloquently puts it:

Fast is fine for the programmed crystalline world of no surprises and no discoveries, but slow is better for the creative world of erotic and intellectual play.

This fits nicely with Clark Quinn’s Week 13 presentation on Slow Learning. Quinn writes in his opening blog post:

Really, I’m looking to start matching our technology more closely to our brains. Taking a page from the slow movement (e.g. slow X, where X = food, sex, travel, …), I’m talking about slow learning, where we start distributing our learning in ways that match the ways in which our brains work: meaningfulness, activation and reactivation, not separate but wrapped around our lives, etc.

Slow is the way to go. We’ve gotten so used to outsourcing our cognition to machines, to opening multiple tabs, and craving faster connection speeds that we’ve overlooked the exquisite work of evolution. Some see the brain as a vehicle for rapid computation. Perhaps that steam pouring out of our ears isn’t mere by-product. Maybe we’ll slow down and see it’s really the driving spirit, and we’ve been blowing it off and letting it dissipate as waste. Not the ghost in the machine, but the ghostly machine.

Forget machine. Forget ghost. We could call it, to paraphrase Yeats, a sustained glimpse out of Spiritus Mundi. Or it could simply be the dance of complexity teaching its steps to the dancer, inviting improvisation for the first time.

Thompson says it best, in conjunction with John Keats:

The field of consciousness has more to do with slowness and a higher dimensionality, even beyond the three of the physical volume of the brain, in which hyperspheres— or some other higher dimensional topology — involve simultaneity in a neuronal synchrony — in a pattern. A mind, in the opening words of Keats’s ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, is a ‘still unravished bride of quietness’, a ‘foster-child of silence and slow time’.

And now for the ironic part: I have made this connection between the cultural historian and mystically-mind Thompson and learning technology strategist Clark Quinn because of the internet, because I was taking on more than one field of study at once, and because of Twitter, blogs, and .pdf files.

In other words, I’m writing about slowing down because I’ve been living fast.

If there is a lesson here, it’s that we need a new term and a new understanding for how a person can live and think and create in relation to technology without having to adopt one of the two polarities of Luddite or Techie. If you’ve read my Beams and Struts article you know I’m skeptical of The Singularity. Still, our lives are interconnected with technology, and likely made better because of it. It’s a matter of how one stands in relation to technology. Is it a tool, or are you?

The writings of both Thompson and Quinn suggest giving precedence (and prescience) to human consciousness over its hyper technological extensions.

Two Rules for Teaching in the XXIst Century

By Daniel Lemire who has kindly licensed under CCA/NC-ND 3.o Unported , please note that his blog licenses commercial use under Creative Commons 2.0

Education in the XXth century has been primarily industrial: organize the workersstudents in groups under the supervision of a managerteacher.

We all have been in such systems for so long that we take it for granted. How else is anyone to learn? Maybe some can learn differently, but most can’t because they are unmotivated and lazy, they lack the critical skills to differentiate right from wrong on their own and they can’t assess their own level of expertise. At least, that is what I’m told, but I think it is unfair.

To me, this is like saying that we have to keep long-time prisoners in jail because they do not know how to organize themselves when given their freedom.

Indeed, if students who went through years of schooling cannot learn on their own, if they cannot assess their own progress, and if they generally cannot organize themselves without supervision, we have to wonder whether schools bear part of the blame. And I think they do: we enroll students in supervised and regimented systems where they are constantly told what to do, constantly tested by others and where they have to follow rigid rules as to what they should learn. It is no surprise that many students cannot work on their own when they leave school.

There are a few broken individuals who never really became adults. They have to be kept in check all the time because they could not survive on their own. But if these constituted the essential part of the human race, we would have gone extinct a long time ago. Our ancestors, not long ago, had to survive in small bands hunting small animals and grabbing whatever they could eat. They had to be incredibly resilient because human beings spread throughout the globe like no other animal species.

To put it bluntly, most people lack autonomy, they can’t be entrepreneurs, precisely because we have carefully beaten it out of them. I have two young kids and they are crazy. One of them is building a castle out of paper in his room. The project is huge and complicated and has worked on it for days, on his own, without anyone telling him what to do. He made mistakes (which he explained to me) and he had to fix them. How often do schools let students embark on self-directed projects? Almost never.

My sons are not exceptional. Like other kids their age, they behave in unconventional ways, trying crazy things on their own, having crazy thoughts on their own. Eventually, with enough schooling, they will settle down and do as they are told in a more reliable manner. They will become very good at following directions.

How good will they be at emulating someone like Steve Jobs, who repeatedly broke all rules? I fear for them that their sense of initiative and wonder will be killed by the time they finish their schooling. (Thankfully, I am a crazy dad with crazy ideas, so maybe I will mitigate the damage.)

Hence, as a teacher, I reject the industrial model as much as I can. I believe that, in an ideal world, we would not need any teaching at all. There is hardly anything you can’t learn through an apprenticeship. For example, if you just helped out Linus Torvalds for a couple of years, you could become an expert programmer. In fact, I suspect you would fare much better than if you just took programming classes.

The problem with apprenticeship is that it scales poorly. How much patience will Linus Torvalds will have for kids who hardly know anything about computers? How many could he coach? Would he want to have kids over at his house while he is coding?

We still use the apprenticeship model in graduate school. But to accommodate most students, I still haven’t thought of a better model than setting up classes. But should the classes be organized like factories with the teacher acting as a middle-manager while students act as factory employees, executing tasks one after the other while we assess and time them? I think not. My teaching philosophy is simple: challenge the student, set him in motion, and provide a model. I try to be as far from the industrial model as I can, while remaining within the accepted boundaries of my job. I have two rules when it comes to teaching:
•Focus on open-ended assignments and exams. Many professors are frustrated that students come in only for the grades. Probably because they focus on nice lectures and then prepare hastily some assignments. Turn this problem on its head! Focus on the assignments. If your students are not very autonomous — and they rarely are — give several long and challenging assignments (at least 4 or 5 a term). Do make sure however that they know where to get the information they need. Provide solved problems to help the weaker students.
However, keep the assignments open ended. We all like to grade multiple choice questions, but they are a pedagogical atrocity. In life, there is rarely one best answer: assignments should reflect that. In some of my classes I use “programming challenges”: I make up some difficult problem and ask the students to find the best possible solution. Often times, there is no single idea solution, but multiple possibilities, all with different trade-offs. Quite often the students ask me to be more precise: I refuse. I tell my students to justify their answer. Over the years, I have been repeatedly impressed by the ingenuity of my students. Many of them are obviously smarter than I am.

What about lecture and lecture notes? They are secondary. In most fields, the content, the information, is already out there. It has been organized several times over by very smart people. Books have been written on most topics. There is a growing set of great talks available on YouTube, Google Video and elsewhere. Your students do not need you to rehash the same content they can find elsewhere, sometimes in better form. Stop lecturing already! Just link to what is out there and encourage your students to find more using a search engine. Only produce content when you really cannot find the equivalent elsewhere. Please link to material beyond the grasp of most of your students: they need to know the limit of their knowledge.

The famous software engineering guru Fred Brooks agrees with me:

The primary job of the teacher is to make learning happen; that is a design task. Most of us learned most of what we know by what we did, not by what we heard or read. A corollary is that the careful designing of exercises, assignments, projects, even quizzes, makes more difference than the construction of lectures.

For my years as a student, I hardly remember the lectures. They were overwhelmingly boring. And I soon learned that even if a teacher was remarkably able and he could give me the impression that I understood everything… this impression was quickly falsified when I tried to work the material on my own.

•Be an authentic role model. Knowing that someone ordinary, like your professor, has become a master of the course material means that you, the very-smart-student, can do the same. That’s the power of emulation.
When Sebastian Thrun gave his open AI class at Stanford, tens of thousands of students enrolled. Sure enough, the Stanford badge played a role in the popularity of the course, but ultimately, it is Thrun himself, as a role model, that matters. He has now left Stanford to create his own independent organization (Udacity). Thrun must be confident about his success since he left his tenured position at Stanford, reportedly because he cannot stand the regular (industrial-style) teaching required at Stanford. One upcoming course is “programming a robotic car”. I have no idea how good the course will be, but it will be motivating for students to attend the class of the world’s top expert in the field of robotic car.

The status of the teacher as an expert has always been important. However, the ability of people like Thrun to reach thousands of people every year through his teaching means that there is less of a market for teachers who aren’t impressive AI researchers.

Unfortunately, as long as I teach within a university, there are a few things I am stuck with:
•Deadlines: Some students are able to go through the material of a class in 4 weeks. Others would need 16 months. Alas, universities have settled on a fixed number of weeks that everyone must follow. If you complete the course faster, you’ll still have to wait till the end of the term to get credit. If you need more time, you will have to make special arrangements. Of course, schools follow the factory model: we can’t have workers come in and finish whenever they want. But outside an industrial setting, I think that deadlines are counterproductive. If I take a class in computing theory and end up proving that P is equal to NP, but I end up my paper a few weeks after the end of the course, I will still fail. Meanwhile, the good student who followed the rules but showed a total lack of initiative and original thinking will go home with a great grade. What do we reward and what do we punish?
•Grades: Grades are a very serious matter in schools. Denis Rancourt, a top-notch tenured physicist at the University of Ottawa, was fired after refusing to grade his students. (He would give A+s to everyone.) Grades are effectively the quality control mechanism of schools, where students are the product. Somehow, we have totally integrated the idea that we could sum up an individual by a handful of letters. It sure makes managing people convenient! It all fits nicely in a spreadsheet. Of course, students have adapted by cheating. Schools have reacted by making cheating harder. But I cheated all the way through my undergraduate studies getting almost perfect score in all classes. How? I discovered a little trick: at the University of Toronto, all past year exams were available at the library. If you took time to study them, you soon found out that, at least in the hard sciences, a given professor would always use the same set of 10 to 20 questions, year after year. So all you had to do was to go to the library, study the questions, prepare them, and voilà! An easy A. But it is all rather pointless. In theory, grades are used by employers to select the best students, but serious employers don’t do this. We use grades to select the best candidates for graduate school, but I doubt there is a good correlation between grades as an undergraduate and research ability. I know two top-notch researchers who have admitted getting poor grades as undergraduates. For years, I have served on a government committee that awards post-doctoral fellowships: I am amazed at how poor the undergraduate grades are at predicting how well someone might do during his Ph.D. Conversely, I have seen many graduate students who had nearly perfect scores throughout their undergraduate studies who are totally unable to show even just a bit of initiative. They do well as long as you always give them precise directions.

Credit: Thanks to Michiel van de Panne for the reference to Brooks’ quote.

Further reading: Making universities obsolete by Matt Welsh, an interesting fellow who left his tenured position at Harvard to go work in industry.

Disclaimer: Many people are better and more sophisticated teachers than I am. And the industrial model does work remarkably well in some settings. Yet I think that they the skills it fails to favor are increasingly important. We have to stop training people for factory jobs that are never coming back.

My Feelings during PLevy week in Change11

Thanks to Heli 

My purpose was first to tell about my learning but it is better to say ‘feelings’ – I can’t yet tell what I learned. I have a strong feeling of awakening, the activation level inside my mind has changed and I have enjoyed greatly. Thanks for this possibility to grow and broaden my consciousness. I have become aware about some limits in my mind that I did not know earlier – and I have recognized many old principles I’ve found with my friends in 1970′s an every decade after that. I have age and never begin from tabula rasa.

The hardest question I ask myself is today: why haven’t I lived through those principles I already knew? Have I betrayed myself and why in the world? Pierre Levy is an seriously working scientist, his life is an example of intellectual marathon, I can trust and admire him. I am retired now and I could safely and freely, independently implicit my intellectual marathon. I could do better -this is my basic feeling just now.

I try to tell about my findings: in 1970′s dialectical materialism and pragmatism – international student movement was a real university of innovative practice while science university gave basic knowledge. I studied psychology until licentiate degree and then left university. I was not strong enough to become a researcher after the student movement disappeared – I learned a lot about its death, it returned to hierarchies, conservatism actually. We had the right theory of democratic open equal discussions but we could keep it living, in practice only some years. Shortly I could say that since these times I have believed MIND to be the main concept for understanding mankind development – and mind has materialistic roots both in brain and society and culture through socialization.

My scientific studies in psychology and other social studies help me to understand parts of Pierre Levy’s articles. Philosophy and mathematics are challenging and only partly followed, but in some way I enjoyed reading them too. Reflective practice and conversations in communities have been the content of my working life many decades. Practical orientation has strengthened from year to year, criteria for success are found in ‘good practice, working practice’. Truth is always subjective and contextual.

Linguistics were studied during the course Critical Literacies in summer 2010. I have written many blog posts here during the hot summer and tried to understand the basic concepts. Now I have a feeling that Levy helped me to understand the whole picture better than earlier. I want to read articles many times in the near future, my interest to modelling cognition returned.

Another point of connecting something old to this networked life in the web was the concept rhizomatic learning. Of course it was known from psychology and education: human growth happens in many branched ways and it is seldom linear. I liked to follow Dave Cormier’s discussions but I could not combine it as well as Levy did. – Oh now I am telling about my learning, fine. Feeling and learning go hand in hand – Levy needed the concept B for saying this.

Still I have to remember my earlier ideas of research. It was autumn 2009 when I wrote the principles of mindware as the entity and qualitative narratives and case studies as a method. My beautiful image is found here. List of the main concepts is fine. The next questions concerning research principles comes from LAK11 conference, spring 2011. I was worried about quantitative data analysis, pondering if it will be the main issue. I could repeat these worries after reading Levy’s articles. I have to follow LAK12, it is coming soon. BUT first of all I have to ask myself that where is my research after 2009 meeting? I follow others’ research and comment to them, but my own story is still obscure. Why? What can I tell publicly? The story is linked to many people. I don’t want to tell negative sides of communication, or assess other participants’ personalities etc. So I have been silent.

This week has been important. I notice that others are writing their pondering, Jenny Mackness helps me again an jupidu (Twitter name) is a new interesting person to me, one blogpost here. In the FB group I followed questions and answers, professors of philosophy or mathematics have been active. I have understood Levy’s answers anyway. My questions are still sleeping, have to find myself first.

#change11 Lower layers of connectivism?

By Matthias Melcher

I am confused. In the beginning, connectivism was considered on three layers: neural, conceptual, and social/ external. While the latter, topmost, layer has become increasingly popular, the lower layers seem to fade away from researchers’ interest. Recently even Stephen seemed to focus on just the social layer: “the central claim of connectivism, that the knowledge is found in the connections between people with each other”. What has become of the other two layers?

One quick answer would be that knowledge is identical on all three layers, but this is exactly what I cannot wrap my head around.

OK I can accept that the borders between the layers may sometimes blur. The connections between concepts are so similar to neural connections that, for example, the concept of “grandmother” seems just as if it was located in a singlegrandmother neuron. And when thinking of her cookies recipe, this external resource (layer 3) might sloppily be equated with the concept/ idea of her cookies (layer 2), and I (layer 3) “connect to the idea” (layer 2). But I cannot similarly equate some knowledge in a society with the knowledge in a person. And therefore I cannot picture the social knowledge as residing in the connections between people, in the same way as individual knowledge clearly is located in the connections between the concepts, or finally, between the neurons. The very word “knowledge” simply sounds different to me in the different contexts. (Perhaps this due to my ESL limitations and the different usage in German.)

The most striking difference shows when the social knowledgegrows, i. e., when “learning” by the society occurs: Saying to “learn” something that nobody yet knows, sounds for me as a stretched, alien usage of the word where everybody would normally speak of research, or scientific or scholarly progress. And the resulting knowledge appears different, too.

In the sense of research, “learning” of the entire society would involve a shared goal, i. e. it would be collaborative while normal learning together may be cooperative. And of course, the obvious connotations of societal knowledge are much different, as well: The body of human knowledge is usually thought of as the stock of many libraries, artefacts, external resources — even though I am aware how much important knowledge does not fit to this simplistic view, is not codified and explicit but implicit and distributed: It takes the combined tacit knowledge of many people to build an airplane; Trusting the experiential knowledge of many generations is foundational for our world view; I acknowledge the importance of online resonance between persons, and I even understand howdiscussions can literally reside between people. But I cannot grasp societal knowledge as lying between people in the same way as individual knowledge resides in the connections between concepts or neurons. Using the same word “knowledge” for both phenomena, appears to me as too stretched, or as a lifelessabstraction, while the common neuronal metaphor can be much easier understood.

Any hint or reference is welcome.