Sunday, January 28, 2007

Connectivism conference

This month an online conference will take place on connectivism. All Canadian 'talkers' and 'thinkers' in the field of learning technology are involved: Stephen Downes, George Siemens, Terry Anderson, Diana Oblinger so it should be an interesting event.
You can find out more and register at the conference web site.

I think it is great for educationalists to talk about new developments. It is a shame though that not more research is carried out in the use of these new technologies to see if the ideas thought up by crystal-ball gazing would actually work in a learning situation. Their actions are not always consistent with their talk.

Stephen Downes for instance talks a lot in his blog and papers about how connecting people will enhance the learning and knowledge creation. He carries a tutorial on how to include RSS feeds on blogs on his website (I am still working on adding one to this blog), but then he has taken down all his RSS feeds and has moved to an email distribution in broadcasting mode for his blog. I presume it has to do with protecting against spam attakcs, but it is a contradiction in terms with the writing on his blog. Chat and discussions don't work, so it seems that from Web 2.0 he has moved back to Web 1.0. I have for quite some time been impressed with the way his blog has become a community of practice of learning technologists, but find it disappointing that people can no longer comment and communicate in an easy and straightforward way.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Future Lab

Over the past few weeks I have read a number of publications by Future Lab and they are all very interesting. A number of people are looking at 'personalisation' and at 'networked and connected learning' . They also just started a blog called Flux

My only problem with their papers, as with most other papers on these subject, is that they are speculative, rather than based on research.
Happy New Year to you all. I have recovered from my holiday in Gran Canaria over Christmas and New Year and of writing my literature review for my PhD. I feel I am still on a roll, so I have already taken new books out of the library to start the chapter on research methods.