First Day of Class #adlt641

I’ve been away from teaching for two years, and I’ve missed the conversations. I’m enthusiastic about teaching again – So I welcome you to a course that will ask you to think out loud.

I believe in the truth of Wienberger’s comment –

“In conversation we think out loud together, trying to understand. … The Web releases thoughts before they’re ready so we can work on them together. And in those conversations we hear multiple understandings of the world, for conversation thrives on difference. (Weinberger, 2007, p. 203)”

Here, together, we dialogue and create meaning that is true for each of us — what we agree to be true, where we differ in our thinking, and how we value the conversation about those differences in perspectives.

I’ve also been away from my professional websites, so keep in mind that I’m in the process of updating them. I’ll be adding changes to our course site as well but not the syllabus or the first two weeks of assignments in Introductions and Blogs.

Teaching a Connected Course

I’m teaching again – a f2f graduate course, Design Challenges in e-Learning for Adults. The students are doing an amazing job of writing about their learning in their syndicated blogs. Their projects are for VCU people wanting insights into ways to create connections for their students using online solutions. I’m finding the shortened 6 weeks makes me pressed to comment, give feedback, write about design, and find good resources to support their work — but thoroughly enjoying the discussions.

Stay tuned for some great design ideas…

Join OLE!

You are invited to join the group of people collaborating openly about ways to learn together in our ALT Lab faculty course, Online Learning Experience. Share with them what you know and what you are researching. Learn with them the value of collaboration and co-learning so you include these Connected Learning principles in your own course design.

“We live in a world in which you can get the answer to any question within seconds,” Rheingold told us over Skype, “but it’s up to you to determine the validity of the information you receive. It’s so important for learners to understand that critical thinking is not just a tool in the toolkit that you can pull out on occasion, but an attitude towards seeing information that you swim in.” In other words, a digital literacy can be seen as a mental framework one develops through practice—a simultaneously personal and collaborative skill that one must constantly hone in the midst of our computer-mediated lives. Practicing Web Wisdom: Mindfully Incorporating Digital Literacies

An Invitation to Twitter

Use Twitter

We’ve had a great beginning to the VCU Interdisciplinary Social Research Methods course. Everyone is now established in a research proposal group and has an idea of a focused research topic to pursue. Everyone is blogging about the topics at hand. Now it’s time for everyone to connect to the networked world of people thinking about and doing research — using Twitter.

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Create a Twitter account if you don’t have one. If Twitter is a foreign concept here’s some additional help:

Please post a tweet to me @JoyceKincannon when you’ve setup your account. I’ve created a twitter list for those people interested in the VCU Interdisciplinary Social Research Methods course that would like to use twitter as a tool to do engaged research.

The Power of Many to Many

I recently traveled to Dallas for the OLC Emerging Technologies Conference. Dr. Bonnie Stewart, @bonstewart talked about her research within twitter, a network of people who connect using unique usernames and #hashtags for topics. I’ve been using twitter sporadically for a couple of years, but her presentation about “many to many”, helped me to finally understand the real value of this social media as more than a broadcast technology.

Twitter forms many-to-many communication webs of visible connections, a social network with a different currency of reputation. Anyone can join the conversation, no matter degree or status. What counts as influence online in these formats? — the number of tweets one person posts to the network creates influence and audience, and the number of followers indicates their current audience, but often the information included in the individual’s profile is more important than numbers when determining if you will follow that person’s comments in twitter, follow their links, and read their blog.

   To become openly networked means to connect classroom learning with other aspects of living, working, or “doing” across space, time, and multiple spheres of influence or community. It also means to actively participate. People in a networked world receive, relay, and create information, acting on and reacting to people and situations in their chosen “participatory culture.” Henry Jenkins

How might we help colleagues and students develop productive participatory identities? First, create your own practice. Start here.

You’re invited! to a Learning Festival

Imagine. Create, and Share.

We’ve invited everyone we know (and those we’re hoping to meet) to stop in, share ideas and listen to stories about what’s become possible when developing quality learning experiences. Engage your curiosity, imagination, and willingness to learn. Spend each day asking questions and talking with others about shared experience. Visit the MakerSpace and the Gaming Lounge. Chat over lunch. Learn to make a video; Edit Wikipedia; Set up an account for an amazing communication tool; Recreate your syllabus. Join a workshop. 

Register here. For free!     

 

Why Online? “Access Trumps Knowledge”

I’m writing in response to Harold Jarche’s post, moving to social learning, where he describes a decentralized social learning approach to change in our organizations. Since we are now so technologically connected with communication networks worldwide, access to a trusted network of people to guide our change in work practices makes sense. By engaging with our networks to cooperate, share knowledge and collaborate, learning online gives us the ability to do complex work more readily. We must create the structures necessary to support it.

Research shows that an effective knowledge network is open, transparent, and diverse. Social networks are by nature open; they can enable knowledge-sharing; which in turn fosters a diversity of ideas and opinions necessary for innovation.

If this adaptive social learning is happening in our workplace, helping students learn “how to search, find and make the connections”  is essential. We’ve labeled these principles connected learning in a networked world – access to information and a trusted network of people in order to collaborate and learn.

Knowledge workers – that’s us – also need to develop emergent practices through social relationships outside the workplace – and classroom. This keeps learning connected to the changing external environment, through human relationships and social networks. As educators, we help our students and colleagues connect the ideas worth exploring.