Your brain needs rest


Your brain needs to rest. Just be lazy for some time and do nothing.
Your brain is constantly connected to the web, your phone always wants attention, the traffic is getting on your nerves, the noises around you, your thoughts keep your brain busy.
Do prevent stress related brain symptoms and give your brains some rest. Do not check your phone while waiting but just be bored for some minutes. Just look out of the window, watch the sky.
Sleeplessness and burn out are stress related symptoms and prevention is much more easy and less time consuming and more fun than therapy.
There are several ways of coping with stress, such as controlling the source of stress or learning to set limits and to say “no” to some of the demands that devices, social media, bosses or people around you may make.
You will like stillweb and the twitteraccount The Daily Stillness with a little touch of rest or silence every day.
Sustained stress, over long periods of time, and destroys creativity and, as a friend of mine says, “the human soul.”

Culture and language


Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory has in my opinion a connection with language. (answer for @Chris2B in comment on previous post.)

  • Power distance. In the Netherlands teacher and student are not in different worlds. If the teacher is wrong, students will tell him. Language differences as a sign of class differences do not fit into low power distance culture. Spoken language and written language are not very divergent. Dutch students do not need to learn ‘upper-class academic’ language to write an essay.
  • Individualism. Being different is not a (big) problem. Teacher could admit not to know an answer. Dutch students are not afraid to try to speak foreign languages. They are not afraid of mistakes. (I am an example of that)
  • Masculinity/femininity. Feminity  is  about care and not about masculine competition according to Hofstede. Trying to be the best is not a common trait in Dutch students.

In culture with low power distance and high individualism rules do change almost at will.
Members of different cultures have divergent views on Incidents and differences of opinion in a community.
Rules on how to write an essay are very important and common in USA (and other countries). In the Netherlands content and process are more important than format and style.
Should a blogger need to know more about Cultural Competences or CQ?

Enforcing independence?

cmapEIMindmap for introduction to this subject of enforcing independence (EI). Made with CMap.
Questions: what is the connection with rhizomatic learning and EI

Is it possible to enforce independency?

Is every student ‘ready’ for independency? And does that matter?

Lots of ethical questions here.

What about forcing one to independence and another teacher gives support and offers nice dependency to the student?

Is rhizomatic learning about independency?

How about the social interconnectedness of learning and study and independency?

Is independency a typical cultural ideal of a some cultures? How about African cultures and clan and interdependency? What is interdependency?

About the Buddhist > do nothing branche of the mindmap: It is a very short note. In Chinese Tao  some teachers preach the  do nothing  Wei Wu. One practical reason one of them wrote is: by doing nothing you do not hinder the Way.

to be or to know? Merleau-Ponty…

Central Park New York
Have you ever been in the wind mill in Central Park New York?
If learning and education is about becoming an adult, to become a grown up person, how could one cheat?
If being a human adult is the most important objective of education, what would cheating look like?
Pretending to know is called cheating.
Pretending to be, what is that?
If someone pretends to be a careful adult and acts like a careful adult, how could we know he is cheating?

Merleau-Ponty: How can anything present itself truly to us since its synthesis is never completed? how could I gain the experience of the world, as I would of an individual actuating his own existence, since none of the views or perceptions I have of it can exhaust it and the horizons remain forever open?

(M.Merleau-ponty phenomenology de la perception p384 translation Umberto Eco in The role of the reader)
Did Merleau-Ponty invent rhizomes?
If it is true that anything we talk about is not finished yet, is stil open, is not completed, how do we call our speaking as if the things are compleet and finished? Are we in a sense cheating reality?

Mooc op universiteit? Dutch universities going MOOC?

tablet student

Universiteiten staan voor de uitdaging om open online onderwijs te organiseren.
Natuurlijk, er zijn al vroege starters bezig, zoals Delft, maar de grote golf moet nog komen.
J. Bussemaker Minister for Education, Culture and Science did send a letter to the parliament to promote MOOCs and Open Education.

Open online onderwijs (OOO) stelt de univs voor problemen: Questions for univs
Hoe bind je de student aan de instelling?
Hoe voorkom je dat de student toch maar besluit om toch maar elders verder te studeren?
How to keep your students in your university?
Hoe geef je eigenlijk online les?
How to train teachers to become online teachers?
Question what Unique selling points of univ as mooc producer?
Hoe waardeer je het werk en de inspanning van de student.
How is grading done online?
Hoe school de docenten om tot deskundige online studieleiders.
Welke rol moet kan PR spelen,
How to involve PR people?
Hoe maak je echt goede online materialen, kunnen de grafische lycea daarbij helpen?
How to produce real good online lessons material, could design colleges assist?
“We are super-focused on customer service, which is a phrase that most univers can’t even use,” says Paul LeBlanc, SNHU’s president.
Wat is leren en wat is online leren?
What is learning and what is online learning?
Wat willen we met onze OOO bereiken?
What are our goals, objectives, values?
Hoe gaan we om met diversiteit aan vooropleidingen, leeftijd, cultuur, woonplaats, toegang tot internet?
How to handle diversity in online student population? Everybody from everywhere?
Wie zorgt tijdens de schoolvakanties in de weekeinden voor onze online cursisten?
Who is in charge after school hours, holidays, weekens?
Hoe zit het met eigendom auteursrecht enz?
How about copyright, and other juridical matters?
Hoe leer je studenten om te gaan met OOO?
how to train online students for online learning?

Rhizome #rhizo14 pre-ORIENT phase

rhizome20th century French Philosophers are so out (in Europe). Even if one reads their books in French, much of it is incomprehensible for most people. Did they write unreadable books on purpose? Deleuze “invented” the rhizome in about 1976. (In an article, now Introduction in Deleuze and Guattari Mille plateaux). In 2005 Patrick Odiard wrote a piece of music “Rhizome”

This is a blogpost on the new MOOC on Rhizomatic learning started by Dave Cormier, start January 14.

As a model for culture, the rhizome resists the organizational structure of the root-tree system which charts causality along chronological lines and looks for the originary source of “things” and looks towards the pinnacle or conclusion of those “things.” “A rhizome, on the other hand, “ceaselessly established connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles” (Deleuze and Guattari, 7). Rather than narrativize history and culture, the rhizome presents history and culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a “rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo” (D&G 25). The planar movement of the rhizome resists chronology and organization, instead favoring a nomadic system of growth and propagation.

In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. The surface can be interrupted and moved, but these disturbances leave no trace, as the water is charged with pressure and potential to always seek its equilibrium, and thereby establish smooth space. []
[D&G: Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia . trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1987.]

Did you know the Rhizome ArtBase is an online archive of new media art containing some 2174 art works, and growing.

Teaching Machines? (I)

320px-Skinner_teaching_machine_01Could teaching machines be real ?
How could teaching machines teach academic mastery; problem solving; collaboration; self directed learning; effective communication; an academic mindset; critical thinking; mastery of core academic content?
As teaching is expensive and millions of people want to learn, teaching machines could be a solution for this problem.
The immage is a teaching machine of Skinner (programmed instruction).
Reasons to be happy to end teaching
Discussion on teaching machines on Mirandanet

Some MOOCs are kind of teaching machines, not only the MMOOC (mechanical MOOC) but these “video-college-quiz”-MOOCs as well.

(image: wikipedia)

M is for Massive M staat voor massief

metaalM is for massive and for MOOC. M is a very misunderstood word in the MOOC acronym.
In some courses M is just for bulk, or just means very much students are involved. But massive has another connotation, that is of a solid construction or solid big thing.
This second meaning of massive (geologists use massif for this connotation of massive) is what M of MOOC stands for.

De M van Massief en van MOOC. Deze M staat voor een slecht begrepen woord in het acronym MOOC.
In sommige cursussen betekent de M niet meer dan massaal, maar massief heeft, ook in het engels, nog een andere betekenis. Het betekent vast aaneengesloten, ondeelbaar. Geologen noemen een gebergteketen een massief . Deze tweede betekenis van massief is kenmerkend voor de echte MOOC.

Metal is solid and massive, because of the forces of the connected molecules. A massive tower is solid and massive because of its structure and connectedness of the stones. These connected molecules are a good metaphor for the massiveness  of a MOOC. Like in  metal the connections between molecules are cause of solidity and massiveness in a real MOOC the connections between ideas opinions  and participants are important features of the MOOC.

Metaal is massief door de verbindingen tussen de moleculen. Deze verbindingen tussen de moleculen zijn een metafoor foor de massiviteit van de MOOC. De connecties tussen deelnemers en ideeen en meningen maken de MOOC bijzonder. 

A MOOC is massive because of the connections, in a mooc ideas and participants and thoughts are connected. Internet has made this connections possible.

Een MOOC is massief door de connecties, in een mooc worden ideeen en deelnemers gekoppeld. Internet maakt deze connecties mogelijk.

The image is of layers of different metals in a nano-electronic device. It is a beautiful metaphor that the just the  different metals in this device do make the device work. In a MOOC it is the connections between different participants and different opinions that make a MOOC a source of learning. That is why massive is important in a MOOC. In a MOOC a lot of different participants and different opinions and different participants make a better interconnected network.

De afbeelding laat lagen van verschillende metalen zien in een nan0-electronisch apparaat. Dat is een mooie metafoor. Het zijn de verschillen tussen de metalen die het apparaat laten werken. In een MOOC zijn het de verschillen tussen deelnemers en opinies en ideeen die de MOOC tot leerzame activiteit maken. Daarom is massiviteit belangrijk in een MOOC. De grote verzameling verschillen die onderling verbonden worden maken een MOOC interessant.

The M of MOOC as massive and solid stands for a new pedagogy, a pedagogy of the connected student in an open and online internet course. 

De M van MOOC staat voor een nieuwe didactiek, een didactiek van de deelnemer die connecties maakt in een open en online cursus. 

Pt = platinum; Pd =Palladium; Au = gold

(image from )

Edublogger on open education

diversiteit horizonSURF stelt enkele vragen :

1) welke ontwikkelingen voorzie jij op het gebied van MOOC’s en open education voor jouw instelling en/of het Nederlandse hoger onderwijs?
2) wat zijn volgens jou kansen en bedreigingen?
3) wat zou jouw instelling / SURF / de overheid moeten doen met het oog op deze ontwikkelingen?

Notities voor een pitch

1) what trends you see in MOOC and open education for (Dutch) higher education?
2) What opportunities and threats do you see?
3) What should institutions / SURF / government do in preparation of these developments?

  1. Er komt meer variatie in open en gesloten aanbod. Gesloten betekent hier gestructureerd en teacher-centered en met de nadruk op kennis.  Open betekent dan ongestructureerd, student-centered met de nadruk op vaardigheden. De xMOOC is een gesloten en sterk voorgestructureerde manier van aanbieden van kennis. De M van massive staat voor een groot publiek dat dezelfde cursus krijgt voorgeschoteld.  De cMOOC kenmerkt zich door zwak gestructureerde content en de nadruk op eigen inbreng van de deelnemers. De M van massive staat hier voor de noodzaak van een groot aantal actieve deelnemers opdat er voldoende verschillende deelnemers zijn.
    Overigens is er nog steeds een officieel beleidsvoornemen om meer Open te zijn.
  2. Wellicht is er enig nut in het “aanbrengen van Kennis” met voorgestructureerde cursussen (xMOOC)  voor grote aantallen studenten.  Kennis is geen vies woord.  Maar onderwijs dat alleen maar bestaat uit “voortoets; lesje, en natoets” is echt niet didactisch de beste methode om als land een voorsprong op te bouwen in innovatief en kreatief onderwijs. De zelfwerkzaamheid van de deelnemers in een (cMOOC) cursus op academisch niveau is een magnifieke gelegenheid om al doende hogere denkvaardigheden en andere academische vaardigheden te oefenen en te leren.  De vraag is of diversiteit slechter is dan uniformiteit.
    Er is al zoveel ervaring. Leer van anderen voor je een MOOC start, doe eerst een paar verschillende MOOCs zelf mee.
    Bedenk dat videocolleges voor 1000 online studenten een gigantische aanslag zijn voor je servercapaciteit, en zoek een oplossing voor je start.
  3. Hoewel de organisatie van een cMOOC eenvoudiger en veel goedkoper is dan het publiceren van een xMOOC is er veel te weinig oog voor deze uitdaging voor de kreativiteit van  universiteiten en hogescholen.  Er is tot nu toe weinig aandacht voor de cultuurverschillen tussen het USA-onderwijs en het Nederlandse onderwijs, Het is de vraag of  je (bijvoorbeeld) een MIT cursus blind kan kopieren en in het Nederlandse onderwijs toepassen. Er is veel meer aandacht en onderzoek noodzakelijk naar beter didactische praktijken zoals die o.m. in cMOOCs  worden ontwikkeld.

Some remarks for use in a pitch:

More variety in open and closed courses. Closed  means structured and teacher-centered and with an emphasis on knowledge. Open means  weakly structured, student centered and with an emphasis on skills. The xMOOC is a closed and highly structured way of providing knowledge. The M stands for a massive  public, all reading the course. The cMOOC is characterized by weakly structured content and an emphasis on participation. The M stands for the massive need for a large number of active participants.
Maybe a need excists  for  the “application of knowledge” with structured courses (xMOOC) for large numbers of students. Knowledge is not a dirty word. The self-motivation of the participants in a (cMOOC) course at graduate level is a magnificent opportunity for exploring higher thinking skills and other academic skills. Is diversity good or bad?
Although the organization of a cMOOC easier and much cheaper than publishing a xMOOC there is far too little attention to this challenge for creative universities and colleges. Little care is given to cultural differences between  USA universities  and the Dutch-education , the question is whether one (for example) can copy an MIT course in the Dutch education.

Meer over Open en OER: