Connectivity and dichotomy and our nation.

nationEr is een aspect van connectivisme als kennistheorie die grote konsekwenties heeft. In een connectivistische opvatting van kennis bestaan er veel onderlinge verbanden en samenhangen tussen delen van kennis. Die verbindingen tussen begrippen, weetjes, opvattingen en kennis maken het lastig om onderscheid te maken tussen klassen en categorieen.

Want to stress one part of connectivism as a theory of knowledge (epistemology) In a connectivist view, facts, knowledge is very intertwined. In connectivism  classes, categories are not important, the connections between “parts of knowledge” are important.

Een connectivistische opvatting van kennis berust niet op (onder-)verdeling maar op verbanden. Een dichotomie ( een tweedeling) is in een connectivistische opvatting van kennis niet goed mogelijk. Tussen verschillende begrippen bestaan veel meer verbanden dan in de traditionele kennisopvatting duidelijk gemaakt kunnen worden. In die traditionele opvatting zijn verschillen belangrijk. In de traditionele opvatting is een volk een verzameling mensen met een gemeenschappelijk kenmerk waarmee ze zich van anderen onderscheiden.

A connectivist view is not a matter of divisions and categorizations, but of connections. A dichotomy is not a very connectivist way of looking at the world. Different pieces of knowledge are more interconnected and connected to other pieces of knowledge than you could explain in common epistemology using dichotomies.

In connectivistische opvatting is een volk een groep mensen die op allerlei manier verbonden zijn, maar die ook naar buiten die groep verbindingen hebben. Nationalisme, de opvatting dat wij anders zijn dan zij is kortzichtig. Een simpel onderscheid tussen wij en zij is misschien mogelijk in de klassieke kennisleer, maar vanuit connectivistisch oogpunt is het een dwaze versimpeling.

I connectivist view a nation  is a lot of humans connected in all ways, but the humans are also connected to other humans outside that nation.  Nationalism, the believe We are different from Them is false. Because one cannot make a definition of We of our nation. It is very unclear who are in or out the nation.

(Nation van Terry Pratchett is vertaald: Volk)



Learning is connectivity #potcert

How to embed a youtube video in a blog.

Video by Bonny Steward and Dave Cormier,

Open and Connected. Presentation about Life in the Open, 21 Century Teaching & Learning.

Should we go on with this Open thing of today? Is technology becoming more important than communication?

Connectedness and openness are important. In Bloom you will not find openness and connectedness, because in Bloom you will not find anybody else than a non-person with cognitive skills.  In the taxonomy of Romiszowski you could find congnitive skills, but also psychomotor skills, reactive skills, and interactive skills.  (Book on Romiszowski: Romiszowski, A (1999) The Development of Physical Skills: Instruction in the Psychomotor Domain, Chapter 19, Instructional Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, Volume II, C. M. Reigeluth, Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Dave Cormier ‘invented’ the word MOOC.

Is Online education a real part of serious study?

BurundiBlindLameMaybe we fail somehow to identify online education as within the domain of serious study and see it as noise suggestive of education, but not the real thing? The mention of limits and viability in 1 to 1 tutoring of students “Obviously this is a limit, it is socially and economically un-viable instructional system that can sustain a tutor for a student” cause me to wonder if we can get past the barrier of economics to reach another level in education? Will technology enhanced teaching allow us to leap into another domain of learning? What could technology leverage that exceeds close, direct and responsive tutoring human to human? Or are we mistaken to speak of technology as somehow unconnected to us humans who imagine and build it?
Interesting question from my friend Scott about human teachers and online teachers.
I did search (as Gordon does) on human tutoring and found this study: Human tutoring is a bit overestimated (The Relative Effectiveness of Human Tutoring, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, and Other Tutoring Systems)
Do we call it  1 to 1 tutoring when participants in a (connectivist) MOOCs ask questions and give feedback to participants?
Is connectivism an educational theory that avoids this need for teacher tutoring? Social connections are very useful and fun for learning. An automated system could help learning, but laughing and having some fun while learning needs a human touch.
I did a Mechanical Mooc on learning a computer language and programming, this is a computer tutoring students. And I think it will become a handy tool for learning languages, computer programming and this kind of skills and knowledge.

Learning to create with these new tools is essential not only because the world is an increasingly wired place, but because connecting increases the breadth and depth of what we can do with these tools.  Working with children to connect with technology, rather than isolate, is a big take-away for me so far.

( did you ever use the Make a MOOC site of Alan Levine? )
In the MOOCs I did I did meet a lot of participants willing to learn beyond doing the course and receiving a good mark or a badge. They are good tutors to their fellow participants, because they connect and interact. The names of some of them are mentioned in posts and comments of this blog. I think this MOOCs are a new level of education.

Questions (from januari 2011)

eendjesSome questions about connectivism:

How is connectivism in education related to cocreation and co-design?
(what comes next is written in 2013 july 6)
In #clmooc Hacking is an important way of producing. Making by hacking, adapting and ‘ímproving’ could be the only way to make.
Hacking … a new term for upcycling?
That makes making and producing a human enterprise, because you need someone else’s idea, make to make your own make.
This draft is a hack of an older post. This post was made because the influence of participants in the clmooc. They made me think, and made me look into the map of this blog.

This blogpost has been laying as draft from januari 23 2011 until I came in this #clmooc to connect some ideas. Hacking is a connectivist word, just because hacking needs a network.

And if you want to know the importance of blogging in a MOOC, read what Terry Anderson  and Dave Wiley write about that subject.

Human or machine, what must we teach? #etmooc

ploegenFarmers used to sit on their tractors and plough for days. Now tractors do plough on their own, because some farmers invented an automated system. My neighbor is a farmer and he does milk 200 cows on his own. He has a computerized milking and feeding system.
Lots of jobs can be done better by machines and cheaper than by humans.(thanks Vanessa)
What should our children learn and what shall we teach them? Imagine a world of automated machines for almost every task, what should humans do in that world?
Maybe we do need humans to make these machines, to invent the machines and to replace them or repair?
We would need people to care for other people. But some surgery is done best by machines.
Kind of science fiction coming true?
Or as Dave Cormier writes “I want us to be passing on the ability to choose. The will to understand. The work ethic required to engage at something for long enough to understand it. The sense of responsibility to believe that you should do that for yourself. I don’t care about the content or the rules associated with it… those we can find.”?

Identity and #change11

What is the difference between identity, ID, self, ego, me, personality? Do these words connect to the same  ‘thing’?

Does identity change when you change role? A role or a social role (also spelt rôle) as a set of connected behaviors, rights and obligations as conceptualized by actors in a social situation.

Identity is an item in psycho-therapy,  fear of loss of identity or fear of disapproval are strong forces in a human mind. Identity is dependence because the other people must recognize and acknowledge my identity.

Identity as a network. No identity without other people, and things. Part of your identity is made by the connections in your network. Your identity is your parents, your friends, your place of birth your university, your colleagues. And the phone you use, the car, the house, your dog, your clothes.

Identity is difference, how to be different in this world with so many people? Leaving marks on the network, connecting in a personal style. The rhizome of your connections is part of your identity. Identity as a way of living, a style of life, a typical way of expressing. Branding is a special way of being different. Are social status and identity  connected?  Identity is a  process of a growing rhizome, in a complex rhizome you could find your singular identity. The more complex the more  a  different identity.

Leaving marks is part of the making of an identity. (footprint, fingerprint, printed papers)  These marks are printed on a substrate. In what way is the substrate part of your identity? What blogs are you commenting, what does your Facebook look like? Reading footprints is subjective,  as Pooh and Piglet show when they are walking in the snow. So who am I? You could  read a part of my  online identity on the marks I left on the internet.

In what way does a text help to make an identity? In what way is your work/text hiding your identity?

Your identity is part of your personality. Is Identity a rhizome of different selfs?  Languge selfs, branded,  cultural selfs? Identity is it your public self?  Is my private secret unconscious self part of my identity?  Culturally, these practices by which we make our digital identities have become part of our embodied lives and of an enmeshed concept of ourselves.

Your identity is like a road or a direction you did choose. Now when you do go that direction you will have to act according to your identity. Identity causes expectations. Is it possible to compose your identity as a work of art, or do other people compose their version of your identity and with that your identity is a social construct?  

Karl E. Weick’s Konzept des “Sensemaking”

ichdenkmalIntentionality is the subject in a discussion on Dave’s Educational Blog between Keith Hamon and Frances Bell.

In very short: the question is if a node in a knowledge network/rhizome, like you and me, is more than a reacting powerless object of the network/rhizome. (this is too short an abstract of the discussion, you should read it yourself)
This discussion reminds me of the problem of the Collective Unconscious and the Self of Jung. This collective unconscious of Jung is much wider than the personal unconscious of Freud. The collective unconscious of Jung connects us to the history of mankind, the myths and stories of our ancestry.

Karl E. Weick and Sensemaking could shine a light on this subject of agency in a network.

George Siemens mentions the nature of connections. Wonder if we could say that some/all connections are sense-making-connections?
“…Understanding. Coherence. Sensemaking. Meaning. These elements are prominent in constructivism, to a lessor extent cognitivism, and not at all in behaviourism. But in connectivism, we argue that the rapid flow and abundance of information raises these elements to critical importance…” George Siemens.

In therapy Jung tried to make sense in the lives of his patients, it is a nice parallelism.

Image: In Franfurt am Main (Deutschland) you find this statue “Ich” of Hans Traxler. (Ich = I / me). The statue is empty.

Mensbeeld (Imaginem Humana) in a connectivist world #change11

mensbeeldIf we want to know more about Connectivism as a theory of learning or knowledge or teaching, we could look at the “view of man” (mensbeeld) that is implied or expressed in connectivist texts.
A mensbeeld we call a set of assumptions and stories that relates to how people view human beings. Mensbeeld is Dutch for View of Man, Imaginem Humana (Latin), image humane (Fr).
Three bits of connectivist text to start with:
Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized. The field of education has been slow to recognize both the impact of new learning tools and the environmental changes in what it means to learn. Connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era.” [Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, 2004, George Siemens]
Do people change when their culture changes? (are people autonomous and independent or are they victim of external forces?)
Do humans change their culture?
Is it human destination to flourish?
Has learning ever been an internal individualistic activity?

This implies a pedagogy that (a) seeks to describe ‘successful’ networks (as identified by their properties, which I have characterized as diversity, autonomy, openness, and connectivity) and (b) seeks to describe the practices that lead to such networks, both in the individual and in society (which I have characterized as modeling and demonstration (on the part of a teacher) and practice and reflection (on the part of a learner)).” [What Connectivism Is, Stephen Downes, 2007]
Is success an important goal of humans in a connectivist mensbeeld?
Are autonomy, openness and connectivity and diversity also part of the connectivist mensbeeld?
“Active MOOC participants are individuals high in the psychological trait of conscientiousness, geared toward duty and achievement” Individual experiences in MOOCs, part 3 diversity openness, Heli Nurmi
How does connectivism deal with uncertainty and questions with no known answer?

“Where structures of connections (ie., networks) differ from sets of observations or measurements is that there is in principle no external entity to which we can appeal in order to check our understanding. In a networked society, every person is a member of the network, and all things being equal, there is not some other networked society against which we can test our conclusions (prior to the days of global communications, societies did test themselves one against the other, but unfortunately though war and other conflict, a solution that was worse than the problem and which clouded their ability to interpret connections in a rational and dispassionate way).” An Introduction to Connective Knowledge, Stephen Downes, 2005
Is being a member of a network a major property of the mensbeeld?
Will humans improve and forget war?
Will there be a future of peace and justice for all mankind?
Is the mensbeeld rational and dispassionate?

” …Creatagogy? This would be based on a pedagogy for human being where learning is viewed as a growth of creativity and capability for people, with technology as affordance, together with digital pedagogy and netagogy. ” Sui Fai John Mak
Is creativity an important trait for the mensbeeld in Connectivism?

(to be continued)

Comment on ‘Clicker’ project and on publishing #cck11 #mobiMOOC


You did publish your project in Thank you for that. In a MOOC Massive Open Online Course, publishing and sharing is an important feature. Now we are able to read your project and learn from it. And we could comment on it. Some of the participants could have good ideas to improve your project.  In sharing our knowledge and discussing our projects we all could learn.

Now I  would like to comment your project. I tried to find your name in the mobimooc google group. I could not find you there. I tried Facebook, I did find your name in FB, but I do not know if that is you. The only way to comment on your project is to send you a personal  message through the wikispaces wiki. That is not very Open, so I will send you this as a personal message and I will publish this open letter in google groups. That is because I really think openness in a Mooc is very important.

In your clickers project Moodle is used for feedback and for quizzes. Did you consider of using Twitter or other micro blogging apps to do this? Twitter is used for this purpose in universities and schools. It is much more simple to use than Moodle for this purpose. A little HTM-script on a web page will make the posts of students visible. An example of the script is on You could copy the source of the page and change the script to your purposes.

I hope you will comment on this comment.

(The flowers grow near our village, its tulips)

regards Jaap


Changing views #cck #mobimooc

This last week of cck11 is a week of saying goodbye to all we met in this MOOC. Meeting you has been  very valuable, I thank you for sharing. Some of you will go on with mobiMOOC , we will meet again.
In this blogpost some remarks on connectivism and MOOC  and of the next things to do.

This last week is a time of reflection. The MOOC was  an adventure and an exploratory expedition. Explorations to Screencast and video, Pingback,  Portuguese language weblogs  and French tweets. Meeting people from all over the world.

In the mobiMOOC I will try to use connectivist principles to mlearning.  This blog will  continue as a mobimooc blog.

The average learning theorist is a topdown thinker, writing about “…Principles of connectivism:…” . (like most philosophers are) The theory for these theorists is of more value than the daily work in learning and teaching. This discussion on the status of connectivism as a real theory is an example of that top down thinking. “… -While it is not a serious learning theory (or let say a well-established learning theory) …”
In real sciences most people think bottom up, the daily problems are the start of thinking and looking for solutions. I would like connectivism to be a bottom up science. (Who wants to discuss the value of computer science as a theory?). So I do like a starting point in “.. the big 3 questions ..”.