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TLT Knowledge Log

Archive for August, 2006

In awe

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 30, 2006

Once again, Stephen Downes leaves me in awe. Read and imagine…

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Structural Inequality and the Digital Divide

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 30, 2006

Have just started researching this as part of another project. Looking for resources that focus on class (economic) issues that relate not just to the infrastructural issues of the digital divide but look to address the systemic/structural issues associated with access to education.

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Traversing I495 late in the day today…

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 29, 2006

…winding my way to Lowell… stuck in traffic… late for an appointment… balancing three demanding consulting clients and still was thinking more about words…

EduGenic… closer to photogenic or cryogenic

Connectivism… sexism, agisms… are isms good?

I’m going to start links to pages that are allegedly in English but read like Greek to me!

There is equity in accessibility. And, to me the current evolution of the web is a great equalizer… the digital divide is real… on many levels. There’s the issue of just plain physical access… but once there… is this a welcoming, engaging place? For the most part… let’s keep making it better!

8/30– new terms…

Squiddoo and a lense!

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I Object (sorta)

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 28, 2006

An emerging theme of the past few days… use of words. I’m not a linguist…

I object to the continuing use of language that serves to separate us rather than connect us. Some words I see make me crazy because:

(a) I don’t know what they mean (right off the bat)

(b) I can’t find an easy way to find out what them mean (like, hey, perhaps a definition!?)

(c) I find them off putting (I’m sure the originator didn’t mean to sound… oh, I don’t know… haughty?) because they make me feel dumb and don’t encourage me to discover their meaning… like there’s this technology IN crowd and I have to pass some kind of test to join!

I want to know what a word means and I want to know why I should care about it. If I know that, then I will take the time and energy to figure things out. If I feel like the word is egocentric or personality driven then I probably won’t. Wha I love is that we can make an entire new language and culture… I guess I want to extend its reach.

So the meaning and utility of the words/phrases listed below are the ones I’ll be sorting out in the next couple of days. Feel free to help me out! What do they mean and why should I care (as a citizen, student, teacher, worker)?

1. Trackback

2. Permalink

3. Internet time

Okay.. did some research… I get the concept of a permalink (http://www.plasticbag.org/archives/2003/06/on_permalinks_and_paradigms/) but don’t understand how they’re implemented. By the person who manages the blog or the person looking at information on the block!

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Tim Speaks

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 28, 2006

Tim Berners Lee says just because we’ve started to understand the web doesn’t mean we need to rename it. Labels are just that…

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Awesome — How’d he do that??

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 28, 2006

How’d he do that?

Here I am imagining I’m writing in my own little cocoon… inviting in my friends and colleagues but not realizing that someone might actually find and read something here. John Connell you gave me one of those precious ahah… tickles the tummy it feels so good… moments when you posted something from this blog on yours. August 27th goes on the calendar as a day to remember!

I’m “supposed” to be unflapped by technology… I’m not. This connecting PEOPLE stuff is awesome! I can “see” it now in ways I’ve not experienced after 20 years as a higher ed IT professional and 10 years as an online instructor.

I feel FINE!!! And motivated. Awesome dude!

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Learner responsibility?

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 28, 2006

In the absence of a theory that emerges from the data, then the only measure most will turn to is the measure of ROI/science… this is “dependable” if not flawed. When tied with the plea for sociological study (however ungrounded it is) it makes clear that the study of the social process of engaged learning… specifically using technology for such… is relevant. So… it isn’t necessarily about adoption (by faculty) but perhaps about empowerment of the learner… now they aren’t binary… separate… they are the same… i am learner… i am teacher… i am learned…

The sequence is still not there… but the identification of art v. science in learning design is relevant… it’s an ecology, a system, that all players are part of. Why are we guessing about what works? Why wouldn’t a grounded theory approach… examine the data… see what emereges… work? Why not include the students… beyond the end of semester fill in the blank evaluatoin… can’t they design their own learning? Wouldn’t that open things up to valuable perspectives? How do learning styles play into this notion of connectivism. I feel like students are being lumped…Okay… part 2… keep digging it emerges! Read this!
In a recent post in his connectivism blog, Siemens speaks about the convergence of thought among certain thought leaders of the change necessary in educational process to move to a learning world that is more appropriate to the circumstances in the world. An interesting synopsis shows itself as follows:

“I’ve spent the last year talking connectivism (and really stating and restating the basic premise in different ways…Will captures my main message nicely: “knowledge resides in the network, and that to be truly educated these days, we need to know how to leverage that knowledge when we need it. And that we all get smarter as we link to one another and become a part of the conversations that are going on.”).”

He goes on to suggest:

“Creating a compelling vision of the nature of that change is the key task. How do we implement new models of learning? Jay Cross tackles things from a stance of informal learning, Stephen Downes approaches it (partly) from the concept of elearning 2.0, and I approach it from connectivism. We are generally all saying similar things. But how will we move to implementation? How will we transform our learning spaces and structures? What needs to change with our technology? I’ll spend time over the next few months trying to dig deeper with the implementation concerns and opportunities. A sense of inevitability exists about these changes…the way out from our current position, however, is still largely undefined. I would love suggestions or comments relating to steps and directions required for implementation…”

Here’s my problem… the point of view is as the professional delivering education… I think. I wonder if that role is becoming obsolete… at least for adult learners. Not that collaboration isn’t important… of course it is! But the lines between the educator and the educating is feels like it can blur if the educating are lead to mechanisms that facilitate management of information and knowledge. Which… by the way… I find the interchange of those words to be quite challenging… information, to me, is quite different that knowledge. I think that’s clear in many postings, but not always in language.

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Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 27, 2006

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
Groucho Marx

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Academics Get to Work!

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 27, 2006


On the need for sociological research into the use of the internet! OMG. Where do we start? 🙂

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What is the changing nature/dynamic of knowledge?

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 27, 2006


Knowledge sometimes defined as justified true belief.

Levels of knowledge…

Virtually impossible to define knowledge in a way that all will agree. How we define knowledge influenced significantly by our world view.

Basic definition: Knowledge is an entity that helps to explain some part of the world and that we can use as a source of action or something upon which we can act to make change. (Not all encompassing, but provides a start for dialog)

What has changed?

  • Pace and development. (Knowledge itself doubles every 12-24 months… per ASTD)

Most are aware of it in our daily lives… number of emails, aggregators, <information v. knowledge> , transvergence… something that occurs and one domain can be transferred to another domain…

  • Manner in which we represent knowledge. Move from text to video – audio. Knowledge centered and created by a group of corporations to everyone having the capacity to represent knowledge.
  • Access — instant updating and understanding… supported by the open source movement… MIT’s open courseware make hte opportunity for knowledge
  • Interdisciplinary awareness… interaction and communication (convergence… coming together of several disciplines… where one field benefits from the transfer of knowledge that accelerates the growth in the receiving group
  • Relationship to knowledge… morning relationship to newspaper and evening news show… information consumed in chunks of time that were determined by others… today the variety is great and not dependent on someone else’s schedule (long and involved to short snippets that is self-paced). Cognitive process of the editor to determine value have been taken on by the receiver
  • The knowledge climate has become more developed… scientific process…. information technology… enables digital movement of information and rapid broadcast… outside the traditional paper based process <My question… how do students tap into the knowledge climate for collaboration?
  • FLOW — much more scattered… used to flow through trusted means… now it’s almost like a flood without a structure and it does influence how we approach knowledge and how we derive value… what resource is trustworthy? digital literacy becomes very important
  • Lack of knowing with certainty.. learning is a sense of certainty… possessing certain absolutes about a certain discipline… most business people, educators, students required a more malleable understanding of knowledge (Carl Popper)… continual suspended certainty… “in the context and circumstances of today this is knowledge… as things change I must be able to integrate the change into what I understand as knowledge… goes beyond digital literacy skills… to know something we need to embrace ambiguity… not every problem is solveable… not everything makes sense in or own mind… may require network support
  • Knowing today is a function of networks (connectivism). Pace is too rapid for one individual to know on our own. We must create trusted networks. Karen Stevenson stores her knowledge in her friends. Network with other specialists whose work overlaps… each individual could be an expert in a domain… we can gain value from the insights they put forward.

Knowledge is fundamentally a different entity… not linear, not absorbable

Content-centric v. conduit

Capacity to know is more about network and conduit so we can stay current.

No longer pre-defined to being something that emerges in a co-creating sense. No longer a function that we experience knowledge as presented by someone else…

<This notion is prevelant in information technology… but hasn’t injected itself into the classroom fully>

  • Knowledge requires a feedback structure… capacity for a two-way web increases the capacity for continuing, on-going learning

<This ties directly to the mission… function… of Fielding… lifelong learning requires the interaction that only technology can support….>

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